Streptococcus, often known as group A streptococcus, is the bacterium that causes strep throat. Swabbing the throat and testing the sample are both steps in a quick strep test. Both doctors’ offices and urgent care facilities offer rapid strep tests. The doctor can then recommend antibiotics if the test is positive. A quick strep test plus a doctor’s visit typically costs $187 out of pocket. However, the price you will pay varies greatly and is based on your location, insurance status, and whether you require any additional services.
Your doctor could recommend a strep test if you exhibit signs of strep throat or if you were exposed to strep while suffering from rheumatic fever.
After a mucus sample is obtained from the back of your throat, the presence of the streptococcus bacterium, which causes strep throat, will test positive on the strip.
How much does a strep test cost?
A strep test will typically cost between $20 and as much as $65 for only the fast strep test, depending on where the test is performed. If you were to have the test done at your neighborhood doctor’s office, this wouldn’t include the examination charge for the doctor’s office. The prices would range from $135 to $250 without insurance if the doctor’s office fee and the strep test were taken into account.
The cost of the test could potentially exceed $150 if it were administered in an emergency room. The cost of using the hospital emergency room would be excluded. Paying more than $500 for a strep throat test is not unheard of.
You would be liable for the $89 to $129 visitation fee in addition to the $35 cost of the fast strep throat test at the CVS Minute Clinic.
Comparatively, Walgreens costs $25 for the test and an additional $89 to $129 for the patient exam.
The test can also be performed at home with a kit that costs between $25 and $45.
The best-rated strep tests, for instance, cost roughly $35 for 25 testing strips and have the greatest ratings on Amazon.com.
Strep test overview
If streptococcus bacteria are found in the patient’s throat, a quick strep test can be utilized as a diagnostic tool to show this. To get a sample of mucus for the test, a cotton swab is rubbed against the tonsils and back of the throat for about two seconds. The protein produced by strep bacteria is next examined in the mucus sample. Within 10 to 15 minutes, the results—normal or abnormal—are produced in the doctor’s office.
While an abnormal or positive test indicates the strep bacterium is present and antibiotics can be begun, a normal or negative test indicates the strep bacteria may not be present. However, Cigna asserts that negative results are frequently incorrect, so even if they are, you still have it. If that were the case, a throat culture may be carried out to verify the findings.
Antibiotic treatment will be begun right soon if strep bacteria are found.
What additional fees are there?
Your doctor may recommend drugs like amoxicillin, cephalexin, or penicillin, which can cost an additional $10 to $20 if you do really have strep throat.
As previously noted, a throat culture may be requested if your doctor feels that the negative outcome is uncertain. On average, a throat culture can cost an additional $30 to $50.
How can I save money?
Buy a kit online. More than 20 test strips can be purchased for less than $40, but in order to obtain them, you would still need to see a doctor and obtain a prescription.
Use your insurance if you have it since, as long as the doctor’s office is in-network, it will pay for the procedure. Make sure to check the official website or speak with your health insurance provider in advance to find out which providers are participating in your area.
Avoid the emergency department if at all possible unless you want to spend more than $500. To assist reduce costs, think about using a telemedicine app, a nearby pharmacy, or even an urgent care facility.
Factors Affecting the Price of a Strep Test
The following variables may affect the cost of an in-person quick strep test:
- Where the medical practice or urgent care facility is located
- Whether you require extra medicines to treat strep (if strep is detected)
- if the physician orders any extra tests (flu, COVID-19)
- Insurance protection
How to Get a Strep Test Without Paying a Lot of Money
It can be costly and opaque to seek assistance from an urgent care facility. When getting a strep test, there are several ways to lower your out-of-pocket expenses, especially if you don’t have insurance or your insurance has a large deductible.
Your whole urgent care appointment with Mira will be covered by your $99 co-payment.
It’s critical to stand up for oneself and be aware of the variables that could affect the cost. The questions you can ask to help you advocate for yourself are listed below.
- What is the price of the fast strep test?
- How much will a strep culture cost me if I need one?
- Do I need any other tests today except the strep test?
- What is the price of this prescription medication?
- Is there a charge for office visits?
- What additional administrative costs might I anticipate?
What happens during a strep test?
Only a quick strep test or throat culture will be able to determine if you have group A strep, according to the CDC. By simply examining someone’s throat, a doctor cannot determine if they have strep throat.
The back of the throat is swabbed for a quick strep test, and the sample is then tested. The test normally takes 10 minutes to complete and provides information on whether group A strep is the cause of the disease.
Antibiotics can be prescribed by doctors if the test is positive. A throat culture swab might be taken by a doctor if the test is negative but the doctor still believes the patient has strep throat. It usually takes 1-2 days for a throat culture to reveal the presence of group A strep germs. A throat culture can occasionally detect infections that the quick strep test missed, however, it takes longer.
Children and teenagers need a culture swab because untreated strep throat infections can cause rheumatic fever. After a negative quick strep test for adults, it is typically not essential to perform a throat culture. Adults who have had strep throat are often not at risk of developing rheumatic fever. However, based on your symptoms, your doctor will decide if you need to obtain this test.
What prescription drugs could a doctor give me if I have strep throat?
Doctors use medicines to treat strep throat. If a patient is not allergic to penicillin, either amoxicillin or penicillin is typically administered as the first line of treatment. If a patient has a penicillin allergy, other medicines may be used by the doctor to treat their strep throat.
Antibiotic advantages include:
- reducing the duration of a person’s illness
- diminishing signs (feeling better)
- limiting the bacteria’s ability to infect others
- avoiding severe side effects like rheumatic fever
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