Shopping for lab tests to save money

My High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) was about to charge me 66% more than an online lab test service. I would pay $291 instead of $175 at the same location for the same test on the same day. I pay them $3000 a year for insurance coverage to be ripped off for everyday services like this? What can I do?

Smart Shopper

Dear Smart Shopper,

It’s not clear to me what is happening.  Your HDHP would not be charging you for the lab service — the lab service provider would do that.  It’s quite possible that your health plan has a less favorable deal with the lab than you have found online.  It’s also quite possible that the online service provider is not giving you exactly the same test.

I would ask your doctor (who presumably recommended the test) to make sure that the online lab is giving you the test that you need.  If so, great.  You just saved yourself some money in your own pocket.  You could send the info to your HDHP to let them know there are better deals out there.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.