How Much Does a Colonoscopy Cost?
A colonoscopy is a recommended test for both men and women once they reach 45 years. This test is one of the ways to detect cancer in its early stages, making it one of the most important routine tests one could have. The cost of a colonoscopy will vary depending on your geographical location, your health insurance, and the facility performing the procedure. Your overall health, including weight, could also play a part in determining the price. Although there are other non-invasive tests that could be performed for this purpose, such as virtual colonoscopy, these alternative tests cannot detect nearly as much as colonoscopy can. Because they are such new procedures, their diagnostics are still under review.
How much is it?
- For those who have no health insurance, be prepared to pay anywhere from $1,800 to as much as $4,000 for the complete procedure. Usually, the geographical region and the doctor performing the test will be the biggest influences on the price tag.
- Of course, for those who do have health insurance, you will be more than likely covered and will only be responsible for co-pays and deductibles. Check with your health insurance provider to see what is covered. If you do not have any health insurance, eHealthInsurance.com is a great place to start to search hundreds of health insurance policies in your area. Generally, those with health insurance will not have to pay more than $800.
- According to NewChoiceHealth.com, the average costs across the United States can range anywhere from $1,500 to as much as $3,000. They also have reports that some facilities can charge as much as $10,000+
- A Fox News article claims that the average colonoscopy will cost $3,840 per lifetime.
What is going to be included?
- During the procedure, the patient will be sedated. Once sedated, the doctor will place a flexible tube inside the patient’s rectum. Attached to that tube is a small camera so that the doctor can fully inspect the full length of the colon area.
- The price also includes the reading of the test results by the doctor; these results will then be discussed with the patient.
What are the extra costs?
- If the doctor does spot something abnormal during the procedure, he will probably want to perform a biopsy, which can incur additional costs. SEE: “How much does a biopsy cost?“
- Additional tests aside from a colonoscopy such as x-rays can be more than the traditional tests.
- There is a good chance that the anesthesiologist will charge separately aside from the fees mentioned above. These fees will usually be around $200 to $400.
Tips to know:
- Call a few hospitals in your area to see what they can do for you. Most of them will be more than happy to give you a quote over the phone. However, check with your insurance provided before doing so; many insurance companies have a specific group of doctors and a specific hospital that they would prefer you use.
- Independent imaging centers are usually cheaper than your big name hospitals. Do not forget to check these places for quotes.
- Be warned that just because your insurance calls it a preventative procedure, it does not mean that they will cover it. According to WellnessLetter.com, if a polyp is detected, it will be considered a “diagnostic test.” Because of that, the insurance company will no longer consider it preventative. If your policy does not cover diagnostic testing, this will have to paid out of pocket.
- Most insurance policies allow coverage for this type of test every few years for those over 50 years of age. Most doctors recommend that you get a colonoscopy about every three years; because insurance companies know this, they may allow coverage for it this often.
- If you are over the age of 50 and have not had a colonoscopy done yet, it is so important that you get one done. Even if you cannot afford it, you have to question yourself and ask yourself if your health is worth it.
How can I save money?
- Depending on where you live, some states and local government provide these screenings at a relatively low cost if you meet certain income requirements.
- As a cheaper alternative, a procedure such as a flexible sigmoidoscopy can be performed. Keep in mind that this type of procedure can only screen a portion of the colon and cannot detect very small polyps. Compared to a colonsocopy, through, the price can as little as $200. Compared to the prices mentioned above, this can save you a good amount of money. Salix.com has more information how the procedure works and why it is different.
- By paying your bill in full, most centers will give you a discount that can be as much as 50%. It could be even more of a discount if you pay your bill in cash,