How Much Does an EKG Cost?

Written by: Staff

An EKG, also known as an electrocardiogram, is a test that will examine the heart by reading the electrical levels it emits.   This test is often done to see if you’re at risk of heart disease and/or a heart attack.  It’s also recommended for breathing problems, tiredness or unusual sounds coming from the heart.

During the procedure, electrodes are placed on several spots on the body and these electrical impulses will result in lines on pieces of paper or the computer screen.  An EKG is a painless procedure that takes less than 30 minutes to process.  The cost of this test can vary depending on your geographical location, the hospital, and if insurance is involved.

Ekg by Helge V. Keitel, on Flickr
Ekg” (CC BY 2.0) by  Helge V. Keitel

How much does an EKG cost?

An EKG will consist of two parts: the actual test and the reading of the results.  The average EKG cost will be anywhere from $200 to as much as $2,000 without any type of insurance.  The nationwide average, according to our research, is about $800.  With this type of test, hospitals across the United States greatly vary in their pricing, so it’s important to get as many quotes as possible.  Most hospitals can provide a quote over the phone.

If you have health insurance, you will only be responsible for your co-pays or deductibles.  Since all health insurance policies vary, it is best to consult with your health insurance provider to know exactly what is covered.  With insurance, as long as the EKG is deemed medically necessary, will be well within the $100 and $500 range.

Live Science says the costs can greatly vary, ranging anywhere from $137 to $1,200.  This cost range was found when researchers called 20 hospitals in the Philadelphia area and had asked how much the procedure would cost.

EKG overview

Your doctor will order an EKG if he or she suspects you have symptoms of heart disease or you have been experiencing heart pain.  These tests will determine how the heart is working and decide how the problem should be treated.

During the procedure, you will lay flat on a table, and electrodes will be attached to the body.  About 12 to 15 electrodes will then be attached to the chest, arms and legs.  These leads are then attached to an EKG machine; the results will be read tracking any electrical activity.

The test, as long as everything goes according to plan, will last a few minutes.  Often, the doctor may be able to provide the results immediately; however, if the test showed a problem with the heart, another test may be required.

What are the extra costs?

Having a professional read the results of the EKG could be charged separately outside of the test.  Each clinic will have its own policies.  A reading should cost no more than $50 to $100.

If the doctor wants to run a stress test along with the EKG, this could be another $200 to $400~

If the results are abnormal, the doctor may want to repeat the EKG and/or recommend other tests for the near future.  For example, depending on your situation, blood work may be required ahead of time as well.  Depending on the condition, each blood work test could cost $200 or more, but it could be less with insurance fees.

Tips to know:

Before this procedure is done, the office may ask that you shave small areas on your body.  The clinic will provide you with step-by-step instructions on what to do before the procedure begins.

Unlike most tests that have certain food and drink requirements, an EKG does not require any sort of fasting.

Always try to go to a primary care physician if you can.  Emergency rooms can cost almost 50+ percent more than a standard doctor’s office.  Of course, if it is an emergency, you should not question it and should have it done at a local ER.

With so many cardiologists in your area, consider calling a few to see what they charge.  Most offices will be more than happy to provide an estimate over the phone.

How can I save money?

Health insurance, will no doubt, lower the costs.  If you do not have any sort of health insurance policy, consider looking for a policy through  Health insurance is not as expensive as many people think.  In fact, some high-deductible policies are less than $150 per month.

Patients who do not have any sort of health insurance will often find that doctor’s offices will provide some sort of discount as long as the bill is paid in full with cash or a credit card; patients can save upwards of 40 percent this way.

Those who meet certain income requirements can find clinics in the area that may provide free services.  Check with local government agencies to see if you qualify.

Like government services, many hospitals are happy to work with patients who meet minimum income requirements.  These hospitals can set up payment plans or offer heavy discounts.

If you can, try to avoid the emergency room or urgent care.  Unless it’s needed RIGHT NOW, a private office will be a lot cheaper.  Remember, any serious condition should be looked at immediately.

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Average Reported Cost: $112

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Drew Nesmith (Locust Grove,  GA) paid $112 and said:

    The doctor gave me an EKG when I went in complaining about a sore throat. I thought I might have strep. As far as I’m concerned this doctor was clearly ripping off the insurance company. I am healthy except for my sore throat; have no cardio issues.

    This was my first (and last) visit to this thief!

    Was it worth it? No

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