How Much Does an Iron Infusion Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

An iron infusion refers to a liquid dose of iron given through an IV.

The procedure is typically done on patients with an iron deficiency, a condition where iron levels are low and pills are not sufficient to keep up with the iron loss.

Three of the most commonly used solutions for intravenous iron therapy includes iron dextran, iron sucrose, and sodium ferric gluconate.

How much does an iron infusion cost?

At a doctor’s office or treatment center, plan on budgeting around $300 to $600 per iron infusion session.  The costs will depend on your geographical location and doctor’s office.

According to a forum thread on the website ObesityHelp.com, some members claimed that they had to pay around $200 to $600 per infusion.

Many treatments are done in cycles.  For example, you may receive an infusion once a week for three weeks and then your levels should stay level enough for about 18 months.  The price range of three rounds of iron infusion would be about $900 or $1,800 based on our estimates, and this will usually need to be paid about every year and a half.

Factors that influence the price:

The number of infusions

In many cases, the total cost of intravenous iron therapy is affected by the number of IV infusions performed, which is often dependent on the patient’s condition and reaction to the therapy.  As a ballpark estimate, plan on three rounds to see elevated iron levels.

Facility fees

An iron infusion can be done in the office of a medical professional or in a hospital. In several instances, having the procedure done in a hospital incurs higher fees because of the use of their facilities and services.

Testing

Tests are often done on patients recommended for intravenous iron infusion to ensure that their system is capable of absorbing the drug preparation without developing complications. Screenings before the therapy even begin can often add to the overall cost of IV iron infusion therapy.

Iron infusion overview

The process of infusing intravenous iron involves placing an IV bag and a bag of fluid containing iron in dissolved form and draining the contents into the patient’s veins.  Often conducted in a hospital, hemodialysis center or doctor’s office, the procedure may take up to several hours, depending on the type of treatment the doctor has recommended.  An iron infusion is often performed over the course of several doctor visits until the patient’s iron levels are corrected.  The whole session can tak up to three to four hours, depending on the treatment your doctor thinks you will need.

Intravenous iron is considered generally safe; however, the drug preparation can result in severe reactions for some individuals.  The procedure is typically conducted when a patient is experiencing too much iron loss and their body is not able to absorb iron taken by mouth.  Iron loss usually occurs in people suffering from cancer, anemia, an inflammatory bowel disease with extreme iron deficiency, and end-stage renal disorder on dialysis.

Intravenous iron comes in three types of preparations: Iron dextran, Iron sucrose, and Ferric Gluconate.

What are the extra costs?

Testing

Before intravenous iron therapy is even recommended, a patient will need to undergo a series of tests to find out if they have iron deficiency.  The tests may include testing for blood in the stool, determining if there are abnormalities in the gastrointestinal tract, testing the urine for blood or hemoglobin, and for women, looking for abnormal or increased menstrual blood loss.  All of these tests can run well into the hundreds of dollars without insurance.

Medications

Some patients experience pain and allergic reactions one to two days after IV iron infusion therapy, most often with iron dextran.  These patients are often prescribed with NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

Tips to know:

Intravenous iron has an advantage over other types of iron infusion since experts recognize it as an option that causes less gastrointestinal pain and discomfort.

Of the three basic and commonly used types of intravenous iron, sodium ferric gluconate complex in sucrose (Ferrlecit), or iron sucrose (Venofer) are regarded as safer than iron dextran, although reactions can still occur.

Side effects of intravenous iron include blood clots, fever, headache, malaise, joint aches, and rashes.  Iron toxicity (too much iron) symptoms include nausea, dizziness and a sudden decrease in blood pressure.

Intravenous iron therapy may be suitable for some pregnant women, but they must meet the requirements and are in a pregnancy period where the therapy is safe for them, in addition to being able to comply with other factors.

The amount of iron that you take may be different depending on your circumstances.  For example, women who are pregnant need to get more iron, as would someone who has lost a lot of blood or is going through a growth spurt.

How can I save money?

Having insurance cover iron infusion can lower the cost of the overall procedure.  Many insurance companies shoulder the expenses, with patients paying around 20 percent of the costs posted above, but you will need to meet certain criteria before they agree to the terms.  Aetna, for example, lists the criteria its members have to meet in order to qualify.   If you do not have insurance or you are looking to potentially switch your policy, consider browsing through hundreds of policies at eHealthInsurance.com. Medicare, for example, is likely to cover the iron sucrose injection Venofer and its administration when it is used for its approved indications.

Some offices may offer a cash discount if you pay your bill in full.


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Average Reported Cost: $4521.43

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Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Bob Beecher (Houstion,  Texas) paid $2000 and said:

    scheduled for 2 sessions, so I’m requesting estimate?

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Anne Smith (Richmond,  Virginia) paid $12200 and said:

    One very long (7 hour) session for an iron dextran infusion in a hospital. I am undecided on the value per cost. It seems extremely excessive based on what I have read.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. Ginger (Houston,  Texas) paid $5000 and said:

    One session in Houston was $5000.00. Took about five hours to receive the infusion. Yes it’s worth it.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  4. Rick Cassell (Tipton,  Indiana) paid $2600 and said:

    Hospital?Dr Office charged $17,000
    My insurance paid $5498
    My co-pay $2356
    To me it’s outrageouse

    Was it worth it? Yes

  5. KGM (Presque Isle,  Maine) paid $4200 and said:

    CAN YOU SAY REDICULOUS!!! 1 time infusion, 3 hours, 1mg injection of FERRIC CARBOYMALTOSE. Dr. recommended a second infusion which my wife has decided not to get because the first one didn’t make her feel any different.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  6. Vish (Waukesha,  Wisconsin) paid $3850 and said:

    Was billed $3850 for one session , had to pay $500 rest insurance covered.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  7. Shell B. (McKinney ,  Texas) paid $1800 and said:

    Amount I had to pay to meet my deductible + my 10% after it was met.
    Still pricey for something that wasn’t elective but ratherrequired

    Was it worth it? Yes

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