How Much Does a Strep Test Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 14, 2018

A strep test may be ordered by your doctor if you display the symptoms of strep throat or you have been exposed to strep during rheumatic fever.

The presence of streptococcus bacteria, which causes strep throat, will test positive on the strip after a mucus sample is taken from the back of your throat.

How much does a strep test cost?

Depending on where the test is done, a strep test will usually cost between $20 to as much as $65 for just the rapid strep test.  This won’t include the doctor’s office examination fee if you were to have the test performed at your local doctor’s office  If you were to factor in the doctor’s office fee and the strep test, then the costs will be around $135 to $250 without insurance.

If the test were taken inside of an emergency room, then the costs for the test could easily be more than $150.  This wouldn’t include the hospital emergency room fee.  It’s not unheard of to pay more than $500 to test for strep throat only.

At the CVS Minute Clinic, the costs of a rapid strep throat test would cost $35 for the test, plus you would be responsible for the $89 to $129 visitation fee.

Walgreens, on the other hand, charges $25 for the test and another $89 to $129 for the patient exam.

The test can also be done at home, and these kits can retail for $25 to $45.

For example, the highest rated strep tests on Amazon.com retail for about $35 for 25 testing strips.




Strep test overview

A rapid strep test is a diagnostic test used to demonstrate whether streptococcus bacteria is present in the patient’s throat.  The test includes rubbing a cotton swab against the back of the throat and tonsils to get a mucus sample, which takes around two seconds.  The mucus sample is then tested for a protein that comes from strep bacteria.  The results, either normal or abnormal, are then produced within 10 to 15 minutes at the doctor’s office.  Normal or a negative test means the strep bacteria may not be present, while an abnormal or positive test means the strep bacteria is present and antibiotics can be started.  Cigna, however, claims that negative results can often be wrong, meaning it can come back negative, but you do have it.  If this were the case, a throat culture may be performed to confirm the result.

If the strep bacteria is present, an antibiotic treatment will be started right away.

What are the extra costs?

If you do have strep throat, then your doctor will prescribe antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, cephalexin, or penicillin, which can cost an additional $10 to $20.

As mentioned, albeit rare, a throat culture may be ordered if your physician thinks the negative result isn’t certain.  A throat culture, on average, can cost an additional $30 to $50.

How can I save money?

Purchase a kit online.  For less than $40, you can get more than 20 test strips for the future; however, if you were to have it, then you would still need to visit a doctor in order to get a prescription.

If you have insurance, be sure to use it as it will be covered as long as the doctor’s office is in network.  Be sure to talk with your health insurance ahead of time or visit the official website to see who’s a participating provider in your area.

If at all possible, avoid the emergency room unless you want to pay more than $500.  Either consider going to a local pharmacy, urgent care or even consider a telemedicine app to help bring the costs down.


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