Product Reviews

Over the counter colon screening cost

If you are into tracking wellness one of the more obvious areas to monitor is the bodies excretion. For folks who monitor performance indicators inputs and outputs are the areas that can be controlled and monitored. So it makes sense that a daily excretion of stool could provide insights. 

There are other outputs that can be monitored too. Urine and stool are the obvious ones, but you also breath constantly and this is used for things like Lumen and other metabolic trackers. Urine can be sampled by tests like Vivoo and Vessel to monitor PH, hydration and a handful of other markers on a daily basis. Stool samples provide less daily insights, but that is due to the science, collection, and turn around time. Far in the future there’s no question that some sort of smart toilet will be available and will automatically provide a huge amount of insight on your daily health. 

For now stool samples are primarily used for one test, monitoring blood in the stool. Bleeding that gets into your stool is highly correlated to serious issues including colon cancer.

Sadly colon and colorectal cancers have been on the rise in recent times and have been showing up in younger and younger populations. The typical medical coverage in the US will begin covering colon screenings at age 45-50. With the age of issues trending down though many people wonder if they can get screenings earlier to catch any issues early on.

With US medical systems pricing what it is, this can be costly to get colon screenings. When not covered by insurance one of the more popular at home stool sample kits, Cologuard, can cost $650 out of pocket.

This is simply sad as the raw cost of collection materials is a fraction of that, and a high throughput lab should easily be able to turn a profit at even 1/10th of the cost. Of course if they lower their cost of over the counter testing then they won’t be able to charge insurance providers that rate. 
Cologuard pricing by prescription

I have confirmed these prices after having my doctor order a Cologuard test. I couldn’t even get pricing until the doctor from Forward contacted them first ordering this for me. It is a by prescription only product, although their website does make it easy to connect to a telemedicine provider and has a script of what to say to get things covered. This really only helps though if you are of age, or if you have already experienced blood in the stool. 

Colon genetic markers
Even with a small genetic marker linked to an increase in colon cancers, insurance will not cover this screening for someone in their late 30s. When doing everything possible to stay in good shape, eat healthy, and proactively manage health it is simply sad that this level of financial burden is placed on folks looking to take a non-invasive easy at-home potentially life saving 10 minutes to check if there are issues. 

Inexpensive At-Home Colon Screening Kit

 

As covered elsewhere on this site, there are often alternate ways to get health information. Because the materials and testing are readily available there are a handful of over the counter stool tests you can get without a prescription. 

Ironically, depending on what your coverage and copays are, going the entirely over the counter route can be cheaper than having insurance cover something like Cologuard. If you have a 10% copay on a $650 test, and figure in another copay for the doctor who has to review the results and sets up an appointment to do so, then an option like LetsGetChecked is less expensive at around $70. 
Colon screening at home kit costs

Over the counter tests are also reimbursed with an FSA of HSA. Especially if you have expiring dollars in an FSA and are under the age to get a prescription, this can be a great use of funds to set a baseline on a test. 

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