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With all of the changes in the healthcare industry over the past decade, many people are finding themselves in need of lab testing: those who are uninsured (or underinsured), patients who prefer to receive results privately instead of going through a physician's office, and people whose insurance policies may not cover specific, needed tests.
It may surprise you to learn that you can access lab testing on your own terms, without the need of a doctor's order. There is an increasing number of lab testing services available that can help you understand and manage your own health, with most of them offering the ability to collect samples at home instead of going to a laboratory in person.
Sunday, March 7th
Since 2002, Test Country has been making laboratory testing more affordable and easier for individuals and businesses alike. All of their test kits and in-lab services are FDA approved and cleared CLIA-Waived or performed by a CLIA-accredited laboratory. In other words, you can expect the exact same quality and standards you would get if you went through an insurance company's required laboratory.
The range of lab testing available through Test Country is impressive, and their website makes it very easy to find what you need. Start by using the navigation drop-down links at the top of the page, or look on the left-hand side of the page as well. Available categories include the following:
You can also use the handy tool in the middle of the page, labeled "Need to Find the Right Drug Test?" if you need help figuring out which test is best for your home or work situation.
Many of Test Country's lab testing services allow you to collect the sample yourself, making it easy for concerned parents or employers to easily screen for harmful substances; these kits are also available in bulk for any group testing situations. However, other lab testing does require you to have the sample collected in a laboratory. In that case, you can click on the map of the United States, also in the middle of the page, and enter your ZIP code to find one of Test Country's 8,000 testing centers in their network.
Test Country offers a rewards program, which could save you a nice chunk of cash if you do testing in bulk or if you have a particular test that you need to repeat frequently. You'll be enrolled automatically if you create an account during the checkout process, and you'll start earning points for every test you purchase. Those points can then be redeemed for a Test Country gift card that can be used on further lab testing.
And, Test Country further keeps prices low by offering a price match guarantee. Be aware that they offer this price match for several specific competitors only, so we suggest that you look at the list of eligible companies by clicking on the Price Match Guarantee link on the site.
Finally, Test Country has an excellent reputation: an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, along with numerous customer compliments praising Test Country's speed, accuracy, and affordable pricing.
With such a wide array of available lab tests, low prices, and a fantastic track record for customer satisfaction, Test Country is our top choice for lab testing for your personal or business needs.
For over four years, Ulta Wellness has been making lab testing more affordable for the average patient. Within their network of laboratories, they are able to save their customers up to 80% off the regular self-pay costs typically charged. Additional savings are available each week and can be found under the Weekly Promotions heading in the Order Tests dropdown at the top of the page.
Compared with the competition, Ulta Wellness offers a terrific variety of tests: more than 1,000 in total. These can be purchased individually or as part of a package. Not sure where to begin? Choose the Get Started option under the Order Tests heading. You can choose an area of interest, such as Baseline Biomarkers or Menopause. You'll then be given a list of results to choose from; click the "Compare Panels" box (or scroll down) to see a side-by-side comparison of what specific tests are included in each set of tests.
We found Ulta Wellness' pricing to be very competitive with other providers. Their network is also comparable, so unless you live in a very remote area, you should have no trouble finding a lab to have your blood drawn. All of Ulta's tests do need to be drawn in a lab, and if you live in NJ, NY or RI, your state's laws prohibit you from using this service. This is due to the requirement that your own physician order any lab work, and not because of any restrictions on Ulta Wellness itself.
Although there weren't many customer reviews of their services, we were impressed by their A+ rating as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. More remarkable was the fact that, in the four years that Ulta Wellness has been BBB accredited, there haven't been any customer complaints registered against the business. That gives us reason to believe that they're doing a noteworthy job of delivering on their promises and keeping clients happy.
True Health Labs was created by Dr. Brady Hurst in order to meet the needs of consumers who are uninsured, underinsured, those whose physicians refuse to order the tests their patients want, and those who want the freedom to make their own healthcare choices - including keeping their test results private and not sharing them with their insurance company or having them as part of their regular medical record.
The laboratory network accessible through this testing service is extensive, with more than 2000 locations throughout the US - each test has a button labeled "Draw Location For This Test" that lets you know upfront where you'll need to go to have it done. And, the list of Lab Testing categories offered by this service is impressive:
You can also create a custom panel specifically for the array of tests you'd like to have done. True Health Labs has many available tests that they don't publish online. If you don't find the specific test you need, the company recommends that you fill out their online request to see if it's one they provide.
All of the tests offered by this service can save you anywhere from 20-80% over standard pricing. At the time of our review, there was a promo at the top of the site offering a discount of 5% on all orders. And, True Health Labs offers a price match guarantee on every lab test they offer, with no restrictions as to which competitors they'll match. The only caveats are that you can't match a rival's coupon, only their everyday pricing, and that price matching won't be done retroactively after you've already checked out with True Health Labs (so do your research before ordering!).
You can also save money through True Health Lab's rewards program. For every $1 you spend, you earn 1 point. When you reach a total of 500 points, they will deduct $30 from your next order. This could be a fantastic deal if you require regular testing for a condition.
One service offered by True Health Labs that we didn't find elsewhere is their Lab Test Review. For a one-time fee of $129, you can schedule a phone consultation with one of their Functional Medicine physicians who will review your lab results, help you understand them, and give you insights as to how the results impact your nutritional status and other aspects of your life. Of course, you can take the results to your own physician as part of a regular checkup or visit, but this service gives you options if you don't have plans to see your doctor in the near future.
We found a few typos and broken links on the site that gave it a less-than-professional feel. On the positive side, True Health Labs is accredited by the BBB and maintains an "A+" grade there, has been in business for more than 5 years, and has thousands of positive, independently-verified customer reviews, so there's no question that this is a legitimate service.
True Health Labs is a reputable, convenient option for Lab Testing across a wide range of needs, from Food Intolerance to A1C and much more. We're confident in recommending this service as one of the better choices in the industry.
Walk In Lab specializes in lab testing for those who want to order their test online and visit the closest laboratory in their network. Their most popular tests and panels include screening for Vitamin D deficiency, Testosterone Total Serum, and several comprehensive panels specifically targeting men's and women's health separately.
We found the Walk In Lab website to be less polished than their competitors' sites. The navigation can be somewhat clumsy as you try to find the test that you need - you may want to use the live chat function in the bottom right-hand corner of the page if you're having trouble finding the lab testing you're looking for.
We were also confused by the "Home Lab Test Kits" section, listed in the navigation links at the top of the page. When we looked at the information about those kits, it very clearly said that while some components of the testing may be conducted at home, all At Home Kits require an in-lab blood test. It doesn't appear that Walk In Lab offers any lab testing that is 100% collected at home or the workplace, which may be much less convenient for people looking for tests they can do on their own schedule.
On the other hand, they have an excellent reputation: an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau and hundreds of satisfied customer reviews on an independent, third-party site are indicators that customers are getting the results they need through Walk In Lab. Some of their customer-friendly policies that we found in the fine print are their Low Price and Service Satisfaction Guarantees. You will need to request a price adjustment before placing your order to receive a price match. And, you can request a full refund within three business day of your results being delivered, if for any reason you're unsatisfied with your lab testing experience.
There are two other requirements for working with Walk In Lab that may affect you. Residents of NY, NJ, RI, MD and MA are not able to access their services, and all patients receiving testing must be at least 18 years of age.
In short, while Walk In Lab has some quirks like residency restrictions and lack of completely in-home testing options, their guarantees and high marks from previous clients make them worth a look for your lab testing needs as long as there's a laboratory in their network that is convenient to your home or work location.
Founded in 2006, Personalabs was created with the goal to provide individuals with easy, private access to healthcare, regardless of their insurance situation.
Be aware that patients must be at least 18 to request testing services from Personalabs. Also, residents of MD, NY, NJ, RI and MA aren't eligible for services from this testing company.
Personalabs does offer a wide variety of testing, and their website makes it relatively easy to find what you need. Start with the "Choose a Test" button at the top of the page, to view all of the categories of lab testing available. Some of those categories include:
Personalabs offers over 300 different types of tests, and you may save some money by checking out their category called "Packaged Deals" or "Special Offers', also found on that page. Also, at the time of our review, there was a coupon code featured in the box at the top of the "Choose Your Test" page, offering a 20% discount on the Wellness Checkup group of lab tests.
One downside of Personalabs is the absence of any in-home testing. Every test you order must be conducted in one of their participating laboratories, so if you were looking to collect and submit your specimen from home you'll be out of luck. Make sure to click the "Find a Location" button at the top of the page to make sure that there's a network lab near you, before ordering any tests from Personalabs.
Another drawback to using Personalabs is the lack of a satisfaction guarantee, refund, or price match policy. This puts them lower in our ranking than many of their competitors, who do offer those kinds of reassurances to customers.
On the other hand, Personalabs does carry an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau and has a number of positive customer reviews on their website. Customers were pleased with how easy it was to order the tests they needed and found that the prices were very affordable.
We give Personalabs high marks for customer satisfaction and a strong reputation, but we think that some prospective patients will be better served by a lab testing service that does offer a selection of tests that can be collected at the home or office and returned via mail.
With an innovative combination of test packages and personalized recommendations from a trusted healthcare professional, WellnessFX aims to "empower individuals to understand and improve their health in a personalized and engaging way." They offer a cutting-edge online dashboard to help clients visualize their lab testing results and overall health over time, even allowing them to enter results from previously-performed testing.
Unlike most of the lab testing companies we reviewed, WellnessFX does not offer single tests. Instead, all of their tests are combined into the following packages:
We recommend that you select the "Compare All" option from the dropdown menu under Packages, in order to see at a glance which tests are offered within each group. It's also important to note that the Lifelong Vitality package is the only one they offer that can be done at home, while the rest need to be collected at one of the labs in the WellnessFX network.
One of the truly unique features offered with all WellnessFX testing is the consultation with the health practitioner of your choice. You'll be given the option to choose from a list of registered dieticians, medical doctors, nutritionists, doctors of osteopathy, or naturopathic doctors, in order to get the exact type of input you feel is most appropriate. These consultations range in length from 20 to 50 minutes, and they can be purchased separately from lab testing, though no pricing information was found on the site.
And, while they don't make it obvious (we found it hidden at the bottom of the page), WellnessFX does offer a Loyalty program. If you would like to track your health throughout the course of a year, you can save between 15-20% by purchasing multiple packages in advance.
While we weren't able to find much in the way of customer reviews or overall reputation, the personal success stories - including that of well-known author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss - were helpful in understanding how a client might use the lab testing offered by WellnessFX to manage their health.
WellnessFX gets points for taking advantage of technology to create a visually appealing way for people to track their health through blood tests, and especially for including a consultation with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner with each testing package. However, because they don't offer any single tests, we feel that many customers will wind up looking elsewhere for what they need instead of buying a package with other tests they don't need.
Based in Virginia, Better Lab Tests Now focuses almost exclusively on blood testing for allergies and other sensitivities. Their available tests include Delayed Allergy, Dental & Orthopedic (bio-sensitivity in materials used in those procedures), Predictive Biomarkers, Immediate Allergy (RAST IgE), Hormone, and Nutritional/Environmental Analysis.
At first glance, it looks as if those are the only tests available - make sure to click on those categories to be taken to a comprehensive list of every type of lab testing within that category. For example, in the Hormone category, there are six tests to choose from, including TSH and Adrenal Function.
To order a test, add it to your cart and check out. One unique feature of Better Lab Tests Now is that all blood tests will be done by a mobile phlebotomist. While this may be less convenient than other types of lab testing that can be done on your own, many of their competitors require that you visit a lab in person in order to have the sample collected. We give Better Lab Tests Now high marks for making it easier for those who may be sick, homebound, or just far from a lab.
We were unable to find much information - positive or negative - to help us determine the reliability of Better Lab Tests Now. Their Facebook page has no reviews, they have no record with the Better Business Bureau, and their own website has no testimonials.
After digging a little further, we did find that Better Lab Tests Now is affiliated with ELISA/ACT Biotechnologies. This business was founded by Dr. Russell M. Jaffe, whose experience as an immunologist within the field of delayed allergies is impressive. We definitely feel that the Better Lab Tests Now site would benefit from making that connection more obvious.
While we think that Better Lab Tests Now is likely an excellent choice for people who need lab testing done specifically for allergies, they can't compete with other services in our review that offer a much more comprehensive selection of testing for other needs (drug screening, for example).
What kinds of lab testing can you access? Some of the most commonly-purchased tests include the following:
When considering a Lab Testing service, there are several factors to keep in mind.
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Lab Testing services available today. We hope these reviews help you get the testing you need right away!
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