A colonoscopy is a test carried out to identify any presence of polyps and abnormalities situated along the colon. A specialist uses a flexible tube, about ½-inch in diameter, inserts the same in the rectum and guides it through the colon until it reaches the large intestine. During the travel, the colonoscope captures the pictures of colon, providing a clear view to the doctor. It will thus give a chance for the physician to look for abnormalities or any other factors that are affecting the routine functionality.
Doctors also retrieve a small amount of the tissue to conduct a biopsy and test for the presence of other diseases. Before undergoing the procedure, the doctor hands over the complete set of the instructions that you need to follow. These instructions help you in getting ready for the test. Although learning about the test and preparations are common between a doctor and patient, one rarely hears about payment.
Colonoscopy Cost Factors
Several factors have a role in determining the cost of the examination. These include:
- Geographic location
- The health of the individual
- Where the doctor chooses to perform the test
- Whether the doctor wants to conduct a biopsy to arrive at an accurate decision
How Much Does It Cost To Get A Colonoscopy?
The typical fee for attending a colonoscopy varies and depends on several factors. There is further a variation in the price depending on whether you have health insurance. The following is an example:
According to a survey, the patients without any health insurance pay anywhere between $2,100 and $3,750 for a colonoscopy procedure. The average stands at $3,080. Patient who have health insurance pay the necessary deductibles, and it varies according to the plan that one possesses. Deductibles range between 0 and over $1,000. For those who have Medicare, they pay 20% of the approved amount by the Medicare towards the doctor’s services apart from paying a copayment towards the outpatient charges.
Common Charges of Colonoscopy
The doctor’s fee is only a part of the entire cost that you pay for the test. Additional charges include:
Colon Preparation Kit – a few doctors provide them while others ask the patients to buy
Differing Cost of the Diagnosis – the fee changes according to the test carried out; whether it is for screening cancer, colonoscopy with biopsy, or colonoscopy with removal of polyps
Sedation – sedation used and where an anesthesiologist participates during the test
Pathology – examining the tissue removed after colonoscopy
Facility Charges – apart from the doctor’s fee, the hospital or the surgery center charges an additional fee for the use of the test space
Cost of Colonoscopy and Insurance Coverage
If you do not have health insurance, then be ready to shell out 100% of the entire cost. However, if you have health insurance, then the amount that you will be paying varies according to the contract between the medical provider and the insurance company. If you choose a medical provider from the list of the supported networks of the insurance company, then you will be lowering the costs. If you choose out-of-the network hospitals, then the deductibles are high, and you may further shell out additional money towards expenses.
Virtual Colonoscopy Cost
Virtual colonoscopy uses computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They help in creating a 3-dimensional image of the colon and the large intestine. However, doctors are still considering whether the less-invasive testing produces accurate results as that of the traditional colonoscopy. The average cost of the virtual colonoscopy is $439 when compared with that of the conventional test that costs $1,036.