Blood tests without health insurance?

28 posts in this topic

In the US you can order blood tests online, go to a lab, and get your results a few days later, typically around $60 for a comprehensive one. Not a bad idea to get one/year.
I do have health insurance, but the "excess" is high and it does not cover such tests without you being ill. Preventative medicine isn't a thing here it seems.

What's the cost of a typical blood panel in Germany? Is there any way to get around seeing a doctor first (which adds cost)? Are there any online ala-carte services?
 

 

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You could go to a Lab and get blood drawn for testing. Those labs are usually owned by an "Arzt für Labormedizin" so the charges will be according to the governmemnt regulated physician´s payment schedule. Never heard of ordering blood tests online though. Usually preventative checkups are covered by health insurance, which is why I can´t tell you the cost (as I never saw a bill for it). But I guess $ 60.- will go a long way for a routine check including a blood count, glucose, cholesterol, urea, creatinine and electrolytes.

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When I needed some test done a few years ago I was asked (by the doctor) if I wanted to "pay with cash" or "needed an invoice".  

Why not find a local lab, go along and explain.

 

Tell them that you "want to pay cash and don't need an invoice.", they might then be more accommodating!

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I once had an online blood rest done in Germany. I can't remember how much it was but certainty less than 60. However it was specifically a cholesterol test but I'm sure you can get other tests done.

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My public insurance covers all blood screenings along with the doctor who draws the blood. I've never seen a bill for any.

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If you're over 35 years of age, then most (if not all) Krankenkasse actually recommend that you get a check-up, including blood tests, every two years. Seems pretty preventative-aware to me.

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12 hours ago, Borges said:

I do have health insurance, but the "excess" is high and it does not cover such tests without you being ill. Preventative medicine isn't a thing here it seems.

 

3 minutes ago, the.frollein said:

If you're over 35 years of age, then most (if not all) Krankenkasse actually recommend that you get a check-up, including blood tests, every two years. Seems pretty preventative-aware to me.

 

I suspect that the OP does not have "real" health insurance, but rather cheap travel insurance.

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Just now, PandaMunich said:

 

Not necessarily.

German private health insurance is allowed to have a deductible/excess (= Selbtstbehalt) of up to 5,000€ a year, see §193 (3) Satz 1 VVG: https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/vvg_2008/__193.html

 

Yes, I know they are allowed to have deductibles; however, insurance companies offering travel insurance are not interested in the long-term health of their clients, therefore, making prevention a very low priority.

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What I'm saying is that he/she doesn't necessarily have cheap travel insurance - it could also be standard German private health insurance.

Or he/she could even have German public health insurance with a Wahltarif with a Selbstbehalt: https://www.krankenkassen.de/gesetzliche-krankenkassen/leistungen-gesetzliche-krankenkassen/wahltarif-erstattung/selbstbehalt-beitragsrueckerstattungstarif/search-7.html

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6 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

 

 

I suspect that the OP does not have "real" health insurance, but rather cheap travel insurance.


Your suspicion is wrong. It's private health insurance, pretty much all of which will has an "excess" which is what they call deductible here, typically only applicable to in or out patient treatment. You pick the excess when you get the insurance, and your premiums will change accordingly. Rules to change it vary.  You get reimbursed after you've paid for whatever treatment. Govt health insurance has a different system where you typically pay higher monthly premiums, but there's no deductible only minor co-pay. 

@PandaMunich Hmm think they only do blood drop type tests, not full metabolic panels where you need to draw blood.

Seems like going to a lab might be the cheapest option here, but I haven't heard of anyone actually doing it yet so I'm a bit skeptical. Haven't found any online options.

 

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1 hour ago, Borges said:


Your suspicion is wrong. It's private health insurance, pretty much all of which will has an "excess" which is what they call deductible here, typically only applicable to in or out patient treatment. You pick the excess when you get the insurance, and your premiums will change accordingly. Rules to change it vary.  You get reimbursed after you've paid for whatever treatment. Govt health insurance has a different system where you typically pay higher monthly premiums, but there's no deductible only minor co-pay.

 

13 hours ago, Borges said:

Preventative medicine isn't a thing here it seems.

 

You consciously choose a no frills insurance policy with a deductible to save money and then infer that the German health care system doesn’t  care about prevention? :huh:

 

Quote

Haven't found any online options.

 

Who would draw the blood for an online option?

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8 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

Who would draw the blood for an online option?

 

I presume its a kind of thing where they send you a sample jar and a sterile needle and you do it yourself and post a tiny bit of blood from a prick back.

 

I wouldnt want to be the laywer who signed off on people poking themselves with a needle as part of the business plan, but aside from the liability it seems simple enough.

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How would they be able to screen for everything with a few drops? They always take 2 or 3 vials when I have my values checked.

 

(Maybe 4 - I don't look)

 

I know people who check their blood sugar with a prick but that is only one thing.

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@engelchen yes a checkup once every 2 years is not what I would call progressive re preventative medicine. This is a bit off topic, obviously in the US the health insurance system is on average a lot worse, but you have more autonomy and there are doctors (not cheap mind you) that focus on improving health span which is not a thing in Germany yet AFAIK - same as the rest of Europe. I know a German living in Berlin who travels to the US for his doc appointments.

What's relevant here is that you don't get a excess/deductible free policy and pay ~500 euros more a year because you want to do one blood test pr year, or pay the same amount extra or more to get public health insurance. So then you want to find your most reasonable option :)

@zwiebelfisch You'd order and pay for tests online, go to a lab to draw blood and they send it for analysis. Get the results online in a week. Not a few drops, 1 or more vials depending on the test(s).


 

 

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3 minutes ago, Borges said:

a checkup once every 2 years is not what I would call progressive re preventative medicine

 

I go for several different kinds of checkups each year. They tell me when I'm due to come back either the following year, 2 years, 6 months, etc. I am not sick. That is all preventable medicine - some due to my history and some not. I can walk into my GP's office any day of the week and ask for blood work. I have only done that outside of regular check ups just a couple of times. Point being, it was all covered 100%. 

 

I also know a few people over here who only trust their American doctors/dentists and go home for check ups/treatments. They have a lot of money.

 

To each her/his own.

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@fraufruit You're getting standard EU treatment for your age probably. Of course you can get ~100% coverage if you pay for it, either through public or private insurance, but it's 2x the cost of other options and only worth it if you need a lot of medical attention. If I were to get your coverage for one blood test I'd spend 500 euros for one test. I don't have a lot of money.

There are different levels of prevention too, e.g. artherosclerotic plaque buildups in 5 year olds, so optimizing your diet to keep your LDL-P (particle count, not concentration) low is a great idea from childhood and onwards seeing that it's a stochastic cumulative disease. Checking your LDL-C and triglycerides that you get on normal metabolic panels is the next best thing.

Ideally you could just go to a lab here and get it done for 60 eur, but I haven't heard of anyone who has actually done it. If you need to see a doctor then the cost doubles.

 

 

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Seems like you always need a doctor here to draw blood, so cheapest route is probably to ask around.

Online orderable tests eiher use blood drops or require you to see a doctor, e.g. https://www.medivere.de/shop/Mann/Herz-Kreislauf/Herz-Risiko-Bluttest.html
Here's an online ordering form: https://www.labor-stephansplatz.de/ueber-uns/preisliste/ but you still need to see a doctor and this is in Hamburg only.

In the US you'd pay $60 for a normal metabolic panel, here you'll probably pay around $120 incl the doctors visit. I will keep you posted.

 

 

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