Is STD Testing and Treatment Covered Under your Health Insurance?

Sexually transmitted diseases commonly known as STDs refers to infections that are transmitted via unprotected sexual contact typically caused by a virus, parasites, or bacteria. Most of the health insurance plans cover STD testing and diagnosis, but the particulars of a given plan may vary based on the provider.

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    If you are experiencing symptoms and want to get tested it is vital to understand the coverage criteria for STDs under your health insurance plan. Whether your plan covers STD testing and treatment is dependent on a plethora of factors such as age, gender, medical history, pregnancy, etc. 

    Very often people are hesitant to get themselves tested for STDs even after experiencing symptoms and discomfort as they are not aware of the cost of testing and treatment. Sometimes, people are not sure whether their health insurance plan provides coverage against STD which results in a reluctance to get tested. If you are looking forward to getting a health insurance plan that covers STDs related expensed it is crucial to compare different plans and providers. 

    Does Health Insurance Cover STDs?

    Yes, in most cases your health insurance plan will cover STDs such as Syphilis, HIV-AIDS, chlamydia, herpes, etc. under the preventive health benefits. However, the specificity of coverage against infection is solely dependent upon the provider and the plan. 

    For the majority of health insurance plans HIV testing for people between the ages of 15-65 is covered. Contrary to this, coverage for gonorrhoea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, and other infections might not be covered. Typically, these tests are a part of preventive health benefits provided with health insurance plans. 

    Understanding Differences Between Diagnostic Testing and Preventive Screening

    The coverage offered by your health insurance plan for sexually transmitted diseases will be based on the fact that whether it is a preventive screening measure or a diagnostic testing procedure. Any sort of asymptomatic screening carried out for STDs will be considered as a preventive measure. In other words, screening can be defined as a test carried out on a patient that shows no symptoms of a condition. On the other hand, if the person is experiencing symptoms or discomfort then the scenario changes as the probability of diagnosis increase substantially. 

    The best way to find out whether your provider offers coverage against STD you can read the fine print of the policy or contact your provider via email or phone. Alternatively, you can visit the website to get detailed information about preventive screening services and its coverage under your health plan. 

    Assessing Cost of STD Testing without Health Insurance Plan

    Some of the diagnostic tests carried out are free of cost as they are part of preventive-screening measures. These mainly include syphilis and HIV for men and HIV, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia for women. As mentioned earlier it is better to check with your provider to get a clear understanding of coverage criteria under your health insurance plan. 

    If you are experiencing symptoms and you visit a medical practitioner for diagnostic testing you will have to bear the expenses if your plan does not offer coverage against STDs. Some of the testing clinics offer a single test for qualifying patients but one needs to present relevant documents. 

    Benefits of STD Coverage

    The primary benefit of STD coverage offered with health insurance plans is that the overall cost of being tested is reduced extensively. If the high cost of the test is a barrier, it is better to get yourself tested with the right insurance plan instead of not getting tested at all. 

    An important point to be kept in consideration is that all health insurance plans do not cover the expenses incurred in testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, it is vital to go through the fine print of your health insurance policy.

    How are Tests for STDs Performed?

    The process of diagnostic testing for sexually transmitted diseases varies on the basis of symptoms and indications. Testing for STD might involve any of the below-mentioned processes-

    • Urine Test 
    • Swab Test and Culture
    • Blood Test 
    • Pelvic Examination and Swab Test 
    • Biopsy 
    • Genital Sore Examination 
    • Testing Discharge from affected regions 

    Most of the testing procedures carried out for the diagnosis of STDs are pain-free. However, based on the condition and severity of the infection the procedure may be altered by the medical practitioner. 

    What if I Test Positive?

    If you test positive in any of the diagnostic tests for STDs, you should immediately start seeking treatment for the condition from a specialist. If your insurance plan covers treatment expenses you can choose for cashless payment or reimbursement based on the specifics of your plan. After testing positive it is vital to inform your sexual partner about the diagnosis so that they can get themselves tested and seek the right treatment for the infection.

    Wrapping it Up 

    Last but not the least, you should never let financial constraints prevent you from seeking medical attention. There are numerous methods, tests, and treatments for all kinds of STD, hence, you should never put your health at stake due to economic factors. 

    Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 23 July 2021

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