“PCR” Test (results within 48-72 hours or longer)
What is the COVID-19 PCR test?
It is a molecular diagnostic test that can detect the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. RNA, the genetic material, is generally detectable in specimens during the acute phase of infection. The sample will be collected through inserting a swab through the nose reaching to the back of your throats or through collecting about 5 mL of *saliva specimen.
*Note: if you choose to do the Saliva PCR, you should NOT eat or drink or use any oral products within 30 minutes of your test time.
What are the differences between the “Rapid Antigen” and the “PCR” tests?
Rapid Antigen tests detect antigens, which are pieces of proteins of the coronavirus. Rapid tests are not as sensitive as PCR tests in detecting an active infection. However, Rapid Antigen tests provide results faster than PCR.
PCR tests detect the coronavirus genetic material, and the PCR specimens have to be taken to a lab. PCR results come back typically within 48-72 hours.
Which test should I choose to see if I have COVID-19?
It all depends on your purpose behind getting tested, but here are some points:
- If you are symptomatic and looking for results on the same day, a Rapid Antigen test may be better suited for you. Rapid Antigen testing is more accurate at detecting the virus if you are symptomatic.
Rapid Antigen tests are available as (nasal or nasopharyngeal swabs)
- If you are asymptomatic or need the test for travelling (some countries require PCR), a PCR test may be a better option for you. PCR testing is more accurate at detecting the virus if the test is taken 72 hours after exposure.
PCR tests are available as (nasopharyngeal swabs or saliva tubes)
What does my test result mean?
Test results are reported as Positive or Negative.
Positive means the RNA of the actual virus was detected and you are presumptively infected with the virus and presumed to be contagious. Please contact your health care provider with the result. Laboratory test results should always be considered in the context of clinical observations and epidemiological data in making a final diagnosis and patient management decisions.
Negative means that no RNA from the virus was present in the specimen. However, a negative result does not rule out COVID-19 and should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or patient management decisions. If there has been a recent exposure or the presentation of clinical symptoms, re-testing should be considered.
Does insurance pay 100% for the test?
We cannot guarantee that your insurance will pay. However, in our claims experience, as of today, insurances have been paying if you meet the above criteria. Although, you will be responsible for any uncovered amounts. Please provide your medical insurance card(s) to staff.
As of March 22, 2022, the HRSA COVID-19 Uninsured Program has stopped accepting claims for testing. The Federal Government will no longer pay for uninsured.
If you are getting tested for general screening purposes: full payment of $160 will be due prior to specimen collection.
For in-person payment, cash is preferred.
If I don’t have insurance, what amount do I pay?
The cost for a PCR test is $160.