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HealthLabs Review: Are their tests a good option for you?

HealthLabs lets you order health tests and access test results from home -- no doctor visits necessary

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Nathan LeDeaux, MD
Last Updated: Oct 15, 2020

HealthLabs Review

Diagnostic tests and exams are one of the pillars of modern medicine. They give us hard data about our health and about the impact of any treatments we are receiving. But many patients struggle to find quick, confidential and affordable options for their lab tests.

HealthLabs is a web-based company that allows you to order hundreds of different tests directly from your home. Using HealthLabs, you can order and pay for these tests without visiting the doctor’s office. You can order or pay for these tests without visiting the doctor.

So how does the HealthLabs testing process compare to traditional testing? Does HealthLabs offer the test you need, and are the tests legit?

We thoroughly evaluated HealthLabs and tried its services. In this review, we’ll share all of the details with you to help you decide whether it’s the solution to your testing needs.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Partners with over 4,500 testing centers around the country (including Quest Labs, LabCorp, and local labs alike).
  • Offers over 100 different blood or urine tests.
  • Labs are CLIA-certified – the same labs your traditional doctor would use.
  • Smart website that’s user-friendly and quick to suggest complementary tests.
  • Prices are clear and also final – no hidden fees or taxes further down the road.
  • Accepts FSA/HSA payment.
  • If you find a cheaper test elsewhere, HealthLabs will match their price plus a 10% discount.
  • Health specialists are available for guidance or to explain results.

Cons

  • Rural areas (especially in the Midwest) have fewer available labs.
  • No at-home or mail-order tests available.
  • The large number of available tests can be confusing to navigate.

Bottom line

We recommend HealthLabs as a quality testing company that partners with only high-quality labs and offers numerous testing options. HealthLabs is best for people who want the convenience of ordering their tests from home – without going to the doctor’s office and trying to get a test ordered – while still having the tests administered in a high-quality lab. The service will be especially useful for people who don’t have insurance, people who need frequent check-ups or specific panels, or people who wish to keep their initial screening very private. Even if you have insurance, HealthLabs may in some cases be more affordable than the traditional testing route. The company’s price-beating guarantee ensures you get the lowest price and rewards you for doing your research before buying.

Our Top Picks

HealthLabs

If you need to order a health test, HealthLabs eliminates the need to go to a doctor's office first. Just order online and go to a nearby lab.

With hundreds of tests available, you may be a little lost if you don't know what type of health test you want to take. But for those who know what they need and want to test in a reputable lab, HealthLabs offers great convenience and value.

Why you should trust us

Innerbody Research recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary online. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions involving staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

We extensively test each health service we review, including HealthLabs. We try our best to give you, our readers, an unbiased exploration of at-home health services, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate the service based on our adherence to quality, the latest medical evidence and health standards, and a simple question: would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job, and would we recommend it to family and friends?

Additionally, this review of HealthLabs, like all health-related content on this website, was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

What does HealthLabs do?

HealthLabs is an online testing marketplace that streamlines the process of ordering tests. You can use HealthLabs to order hundreds of different health tests – its selection is extensive. How extensive? Here’s a breakdown of the breadth of testing options available across just a few of its testing categories.

  Number of tests available Examples of what can be tested Price of most affordable test Price of most expensive test
Thyroid tests 11 T3, TSH, T4, etc. $39 $119
STD tests 6 Chlamydia, HIV, gonorrhea, trich, etc. $129 $444
Infectious disease testing 20 TB, Lyme disease, Zika, Covid-19, etc. $24 $715
Drug tests 2 Marijuana, cocaine, opiates, etc. $69 $79
Heavy metals tests 3 Mercury, lead, arsenic, etc. $289 $549
Hormone tests 31 Testosterone, HGH, estrogen, FSH, etc. $37 $799
Diabetes tests 3 Glucose, hemoglobin A1c, albumin, etc. $29 $69
Vitamin and nutritional tests 34 Vitamin B12, vitamin D 25-hydroxy, calcium, etc. $28 $499

If the website weren’t well organized and straightforward, the sheer number of testing options might be overwhelming. HealthLabs’ more expensive tests tend to be very comprehensive panels that test you for numerous things at the same time.

Do I test at home or in a lab?

Though you order your test from home (or wherever you may be), HealthLabs does not process any samples or send anything to your home; this isn’t an at-home testing company. Instead, you visit one of its local affiliated labs in order for professional lab workers to administer the test, and then you’ll receive the results through a discreet web portal.

In this way, the company promises to slash both the cost of testing (in visit fees and working hours lost) and the time needed before you can get your results. You can visit your chosen nearby lab for testing very shortly after ordering the test.

Do I need a prescription from my doctor to use HealthLabs?

No, that’s part of the beauty of this service. For tests that require a prescription, HealthLabs’ in-house doctors will take care of this requirement for you when you order your test. After you order, you’ll print out the lab requisition form and take it with you to the lab. And if you don’t have printer access, you can use the handy “Fax” button in HealthLabs’ interface to send the form directly to your lab via fax.

Order Your Test

What types of tests does HealthLabs offer?

HealthLabs offers over 100 different individual blood and urine tests, as well as dozens of frequently used “panels”, which are combinations of tests that doctors commonly order. Below you will find the most popular tests within each of the following very popular categories.

  1. General health tests

  2. Chronic disease monitoring

  3. Drug tests

  4. Infectious disease tests

  5. Heavy metals and toxicity tests

  6. Hormone tests

  7. Congenital diseases

  8. Vitamin and nutritional measurements

General health tests

These tests are meant to help you get an updated “snapshot” of your general health. Most of them are typically used to monitor chronic diseases, to check up on the function of different systems, or to provide direction for further testing.

HealthLabs’ general health tests are also frequently requested when applying for new health insurance plans or in certain workplace situations.

  • Complete blood count (CBC) – $28
  • Basic metabolic panel – $29
  • Routine urinalysis – $29
  • Basic health panel (CBC, urine, metabolic panel) – $59

We were particularly impressed by the comprehensive health panel as a very good value. The panel includes:

  • Metabolic testing
  • Lipids test (for cholesterol)
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) test
  • Urinalysis
  • Thyroid panel (including thyroid-stimulating hormone)

At $99, this panel includes tests that individually would add up to a much higher cost, making it a great value. It can provide vital information about the health of your heart, blood vessels, thyroid, liver, kidneys, muscles and nerves.

Chronic disease monitoring

Chronic diseases are those that occur because a specific system or body function is not working properly. These diseases are often lifelong features on our health bills. In addition to frequent monitoring, lab tests and exams also play an important role in their initial diagnosis.

  • Basic heart health panel (Lipids, metabolic panels, urinalysis, complete blood count, C-reactive protein) – $149
  • Standard heart health panel (Basic heart health panel and homocysteine) – $299
  • Diabetes panel (Hemoglobin A1c, microalbumin, metabolic panel, blood glucose level) – $69
  • Blood glucose test – $28
  • Basic anemia panel –$89
  • Sickle cell anemia test – $49
  • Basic food allergy panel – $160

Drug tests

Drug tests are available from HealthLabs and require a blood or urine sample. They are meant to detect past consumption of specific substances, especially illegal ones or those with a potential for abuse. Drug tests are often required when applying to specific jobs.

  • Cocaine screening – $65
  • Amphetamine screening – $199
  • Opiate screen (OxyContin, morphine, codeine, percocet, heroin) – $49
  • Cannabinoids (THC) – $64
  • 10 drug panel – $79

Infectious disease tests

Infectious or communicable diseases are those that are caused by pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria or fungi. This category spans a variety of diseases including sexually transmitted diseases, lung infections and parasites. Among others, HealthLabs’ infectious disease tests include the following:

  • HIV RNA (for early detection) – $169
  • COVID-19 antibodies – $169
  • Tuberculosis blood test – $199
  • Viral STD panel (HIV, herpes, hepatitis A, B and C) – $149
  • Lyme disease antibodies ($159)

Heavy metals and toxicity testing

These heavy metals tests are meant to check for the presence of specific toxins, poisons or heavy metals in a person’s body. The tests are useful if you are worried about the safety of your home or work environment, or following accidental exposure in the workplace.

  • Blood test for standard heavy metals – $289
  • Urine test for standard heavy metals – $389
  • Arsenic – $78

NOTE: To learn more about this type of testing and both in-lab and at-home testing options, you can visit our guide on choosing the best heavy metal testing kit for more information about this.

Hormone tests

Hormones are body-made chemicals that the organs and glands of the body use to communicate with one another. Most hormones impact multiple organ systems at once, which is why hormonal disorders tend to have varied and severe symptoms. Hormone tests from HealthLabs are often used to diagnose fertility issues, thyroid disease, and issues with weight control or athletic performance.

  • Women’s health hormone panel – $199
  • Total testosterone – $49
  • Thyroid function panel – $39

Genetic disorders testing

Genetic disorders are those that are passed down in the DNA of one or both parents. Many genetic disorders are immediately evident at birth, while others only become evident later on. Most genetic disorders are due to changes in recessive genes and therefore require both parents to be carriers in order for the disease to appear in their children.

Testing for genetic disorders with HealthLabs can serve either to diagnose the illness or to determine whether someone is a carrier for it and at risk of passing it to future children.

  • Fragile X testing – $399
  • Cystic fibrosis testing – $699
  • Tay Sachs testing – $199

Vitamin and nutritional testing

Vitamin and nutritional tests from HealthLabs measure the amounts of specific vitamins and nutrients, in both urine and blood. People often use these tests to help diagnose nutritional problems, malabsorption disorders, or renal disorders. People on certain medications or special diets often have a higher risk of developing specific nutritional deficiencies.

  • Vitamin B12 – $35
  • Comprehensive vitamin panel – $499
  • Mineral panel – $249
  • Vegan nutritional maintenance panel – $149

How does the testing process work at HealthLabs?

HealthLabs is a great place to order and to pay for tests, and also to securely access test results, but it does not conduct any of the tests. Instead, you will go to one of its CLIA-certified partner labs to submit your sample.

In a nutshell, the process for buying a test through the HealthLabs website is clear and straightforward:

  1. Select a test

  2. Select a lab

  3. Pay online

  4. Go to the lab to submit your sample

  5. Check for your results securely online

Order Your Test

Upon landing on the website, the first thing you should do is find the tests of interest to you. Tests are organized in categories, depending on the type of disease, condition or health concern. For many common conditions or categories (such as diabetes, thyroid conditions, or STD screening), you’ll also find suggestions for specific panels, which act basically as a bundle deal of several tests that people frequently want to take together.

Add all the tests you need to your cart, and then move on to “select a lab”. This section uses a straightforward Google Maps plug-in to help you find a lab nearby. You can search for labs by zip code and filter to see only those that are open on Saturdays, for instance. Then, you will move on to the payment page.

selecting a lab on HealthLabs

At this stage, HealthLabs asks you for some of your information, which it will use both to write your referral and to create your account. The required information is very basic and kept to the bare minimum:

  • Full name
  • Contact email
  • Date of birth
  • Gender

You can pay with a credit card, prepaid debit card, PayPal, HSA, or FSA card.

After payment, HealthLab completes and creates your request order. You can download it directly from the website or have it sent to your email. This form will include the address of the lab you selected, as well as any special instructions for the test you chose (for example, if you need to fast).

You need to print the form and carry it to the lab with you. If you don’t have a printer, you can return to your main account page and ask HealthLabs to fax it directly. As soon as that is done, just go to the lab at your earliest convenience. Keep in mind that you won’t need an appointment and also won’t need to pay anything at the lab, but you should still carry a form of picture ID.

Results usually take between 1 to 3 days to be ready. You’ll be notified via email as soon as your results are ready, at which point you can login to your secure HealthLabs account to see them or print them.

Is HealthLabs legit?

Yes, HealthLabs is a very legitimate company and a convenient way to order reliable health tests. It partners with top-notch, CLIA-certified labs across the country. Created in 1988, CLIA certification ensures excellent lab quality. HealthLabs itself relies on licensed and experienced physicians to make the prescription orders for your health tests.

The prescriptions, testing procedures and labs themselves are all the same kind that you’d experience under traditional testing circumstances. But with HealthLabs, you are free to order the tests in a much more convenient way, on your time, without waiting at the doctor’s office.

Test prices through HealthLabs

For certain tests, from our extensive testing, HealthLabs offers the most affordable option. In other cases, you can find similar tests from at-home or in-lab providers for lower prices.

We encourage you to shop for better prices elsewhere as well. There are certainly cases in which the standard price at HealthLabs isn’t the lowest you can find from other testing providers, but if you find the same test offered for a lower price elsewhere, HealthLabs will beat the price.

Is HealthLabs testing a good value?

We believe HealthLabs provides very good value. Since HealthLabs uses only high-quality labs to ensure high quality, its price-beating promise guarantees good value for you.

In our busy world, many people don’t have the time to visit a doctor in order to get a health test ordered. There are cases in which you should definitely visit a doctor prior to testing, but when you know what you want in a test, we believe you should be able to order it without hesitation.

HealthLabs facilitates this process, no matter where you are. Though there are pockets of America where fewer labs exist, over 4,500 partnering labs make it easy for the vast majority of Americans to find a nearby lab.

Testing takes only 10 minutes or so and, unless your test requires fasting, you can head to the lab immediately after ordering your test, if you like. Quick turnaround is an aspect of HealthLabs testing that makes it a good value for many people, even when their price isn’t the lowest. Your ability to test in a lab immediately after completing your order means that, in many cases, you can have results within 1-2 days of ordering your test. This is much faster than many other testing options.

Privacy considerations

HealthLabs specifically helps people who wish to take health tests with absolute discretion. Because of this, the company has a series of measures in place meant to keep its customers’ information private and to leave behind almost no paper trail.

HealthLabs takes your privacy very seriously. It collects as little information as possible from its customers. When creating an account, you provide only your email, a password, and the information that would immediately appear on the lab request order.

In addition, HealthLabs uses healthcare-industry standard encryption. The company states that it will never provide results over the phone and will never call you, send you an SMS, or leave a voicemail unless you expressly authorize this. HealthLabs also doesn’t print or mail any test results. Even the fact that HealthLabs doesn’t work with insurance means more privacy for you.

Finally, any charges on your credit or debit card statements will show up as “HealthLabs.com”, and will not include any information regarding the specific tests you ordered or the lab where you had them done.

You should take into account that, in some states, there are laws that specify that certain diseases (such as HIV or other STIs) need to be reported to the local health authorities. This will be handled by the lab that processes your sample, and will be limited to numbers only (no personally identifiable information). Medical laboratories are healthcare providers and are fully bound by HIPAA and their privacy restrictions.

HSA, FSA and health insurance

HealthLabs does not work with any health insurance and doesn’t provide any paperwork or service statement that would help you claim a refund. Besides, all of its tests are requested by each user without a prescription. This means that HealthLabs would not constitute a “medical necessity” required by most insurance companies.

However, if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Savings Account (FSA), you can use those cards to pay for any tests on HealthLabs.

What criteria do we use to judge health service companies?

At Innerbody Research, we customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related service. For HealthLabs and other health services and products, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: How well does the company deliver its core service(s) to the customer? For testing services, does the company adhere to the latest and most advanced testing technologies and achieve a very high degree of accuracy? For non-testing telehealth services, is the quality of the service high enough that we would recommend it to loved ones without hesitation? If not, why not?

User-friendly: How intuitive and user-friendly is the service? Does the device/program/app/website achieve a good degree of user-friendliness for its customers?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the company offer discounts?

Privacy: If health data is stored, will your data be stored securely? Are payments secure?

Customer support: Particularly in situations where ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t make sense, how well does the company help to make the service ideal for you?

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