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Home Cholesterol Test Kits: Are They Right for You?

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In these difficult economic times, many of us are actively looking ways to stretch our dollars and make every penny count. Not even health care is exempt from personal budget cuts, especially for those without health insurance or the unemployed who may not be able to afford COBRA health insurance payments or whose COBRA is running out. In an effort to lower health care costs, more and more people are beginning to seek out low-cost alternatives to traditional western medicines, alternative treatments or home remedies, and self-testing tools. Not even heart health is exempt from the economic crunch. My last two cholesterol tests were $510 and $652 respectively. When faced with these types of testing costs, many may choose to forego testing simply because it’s too expensive and they feel “fine” at the moment.

One thing is certain about the free market system. If you identify a need, then the market will supply a product and health care is no different. You only have to do a Google search on the Internet and dozens of self-cholesterol tests will present themselves for your purchasing consideration. The price of self-test kits varies but most home testing kits cost less than $30. One company even promised a free cholesterol test (I sent in the form and will let you know when/if I receive it). Frankly, when compared to the cost of traditional physician ordered cholesterol testing, a free test or less expensive alternative appears to be an extremely active option on the surface for the under or uninsured. It’s not hard to see why some may choose the option of self-testing their cholesterol at home.

The price appears to be right. The home cholesterol tests I reviewed online promise results in 10 – 12 minutes, all in the privacy of your own home. Tests appear to be quick and easy. So, are there any pitfalls you need to be aware of before jumping on the home testing bandwagon?

One issue to be aware of is that not all home cholesterol test kits are created equal and the information provided may vary widely.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.