What is it?
The test is a blood test for COVID-19 antibodies. Specifically, it is a serum test (blood drawn in a test tube) for IgG antibodies. The test is drawn at a Quest diagnostics service center, of which there are 2,200 across the country.
How do I get it?
In order to have the testing done, you need a doctor’s order. To get a test, simply book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor. They will order the test if needed, and you can go into a Quest diagnostics service center. Your results will be available in as little as 24 hours.
Who should get this test?
The test is for people to know whether they have been exposed to the virus (SARS-CoV-2, novel coronavirus). The test will only turn positive if you were exposed in the past, and it is not a test for people with symptoms, or who have very recently had symptoms. You must be symptom-free for at least 10 days in order to get this test.
What do I need to do before going into the lab?
We recommend making an appointment at Quest once the doctor has ordered your test. When you go to your appointment, you must be symptom free, you must wear a mask, and they will check your temperature to make sure you don’t have a fever.
How does the test work?
The test is a blood test to see if you have IgG antibodies. It is FDA authorized via FDA Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019 and will be run using either Abbott or EUROIMMUN equipment. The test typically turns positive 14 days after symptoms begin.
How much does it cost?
Most insurance companies are waiving all patient costs for these tests and it will be billed by Quest, an in-network lab with almost all insurance plans.
How much is a visit with PlushCare?
For any coronavirus related visit, if you have insurance there is no cost to you (check with your insurance carrier to confirm). For uninsured patients, the cost is only $99.
If positive, what does this mean?
A positive test means that you have had the virus in the past, at least two weeks prior to the test and that your body has antibodies to the virus. We (most doctors and scientists) think it is likely that you are immune to the virus, but we don’t know this for sure. We also don’t know how long the antibodies last in your system but think that it will last many months or a few years. The rate of false positives is very low.
If negative, what does this mean?
A negative test means that antibodies were not detected in your system. Either you have never been infected, your infection was recent (in the last 14 days), or you may have had the infection but your immune system did not produce antibodies (due to weakened immunity or for other reasons). The rate of false negatives is very low.
Learn more about COVID-19 Antibody Testing:
Want to talk to a doctor about antibody testing? Looking to get a referral for an antibody test? Book your appointment here.