Individuals & Patients
Test to Determine Whether You Have COVID-19 Antibodies (Blood/Antibody Test)
Individuals & Patients
The COVID-19 semi-quantitative antibody test is for those who have previously been actively infected by the COVID-19 or have received a vaccine for COVID-19.
**Labcorp will bill the cost of the COVID-19 antibody test directly to your health plan if you are insured. While the test itself has no upfront costs if you are insured, there is a $6 non-refundable service fee to PWNHealth when ordered through Labcorp.com. This fee is not submitted to insurance for reimbursement.
If you have been previously diagnosed or suspect you've been exposed to COVID-19, you should wait to get an antibody test until 10 days after your symptoms started or 10 days after testing positive. You should also wait until your symptoms have improved and you have not had a fever or felt feverish for 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medicine. Current research shows that it may be best to get antibody testing 3 to 4 weeks after symptom onset or known exposure to COVID-19 to lower the chance of receiving a false positive or false negative result. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information about whether or not you should get tested.
An antibody test will show whether or not you have developed antibodies to COVID-19 after infection or vaccination. This test cannot tell you if you have an active infection. If you suspect you have COVID-19, follow up with your healthcare provider about getting a PCR test. This test should not be used to determine the level of immunity you have. You should contact your healthcare provider for additional guidance on how to interpret your test results. Regardless of your test results, it is important to continue to follow public health recommendations, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks and face coverings, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine.
This test can be ordered through your doctor, either in person or via telehealth (if offered by your health plan or employer or through some employee wellness plans). The test can also be conveniently requested through Labcorp.com using an independent physician service (PWNHealth) to determine if the test is right for you.
Once the test order is placed, your antibody blood sample can be collected in the physician's office or at one of nearly 2,000 convenient Labcorp patient service centers, including Labcorp at Walgreens.
When you arrive at the Labcorp patient service center, a phlebotomist will take a blood sample. You do not need to do anything to prepare for the test.
False negative results can sometimes occur. This can happen if you get an antibody test too soon after being exposed or vaccinated and your body has not yet made enough antibodies to be detected by the test. Additionally, some individuals, such as those with weakened immune systems due to a medical condition or certain medications, may not develop detectable levels of antibodies after exposure or vaccination. False positive results can also occur. This can happen if the test detects antibodies from other coronaviruses you may have been exposed to, like the virus that causes the common cold. If you are concerned about your results, it is important to follow up with a healthcare provider, who can evaluate your medical history.
A semi-quantitative antibody test can help identify individuals who have developed an immune response after exposure to COVID-19 or vaccination. However, it should not be used to determine the level of immunity you have. Evidence is still being collected and studied to determine if antibodies provide protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) specifically. Follow up with your healthcare provider for additional guidance on how to interpret your test results.
On May 19, 2021, the FDA issued a safety communication reiterating that “antibody testing should not be used to evaluate a person’s level of immunity or protection from COVID-19 at any time, and especially after the person received a COVID-19 vaccination.”4 Currently authorized SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests, including the SARS-CoV-2 Semi-Quantitative Total Antibody assay (164090), have not been evaluated to assess the level of protection provided by an immune response to COVID-19 vaccination. Additionally, the components of a protective immune response against infection or reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 have not been fully characterized (e.g., antibody, T cell, etc.). Clinical trials and other studies are under way to better understand immunity to SARS-Cov-2.
Effective March 28, 2022, Labcorp expanded the reporting range of results for test number 164090 SARS-CoV-2 Semi-Quantitative Total Antibody, Spike. Results previously reported for this assay were 0.8-2500 U/mL with higher values reported as >2500 U/mL. With the addition of an automated dilution, we are now able to report result 0.8-25000 U/mL with higher values reported as >25000 U/mL. This change does not impact previously reported results; it just increases the numerical values above 2500 U/mL that we are able to report.
Labcorp antibody result reports will continue to include a comment indicating that the antibody level that correlates with immunity has not yet been determined. If antibody test results are interpreted incorrectly, people may take fewer precautions against SARS-CoV-2, which may result in increased risk of infection and spread of the virus. Please refer to the FDA website for further guidance around antibody testing recommendations.
There are no upfront costs for the antibody test. You can get the test through (1) your doctor, (2) your healthcare provider or (3) Labcorp.com. Labcorp.com offers a convenient option that allows an independent physician to order your test and provide you an opportunity to ask questions about your results.* While the test itself has no upfront costs if you are insured, there is a $6 nonrefundable service fee to PWNHealth when ordered through Labcorp.com. This fee is not submitted to insurance for reimbursement. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider for more information about being tested.
Labcorp will bill the cost of the COVID-19 antibody test directly to your health plan if you are insured. The cost of the test is $42.13 and is based on rates established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In the event that your health plan does not cover the cost of the test, you may receive an invoice from Labcorp for up to $42.13.
*A physician’s order from PWNHealth is placed after the individual completes a short health questionnaire to determine if the COVID-19 antibody test is appropriate. An independent physician will determine whether to authorize your test request, if appropriate. After you receive your results, you will have an opportunity to have a consultation with an independent licensed physician or other licensed healthcare provider from PWNHealth, who can answer any questions you may have about your test results and help determine next steps. Results can also be accessed through the individual’s Labcorp Patient account.
PWNHealth is an independent healthcare provider network that provides oversight services to you in connection with the laboratory testing that you have requested. PWNHealth and its services are independent from Labcorp.
After you receive your results, you will have an opportunity to have a consult with an independent licensed physician or other licensed healthcare provider from PWNHealth, who can answer any questions you may have about your test results and help determine next steps.
Labcorp is providing serology testing based on tests from various manufacturers. These tests have not been FDA cleared or approved. The tests have been authorized by the FDA under an emergency use authorization for use by authorized laboratories. These tests have been authorized only for the detection of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and not for any other viruses or pathogens. These tests are only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostics for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.