Getting Lab Work Done in Mexico is Easy and Affordable

Source: iStockphoto

When we moved to Mexico, I was surprised to see that the clinical laboratories were marketing directly to the public. They offer a wide range of packages and promotions that make it easy and convenient for people to use their services without necessarily going through a doctor.

We go to the lab a couple of times a year for some routine blood/urine work to make sure all of our levels (e.g. cholesterol) are still in the normal range.

The nice part is that they email us the results within 24 hours, so there’s no need to make a special trip back to the lab to pick them up. We can then forward them to our doctor via email, if necessary.

It’s important to note that the lab results are in Spanish. If you need help interpreting your results and/or making health-related decisions based on them, one inexpensive option is to visit a pharmacy doctor. The average price for a consultation is only $50 pesos ($2.50 USD).

Lab Pricing

Lab prices vary quite a bit but you can expect to pay between $25-$100 USD. The cost really depends on how extensive you want the testing to be.

Since we are particularly thrifty, we only visit the labs that offer a locals discount. That saves us an additional 10-20%.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Recently, I was chatting on the phone with an old friend back in the States and I mentioned that I had my blood/urine work done for about $50 USD.

He laughed and said, “I thought you said it was less expensive in Mexico. I just saw the doctor and had my blood work done for only $20 bucks.” Of course, he was referring to the price of his insurance copay, not the total cost of those services.

I then reminded him that we no longer pay those high U.S. insurance premiums and that over the last three years, that has saved us around $20,000. Upon hearing that, the laughter disappeared from his voice and he responded with a simple “wow.”

Living in Mexico has allowed us to save money on everything from health care to cell phone bills. Every penny that we save — or peso in this case — means that we have more disposable income to dedicate to more enjoyable activities like traveling. We know that we would never have been able to live this well on this little if we had stayed in the U.S.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico ( to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

27 Comments on "Getting Lab Work Done in Mexico is Easy and Affordable"

  1. Ron Williams | July 4, 2018 at 9:58 am |

    Thanks Paul. Look forward to meeting you one day. Ron. Lao Tao

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 5, 2018 at 7:04 am |

      Hi, Ron. I’m sure we will run into each other. It’s a fairly small community. 🙂

  2. Labs (and doctors) are amazing! We’ve had a couple of experiences but one of the latest was feeling really bad for a couple of days. Doctor came to our house within an hour, did a preliminary exam and then said I should get some labs. Instead of me needing to go to the lab, they came to our house within another hour and did a whole series, ended up having salmonella and a specific type of flu. I think it all totaled ~$150. In the States they would have never of done the labs that early and I would have been ill for weeks.

  3. Ingrid C Royle | July 4, 2018 at 10:17 am |

    Thank you once again for this information. I subscribe to 2 other people in Mexico. You are the only one that gives good , precise information. Love to hear from you every week.

  4. Please note that based on the type of test being done, some labs are better than others, usually not the least expensive. I have been requested by my doctor to go to a specific lab to get a specific test since their reagent agents are better able to detect the accuracy required for the the situation and condition at the time.

  5. Thanks for the info

  6. This has nothing to do with labs but my spouse and I are thinking of buying a place near Cabo. What is your impression of people in Mexico toward US citizens given the latest issues here in the US and border issues?

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 4, 2018 at 11:10 am |

      We’re not aware of any problems at all and we hear from expats who live all over Mexico.

  7. Marty Webb | July 4, 2018 at 11:51 am |

    Good job and I agree. Been on west coast of Mexico 3+ yrs. when I moved here my weight was 248 lbs blood sugar out of control stayed over 260 insulin twice a day. Size 40 waist jeans. 6 feet in height. I now have nopal they call it a flower but looks like a cactus I have it every morning run through blender with banana and yogurt. Blood sugar now stays around 95 to 105 weight down to 195 lbs size 32 waist jeans, but still 6 feet tall! That all happened in my first 8months. Here! I love mexico.

  8. Charles Benfante | July 4, 2018 at 11:56 am |

    I also have my blood work done 3 times a year for a cost of about $50 per visit. The lab is around the corner and he speaks English. I get my work done in the morning and at 4pm I pick it up – he goes over any irregularities with me before I even see my doctor !

  9. Jerry Beard | July 4, 2018 at 2:07 pm |

    We live in The Lake Chapala area and have similar experiences with your posts about lab work and medical/doctor experiences. All are top notch!

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 5, 2018 at 6:46 am |

      That’s great to hear. Linda and I still want to visit that part of Mexico some day.

  10. Monica Peloquin | July 4, 2018 at 2:33 pm |

    do you recommend buying a yearly insurance since I am living here in PdC permanent residency?

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 5, 2018 at 6:37 am |

      It’s a good idea to have some sort of health insurance to handle major health issues. That could be enrolling in one of the public systems (IMSS or Seguro Popular) or purchasing a plan from a private insurance company.

  11. Mike Sterling | July 4, 2018 at 4:48 pm |

    What concerns me and I spoke to a doctor about it is that many lab tests take more than a day to give accurate numbers and if they do it in a day how do they have all the equipment necessary for some of these labs unless they are simple lab tests. What about more extensive testing? And lab specs as far as within or out of range are different in the states and also different here. Hard to compare. Also, I see so many labs. Are the lab techs trained well. If they need a cedula better check with the gvt as far as them having one. Many doctors don’t even have real but forged cedulas. Found out the hard way. I would say buyer beware , especially when there are cheap packages. Best to have a trusted doctor who will tell you where to go. Just my opinion based on what I have experienced and have been told by local folk. I don’t live in your area . I am in the central part of the country in Jalisco

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 5, 2018 at 6:32 am |

      Thanks for sharing that, Mike. Those are all important things to think about.

  12. Hi Paul.
    I’m not sure how much your pension is but you mention living well on very little. Every day I wonder if I can afford to quit and live in the very reduced pension I would receive. You make it sound like I could. Thank you for giving me some hope.

    • Q-Roo Paul | July 5, 2018 at 6:45 am |

      We have several neighbors who only live on social security here and live well. It really depends where in Mexico you want to live and what type of lifestyle you want to have.

  13. rosalie caldwell | July 5, 2018 at 4:37 pm |

    Such great pertinent information!!

  14. Kathy Hodges | July 6, 2018 at 11:37 am |

    I never share blogs, books, etc on FB but your blog is so good, accurate, easy to understand, you include prices, details that are important. So I did share yours just now. I spend 4 months in Puerto Vallarta in the winter and this information is good even for us winter snowbirds. I love the health care in Mexico where I live.

  15. I’m a little late to the party here, but was about to order a good amount of lab work to deal with Thyroid and metabolic issues here. The labs alone will easily exceed $1000, which I pay for out of pocket with or without insurance due to high deductibles. I think I’ll hold off until I get to Q-Roo.

    Here in the States, there are many websites that empower me to order just about any lab test online without a prescription or Dr’s order. The article mentions directly marketing of labs to the public. Are there similar websites available to order various tests? Or must one go to a doctor, or use the pharmacy-doctor website to order their labs?

    • You don’t need a doctor to get your labs. All you have to do is go directly to the lab and tell them what you want. We have friends who get their thyroid testing done here.

  16. Excellent information and answers several questions for me. I had cancer – full remission now – but have to have blood work every 3-6 months for the foreseeable future. I have wondered how I can have this done. Thanks!

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