Does insurance cover genetic counseling and testing?
Prior authorizations are not needed for the genetic counseling appointment. However, it is encouraged that patients confirm that Mayo Clinic Health System is considered in-network by their insurance provider.
Genetic testing is billed separately from the genetic counseling appointment. During the genetic counseling appointment, if patients proceed with genetic testing, the genetic counselor will talk about genetic testing costs, options, insurance coverage, and prior authorizations.
For more information about insurance coverage prior to a genetic counseling appointment, contact the financial navigator at 715-838-1747.
Are there risks to genetic tests?
Generally, genetic tests have little physical risk. Blood and saliva (cheek swab) tests have almost no risk. There are two main types of prenatal testing: screening and diagnostic tests. Screening tests during pregnancy include blood tests, a specific type of ultrasound and prenatal cell-free DNA screening that are no risk to the pregnancy. If results of these screening tests indicate an increased risk for a genetic disorder, diagnostic tests may be considered, such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling which carry a slight risk of miscarriage (pregnancy loss).
Genetic testing can have emotional, social and financial risks as well. Discuss all risks and benefits of genetic testing with your doctor, a medical geneticist or a genetic counselor before you have a genetic test.
Can genetic information be used against me for health insurance or employment?
No. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 is a federal law that protects people from genetic discrimination, specifically in the setting of health insurance and employment. This means your genetic information cannot be used against you when it comes to health insurance and employment.
Genetic information includes family health history genetic testing results; use of genetic services, such as genetic counseling; and participating in genetic research. Under the act, your family health history and genetic testing results cannot be considered a pre-existing condition.
It's important to know that there are some exceptions to the act, and it does not have protections in place for life insurance, long-term care insurance or disability insurance.