Insurance and Privacy

Insurance policies vary as to whether the cost of genetic counseling or genetic testing is covered. The cost for genetic testing can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. You may wish to contact your insurance company to find out their policies.

Your first appointment will be a consultation with a genetic counselor and the genetics physician. Check the most common billing codes [PDF] for these appointments and ask your insurance company if you are covered for a genetics consultation. This appointment will determine if genetic testing is even appropriate for your circumstances. If you do proceed to genetic testing, we will work with you to determine your insurance coverage.

Consultations with the Cancer Genetics Clinic are confidential, protected under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This means we cannot share information about your cancer history, genetic testing or cancer risk with an employer.

In addition, in 2008, the U.S. Congress passed a law, Genetic Information Nondescrimination Act, or GINA, to protect citizens against health insurance or employment discrimination based on their genetic information. The law says health insurance companies cannot raise premiums or claim a pre-existing condition based only on genetic testing results. Likewise, employers cannot make hiring, firing or salary decisions based on a person's genetic information.