Oct 15, 2021 9:00 AM

Read time: 2 minutes

young girl with her mother and grandmother

If you have a family history of cancer, your doctor may recommend genetic testing to help understand your potential cancer risk. In the past, genetic testing was not affordable for many people. However, over the last 10 years, costs have gone down quite a bit. Genetic counselors can help you find a low-cost or free option. Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) genetic counselors answer frequently asked questions about genetic testing costs.

How much does genetic counseling cost?

At HCI, you can consult with a genetic counselor for free. If you want to discuss your personal and family history of cancer, contact us to schedule an appointment.

How much does genetic testing cost?

If you meet certain requirements, we can bill genetic testing through insurance. There are many testing options and costs vary. Most patients pay $0–$250 out of pocket.

Does insurance cover genetic testing?

Most of the time. Insurance providers use criteria to decide if they will cover genetic testing. A genetic counselor will ask you questions about your personal and family history of cancer. The genetic counselor will then talk to you about testing options and insurance coverage. The counselor can also help with prior authorization if your insurance needs it.

I don’t have insurance. What are my options?

Most genetic testing labs have aid programs to help people pay for testing. If you qualify, you may get genetic testing for free. Many labs also offer a self-pay rate of $250. This rate is available for people with or without insurance coverage.

Does Medicare cover genetic testing?

Yes. Medicare’s guidelines recommend testing for people who have specific cancer histories. Genetic testing labs also have discount or free testing for people who do not meet Medicare guidelines. Most patients with traditional Medicare plans pay little to nothing.

What are the options for my relatives?

If genetic testing shows you have a mutation, the genetic counselor may recommend your relatives get tested. Genetic testing for a known family mutation usually costs less. Many labs offer free testing to blood relatives for a short time period after a mutation is found.

Should I get combined genetic and ancestral testing?

If you have a history of cancer in your family, tests like 23andMe and Ancestry may look at a few common risk markers. However, this testing does not look at the full spectrum of cancer risks. If you have a family history of cancer, we recommend comprehensive testing. If you had testing with one of these labs and the testing found a cancer risk factor, we recommend you get a second opinion from a clinical laboratory.

Where can I learn more?

You can schedule a genetic counseling appointment at the Family Cancer Assessment Clinic. We offer visits by phone, video, or in person. To make an appointment, call 801-587-9555.

genetics cancer prevention cancer screening

Cancer touches all of us.

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