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Can I Afford Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk?

Read Time: 2 minutes

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If you have a family history of cancer, your doctor may recommend genetic testing to help understand your potential risk. These DNA tests examine if someone has inherited an increased risk of cancer. In the past, genetic testing was not affordable for many people. However, costs have gone down quite a bit over the last 10 years. Genetic counselors can help find an option that’s of little to no cost to you. Huntsman Cancer Institute genetic counselors answer frequently asked questions about genetic testing costs.


How much does genetic testing cost?

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

How much does genetic counseling cost?

If you are in Utah or neighboring states, you can consult with one of our genetic counselors for free. If you want to discuss your personal and family history of cancer, you can schedule a genetic counseling appointment by calling 801-587-9555. We offer visits by phone, video, or in person.


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 cancer history. 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 company requires it.

How much does genetic testing cost without insurance?

Most genetic testing labs have patient assistance programs to help people. If you qualify, you may get genetic testing for free. Many labs also offer a self-pay rate of $250 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 discounted or free testing for people who do not meet Medicare guidelines. Most patients with traditional Medicare plans pay little to nothing.

Other testing

What are the options for my relatives?

If genetic testing shows you have a mutation that increases your cancer risk, it is important to share this information with your family members. The genetic counselor may recommend that 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 after a mutation is found.

Should I get combined genetic and ancestral testing?

If cancer runs in your family, tests like 23andMe and Ancestry may look at a few common risk markers. But 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’ve had genetic testing with one of these labs and they found a cancer risk factor, we recommend you get a second opinion from a clinical lab so that the test result can be confirmed.

Cancer touches all of us.