Frequently Asked Questions

Will this affect my ability to get health insurance in the future?

Results of genetic testing should not affect anyone’s ability to get health insurance. A federal bill called GINA, which stands for Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act, was passed in 2008. This new law prohibits health insurers from dropping or denying insurance coverage or charging higher premiums based solely on genetic test results.

Employers are also not legally allowed to fire someone or deny someone employment because of their genetic status.

And remember, although most insurance companies will cover the cost of testing, the results are confidential and are not released (not even to the insurance company) without a signature from the patient. Find more information about GINA.

Will my insurance cover this?

Most insurance companies will cover all or part of the cost of these services. If you have an HMO, your doctor’s office can request prior authorization for an appointment.

Because each plan is different, we recommend that you check with your insurance company for specifics. Our insurance reimbursement specialist may also be able to assist you. When you are checking about coverage, your insurance company may ask you for the CPT code.

The CPT code for the consultation is 96040. Codes used for testing will vary according to your personal and family history, and usually it is difficult to provide these prior to your consultation. Most laboratories are able to give you an estimated out of pocket quote prior to starting your test.

Why do I need genetic counseling?

“My sister was just found to have a BRCA mutation. I don’t need genetic counseling, but can you tell me what test I should have? Is it covered by insurance? Is it important for my brother to test, too? If I have it, does that mean my kids have it too?”

These and many more, equally important questions are exactly what genetic counseling is all about. Of course we provide support when it’s needed, but our goal is to make sure that we assess your personal and family history for all known hereditary cancer susceptibility conditions, and for those who would like to pursue genetic testing, to make sure the right test is ordered on the appropriate person and most important, that the results are interpreted correctly.

Misinterpretation of genetic test results poses a great risk and can have a significant impact on a family and their ability to get appropriate information and follow-up care, when testing is ordered by those who are not board certified in genetics.

Genetic testing for hereditary cancer can sometimes arouse certain emotions or painful memories. We are able to inform patients of helpful resources as needed and make connections with those who can provide appropriate support.

After your appointment, you will receive a complete written report which you can share with your family. In this report, we will outline your risk for cancer, what your results mean (if applicable) and possible recommendations for screening for you and your family members.

Going forward, we invite you to stay in contact with us for information about new discoveries in genetics which may result in additional testing that would be appropriate for you, changes in medical management guidelines, or research opportunities. We are also available to assess any new developments in your family history.

As a patient, you deserve the best opportunity to get the right answers about hereditary cancer - from an expert. It’s too important not to see a specialist.

What if I’ve already had cancer?

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, you have probably wondered why this happened. Hereditary cancer assessment may help you to finally get the answer to this question, and the answer may provide both you and your family with important information.

A person who has cancer or who has had cancer does not want it to happen again. People with an inherited predisposition to cancer are often at risk of getting cancer a second time. If this is the case for you, then this knowledge can help you take steps to dramatically lower the chance of getting cancer again.

Also, if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, your family is likely not only concerned about you, they’re probably also worried about their own chance of getting cancer. Hereditary cancer assessment can help to clarify their cancer risks and what steps they should be taking.