How Much Does Genetic Testing Cost for Pregnancy?
While the cost of genetic testing for pregnancy can range from less than $100 to over $1,000, most tests are covered by insurance. Insurance is more likely to cover testing if a pregnancy is considered high risk for a genetic or chromosome condition, but many options are covered in low risk pregnancies as well. Genetic testing that utilizes newer technology, such as whole exome sequencing, will have a higher cost than tests that have been around for a long time, such as serum screening. Navigating genetic testing costs can be confusing, but fortunately most genetic testing labs can investigate your insurance coverage on your behalf.
If insurance does not cover a test, self pay options are often available. Some labs even have financial assistance programs to reduce, or even eliminate, costs associated with genetic testing in pregnancy.
More information about pregnancy genetic testing cost can be found below. If you want to learn more about the tests listed on this page, visit pregnancy genetic testing.
How Much Does Prenatal Genetic Testing Cost?
The cost of prenatal genetic testing will vary depending on the type of test performed and your particular insurance plan. Most prenatal genetic testing options are covered by insurance, but many laboratories have discounted self pay prices available. Below is a list of common prenatal genetic tests and information about their costs. Visit the prenatal genetic testing page to learn more about these testing options.
- Noninvasive Prenatal Tests (NIPT): Also known as NIPT, non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS), or cell free fetal DNA, this option screens for common chromosome conditions, such as trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18, and trisomy 13. While previously only offered to women at a higher risk to have a pregnancy affected with a chromosome condition, it is now recommended that all pregnant women be offered NIPT. Because of this change, many insurance companies will cover this test, but some may be slower to adjust to these newer recommendations. The amount billed to insurance for this test can vary widely depending on the laboratory used, but most have self pay options in the range of $99 to $400.
- Serum Screening: Serum screening refers to various blood tests performed throughout a pregnancy that calculate the risk for certain chromosome conditions or certain birth defects.
- First trimester screening: This screen assesses for Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13 by measuring two pregnancy-related hormones in a maternal blood sample obtained between 11-13 weeks, as well as two ultrasound measurements obtained within a similar time frame.
- Integrated screening: This two part screen assesses for Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and open neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. First trimester screening is performed but no result is given. Then a second blood draw between 15-20 weeks gestation is performed, after which a final result is provided.
- Sequential screening: This two part screen assesses for Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and open neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. First trimester screening is performed and a preliminary result is given, followed by a second blood draw between 15-20 weeks gestation, after which a final result is provided.
- Second trimester screening: This screen assesses for Down syndrome, trisomy 18, and open neural tube defects by measuring four pregnancy-related hormones from a maternal blood sample taken between 15-20 weeks.
- Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) test: This screen assesses for neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, by measuring a single pregnancy-related hormone measured from a maternal blood sample taken between 15-20 weeks.
Serum screening tests are routine tests and most insurance companies will cover them. If self pay is required, the blood tests will likely cost around $100 to $200. The cost of the ultrasound associated with first trimester screening, integrated screening, and sequential screening will vary widely depending on the billing practices of the medical office performing the ultrasound.
- Diagnostic tests: Diagnostic testing can detect chromosome conditions, such as Down syndrome, trisomy 18 or 13, and small chromosomal deletions or duplications. Diagnostic testing can also be performed to test for specific genetic conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs disease.
- Amniocentesis: This diagnostic test involves removing a small sample of amniotic fluid by placing a needle into the amniotic cavity under ultrasound guidance after 16 weeks gestation. The amniocentesis procedure is associated with a cost that is billed by the doctor and the medical clinic or hospital performing the procedure. The cost of the genetic testing performed on the amniotic fluid sample is billed separately by the laboratory performing the testing. The cost of the procedure can range from several hundred dollars to over $1,000. The cost of the genetic testing has a similar range, though discounted cash pay prices may be available. This test is often covered by insurance, particularly if there are factors that put the pregnancy at a high risk for genetic or chromosome conditions.
- Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS): This diagnostic test involves taking a small sample of placental tissue (chorionic villi) under ultrasound guidance between 11-13 weeks of gestation. The CVS procedure is associated with a cost that is billed by the doctor and the medical clinic or hospital performing the procedure. The cost of the genetic testing performed on the CVS sample is billed separately by the laboratory performing the testing. The cost of the procedure can range from several hundred dollars to over $1,000. The cost of the genetic testing has a similar range, though discounted cash pay prices may be available. This test is often covered by insurance, particularly if there are factors that put the pregnancy at a high risk for genetic or chromosome conditions.
Is Genetic Testing During Pregnancy Covered by Insurance?
Most insurance companies cover prenatal genetic testing, especially if the pregnancy is considered to be at a high risk for a genetic or chromosome condition. However, many insurance companies and policies differ so it is important to contact your insurance company to determine your specific coverage and out-of-pocket costs for prenatal genetic testing. Many laboratories that offer prenatal genetic testing can perform an investigation of your insurance coverage and work with you on any possible costs.
How Much Does Preconception Genetic Testing Cost?
Preconception genetic testing, often called carrier screening, can cost between $0 and $400 depending on insurance coverage, the laboratory used, and the number of conditions screened for.
Most insurance companies cover basic carrier screening, which tests for a few genetic disorders that are recommended for everyone or recommended for people with specific ancestries. Some people choose to pursue expanded carrier screening, which screens for over 100 genetic conditions. Insurance companies are less likely to cover expanded carrier screening; however, many genetic testing laboratories have self pay options, payment plans and programs to provide lower cost testing options to individuals with financial need.
More information about this testing can be found on the preconception genetic testing page.
Is Preconception Genetic Testing Covered by Insurance?
Insurance coverage for carrier screening depends on many factors, including what kind of testing is being ordered (screening for many conditions or only a few), whether the person’s ancestry makes them high risk to be a carrier of a genetic condition, and whether there is a family history of a genetic disorder. It is recommended that someone considering genetic testing talk with their insurance company to best understand what will, and will not, be covered and at what percent.
Learn More About Genetic Carrier Screening Costs
Navigating the cost of genetic testing can be difficult. Fortunately, Genome Medical can help you with this process. Visit the Genome Care NavigatorTM to learn more about carrier screening options and costs, order carrier screening for yourself, or schedule a pregnancy genetic counseling session to discuss your individualized carrier screening needs.