Genetic Counseling and Testing FAQ's

Below find answers to many common questions about genetic counseling.

  • How can genetic counseling help?

    • You may learn your risk for a disease is less than you expected.
    • Your doctor may want to check you for certain medical complications earlier and more often.
    • You may want to consider ways to reduce the chance of developing a certain disease.
    • You could share information with your children and relatives so they can prevent a disease or arrange screening tests.
  • Is genetic counseling the same as genetic testing

    Genetic counseling is the first step toward genetic testing. Information gathered during genetic counseling helps determine if genetic testing would be helpful in your situation.

    Genetic counseling involves recording a detailed family history and using that information to estimate your risks, helping to determine if testing is right for you and which tests to perform. Genetic testing may require a blood draw or cell sample from inside your cheek that are then sent to a laboratory for analysis.

  • What questions are asked in a genetic counseling appointment?

    Some of the common questions asked in genetic counseling sessions include:

    • Have your relatives had genetic testing?
    • Which relatives have had cancer?
    • How old were they when they developed cancer?
    • What type of cancer(s) did they have?
    • Where did the cancer start in their body?
  • If I have genetic testing done, will I be discriminated against based on my results?

    Your test results, family history information and evaluation notes will only be released to someone if you sign a form stating that our office can release your information to that individual or office.

    The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), and other laws help protect people who undergo genetic testing against health insurance discrimination and employment discrimination. .

    Find out more about GINA or view a fact sheet for more information about how you’re protected from discrimination.

  • I already have a specific condition. How can genetic counseling help me?

    Some inherited gene changes cause several medical complications. Genetic counseling and testing may determine if you’re at risk for another type of medical complication or another type of cancer in the future.

    We can then take a proactive approach to your health, considering ways to prevent your risk of developing other conditions. Many people with potentially hereditary conditions seek genetic counseling and testing to help their relatives. If you already have a condition, the results of your genetic evaluation will tell you if there’s reason for your relatives to be cautious as well.

  • Will insurance pay for genetic testing?

    Most insurance companies will cover the cost of a genetic test if it will improve a person’s medical care and you have a reasonable chance of having a specific condition.

  • How much I be charged for genetic counseling?

    At Centura Health, we attempt to bill insurance for the cost of genetic counseling appointments and verify insurance coverage prior to a scheduled appointment.

    Individuals whose insurance pays for genetic counseling will be responsible for any applicable co-pay. If you schedule a genetic counseling appointment, you should receive a call prior to your appointment to explain what your cost would be. (If you’d like to see if genetic counseling would be a covered benefit, contact your insurance company and ask if they cover the CPT code 96040.)

    Because Medicare and some insurance companies are not yet paying for genetic counseling, Centura gives a discount to those who pay out of pocket for these services.. Depending on the length of the appointment, individuals who self-pay will be charged approximately $40 or $80. If you’re not able to make these payments, Centura may be able to help.