Kimberly explains if genetic testing will affect medical insurance coverage.
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It should not, and we haven’t seen any instances of it documented that it has. The longer answer is that there is federal and state protection, state legislation that provides protection in 47 of the states. Each state’s laws vary in terms of what’s protected. For each individual patient, each woman, you will want to explore this question more with your provider, with the genetic counselor who knows the particulars of your state. In California, what I tell women is that, no, it doesn’t, and it won’t affect your insurability, and if it does, there’s repercussions because of that protective legislation. Also, we have done follow-up studies with our patients to find out, “Okay, you went through genetic testing. You tested positive. We know that you are at elevated risk for cancer. You went through your insurance company for testing. They may or may not be aware of the result. Has anything happened?” And in our follow-up with patients, we haven’t found any instances of insurance companies ignoring or twisting those laws. And that’s a general consensus that I have come across in communicating with genetic counselors across the U.S. So, in general, we do not want that to be a barrier, especially to going in for that consultation in the first place. And during that consultation, the specific answer for your situation and your location will be addressed so that you have the specific answer you are looking for.