Frequently Asked Questions
Is the cost of genetic testing covered by insurance?
This is a common, logical question. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to simply say “yes” or “no” to this, since every insurance policy is different. It’s also important to know that genetic counseling and genetic testing are billed separately, and coverage of one does not guarantee coverage of the other. With that being said, health insurance usually covers genetic counseling. Insurance companies have different policies, and may cover some tests, but not others. Some cover counseling and testing under specific circumstances, or insist that certain requirements are met before they agree to cover genetic testing. As part of the discussion of genetic testing, your genetic counselor will review cost and insurance coverage of the relevant tests.
Can my insurance company increase my rates if i test positive for genetic cardiomyopathy?
It’s possible. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) was designed to protect you and your genetic information from being used in employment decisions and when determining your eligibility for medical insurance. In other words, your genetic information cannot be held against you regarding your job or being hired for a job, or in receiving medical insurance. However, GINA does not offer protection in all cases, and you may have problems purchasing life, disability or long-term care insurance, or receiving coverage after testing positive for genetic cardiomyopathy.
What is the process for genetic testing?
- Order the test.
- Work with your insurance company to cover the cost.
- A simple saliva test will be sent to your home.
- Spit into the tube provided, and mail it back in the enclosed envelope as instructed.
- Test results will be mailed directly to you. (We advise you also share your results with your doctor.)
- Once you receive your test results, we recommend you schedule an appointment with a genetic counselor to help you better understand your results.
How do i know if genetic testing for inherited cardiomyopathy is the right choice for me?
- If you have been diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and it was not caused by a heart attack or coronary heart disease, or
- If someone in your immediate family has been diagnosed or tested positive for inherited cardiomyopathy through genetic testing, or
- If one or more close relatives (especially younger than 40 years old) has died unexpectedly from cardiac arrest or heart attack with no sign of heart disease; you should consider getting genetically tested for cardiomyopathy.
My cardiologist doesn’t offer genetic testing for cardiomyopathy. What should i do?
You can contact a genetic counseling and testing company which will help you get genetically tested for cardiomyopathy and can work with you doctor on understanding your results and charting a plan of treatment, if you test positive.
If you suspect that you might have genetic cardiomyopathy and your physician declines or is unable to get you genetically tested, please do not let that stop you. Simply click below to see a list of genetic counseling and testing companies that make testing simple and affordable, and chat with a licensed genetic counselor today.
How do i tell my family or medical providers about genetic cardiomyopathy?
We have created two informational flyers that describe genetics and cardiomyopathy – one for family or friends, and one for your medical providers. Please share these with others to inform them about genetic cardiomyopathy. Click here to access the friends and family flyer. Click here to access the flyer to share with your medical providers.