Illinois CancerCare Genetics
About 5-10% of all cancers are inherited. This means that mutations in specific genes are passed down from one blood relative to another. Individuals who inherit one of these abnormal genes are at increased risk for developing cancer in their lifetime and are more likely to develop cancer at an earlier age.
Based on your hereditary cancer risk assessment, it may be recommended that you undergo genetic testing. This usually involves a simple blood draw or saliva collection. The results may help determine whether you or members of your family face higher risks for certain types of cancer or help explain why cancer has occurred in you or your family members.
Will My Visit Be Covered By My Insurance?
This depends on your insurance plan. Most insurance plans cover visits to a specialist if you already have a diagnosis of cancer. If you are unaffected by cancer and have a family history, your visit may be covered under your wellness plan. The Affordable Care Act may mandate that your visit be covered by your insurance as a preventive medicine measure.
Will I Be Tested The Day Of My Appointment?
If your appointment is with telemedicine, you may receive a saliva kit in the mail or come to an Illinois CancerCare clinic at your convenience for a blood draw.
If your appointment is at the clinic and testing is appropriate, it can be performed the day of your initial visit.
Can My Insurance Company Discriminate Against Me If I Have A Genetic Mutation?
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), enacted in May of 2008, provides federal protection from genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment. It is possible to face difficulty acquiring life insurance, long term care or long term disability if you have cancer or a known genetic mutation.
What Does Testing Mean To My Family?
This question will be addressed at your appointment. The physician will explain how genetic problems are inherited and give you advice regarding testing or surveillance of your family members.
Will My Insurance Cover The Cost Of My Genetic Test?
The genetic testing companies will verify your insurance coverage for you and will let you know if your test is not covered. You will then have the option of canceling your test and owing nothing.
You always have the option to pay out of pocket for the test, currently priced at $250.00. This is only for the test and not the consult, although financial assistance options may be available in this situation. The Illinois CancerCare genetics team will contact you prior to your appointment to help with questions regarding fees, insurance and billing.