Support > Insurance & Paying for Care > Genetic Services

Low-cost or no-cost genetic testing may be available

Please note that FORCE does not provide financial assistance. However, we are happy to help you find resources.

If you have a personal or family history of cancer and...

  • your health plan denied coverage of genetic counseling or testing, we encourage you to file an appeal in an attempt to get coverage.
  • you are uninsured or you have not been successful in getting your insurance plan to cover genetic testing, a genetic counselor or nurse navigator may be able to help you find financial assistance to cover or offset the cost of genetic testing. For more information on genetic counseling and how to find a qualified genetics expert, see our webpage on this topic.

Financial Assistance Programs

Many reputable laboratories have financial assistance programs. Medical-grade genetic testing may be available for free or as little as $199. Ambry Genetics, Color Genomics, Invitae, Myriad, Natera and Quest Diagnostics are among the labs that offer financial assistance, patient-pay rates or low-cost testing options. Labs have different criteria for assistance, so if you are not eligible for aid through one laboratory you should contact other labs to see if you qualify for a financial assistance program. 

Direct-to-Consumer Saliva-Based Testing

Another option is a physician-mediated “direct-to-consumer” test, such as JScreen, Color Genomics or Invitae. These require a saliva sample (sent via a mailed kit) and typically cost between $200 and $300. Physicians are involved, but they never meet the patients. Like traditional genetic testing with a blood sample, these tests are highly reliable and look for many different mutations. If a genetic mutation is found, they will contact the patient and schedule a virtual genetic counseling appointment to provide the test results and guidance on next steps such as increased cancer screening, other family members who should be tested, etc. 

Free Testing for Individuals at Risk of Ovarian Cancer

FORCE partner, the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, is providing free genetic testing through Color Genomics for individuals who may be at increased risk of ovarian cancer. Visit this webpage to learn more and complete the questionnaire to see if you are eligible.

Ancestry testing is NOT a good option for identifying genetic mutations associated with cancer risk

Many companies offer genetic testing to help people find relatives or learn more about their ethnicity. These tests are for recreational purposes. They are not meant to guide medical decision-making.

Some ancestry testing companies may offer limited testing for a small number of genetic mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2 and some of the genes linked to Lynch Syndrome. Ancestry tests do not look for many of the other gene mutations that may be linked to cancer. For example, there are almost 3,000 mutations in BRCA1 and over 3,300 mutations in BRCA2. Ancestry tests only look for a few of these many mutations. Other genes, such as ATM and PALB2 are not included in the current ancestry tests.

The FDA warns people not to use ancestry test results to make medical decisions, and advises people to have testing with a clinically certified lab to confirm the results. The agency also emphasizes “it is important for patients to consult their health care professional who can help them understand…their individual cancer risk.”

Find Experts
Find Experts

  • Visit the How to Get Testing section of our website for criteria for genetic testing and information on finding a cancer genetics expert.
  • FORCE's toll-free helpline: 866-288-RISK, ext. 704, can connect you with a volunteer board-certified genetic counselor who can answer general questions about genetic testing and hereditary cancer and help you find a genetic counselor near you. 
  • FORCE Peer Navigator Program will match you with a volunteer who has undergone genetic counseling and can help you navigate resources to find a genetic counselor near you.

Paying For Care
Paying For Care

  • If your insurance company denies coverage of recommended genetic testing, visit the Health Insurance Appeals section of our website for guidance and resources.