Genetic counselors are specialists who assess your personal and family health history and genetic test results to see if you have inherited risk for certain health conditions. Genetic counseling can offer you and your provider guidance to best manage and reduce your risk for developing those diseases down the road.
Genetic counselors can help you understand your genetic test results and be your guide to the evolving world of genetics. They can also provide support after an often difficult diagnosis of a genetic condition.
Who Should See a Genetic Counselor
Intermountain Precision Genomics genetic counselors specialize in inherited cancer, prenatal genetics, and inherited heart conditions and can help determine and manage genetic risk of disease.
According to the National Society of Genetic Counselors, there are a number of reasons to see a genetic counselor:
- If you or a family member were diagnosed with or suspected of having a genetic condition.
- If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant and have questions about your baby inheriting a condition.
- If you have personal or family history of a birth defect, genetic condition, intellectual disability, or more than two recurrent pregnancy losses.
- If you have a family history of certain types of cancer, multiple family generations affected by cancer, multiple primary cancers in the same person, or early age of onset of cancer (younger than 50).
- If you have a family history of heart failure at a young age (younger than 50), more than one relative with the same type of heart disease, palpitations or abnormal heart rhythm at a young age, or sudden cardiac death.
What to Expect from a Genetic Counseling Appointment
Insurance Coverage and Genetic Information Discrimination
Genetic counseling is a billable service covered by most major insurance plans. However, we encourage you to contact your insurance company before an appointment to confirm whether the genetic counseling visit is covered and the facility is in-network with your plan.
For more information on how the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), protects patients from genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment, visit ginahelp.org or take a look at Understanding GINA, The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008.