Frequently Asked Questions About BRCA Mutation Testing

Although you may have heard of BRCA before, you’ll want to know the facts if you’re considering testing. See the most common questions about BRCA and their answers.

Even if you have cancer, knowing your BRCA status can let you know if you are eligible for certain treatment options that are specific to your unique type of cancer. It can also help inform your family of their own potential cancer risk.

Even if you don’t have a family history of cancer, it is still possible that you could inherit a BRCA mutation from one of your parents. Moreover, an acquired BRCA mutation could also develop during your lifetime, regardless of your family history.

Regardless of your age or family history, it is never too late to get BRCA mutation tested. You can test for an inherited BRCA mutation at any time with a genetic test. Even if you have been diagnosed, started treatment or your cancer has returned, you can still get tested. Knowing your BRCA status may help inform you about possible treatment options as well as familial risk.

Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance

If you have cancer, testing for a BRCA mutation may be covered in many cases. If you do not have cancer but are considered to be at a high risk for developing cancer, testing for a BRCA mutation should also be covered. Call your insurance provider or talk to your healthcare team to ask about any specific limitations.

To find out what your insurance covers, call your insurance provider or, if you’re insured through your employer, ask your plan’s benefits representative for a copy of your healthcare plan. You may also be able to download a copy to your computer. Read it carefully, especially all sections referring to exclusion policies.

Genetic testing and cancer treatment may be covered by some insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Become informed at the beginning of your journey by calling your insurance provider to ask about any limits to your plan’s coverage.

Hospital financial aid departments may help by suggesting a payment plan. You may also find information about financial assistance at organizations such as patient advocacy groups or the American Cancer Society.

Insurance coverage can be confusing, so ask for help. Your healthcare team or a caregiver, such as a family member or friend, can help you through the insurance process. You or your caregiver should write down your questions and their answers so you can refer to them in the future. That way, you can focus your energy on your treatment.

No matter how well insurance providers keep records, you should also keep an organized record of your claims, payments, and your plan. Know when you’ve met your deductible and be aware of what your insurance provider is responsible for paying.