Resources for Genetic Screening
Physician’s Offices: Most physicians are able to draw blood for the Jewish genetic disease tests in their office and send it to a laboratory for analysis. The best place to start for most people who wish to get tested is their regular doctor, most often the woman’s OB/GYN. Some physicians have genetic counselors in their practices; others will have genetic counselors to whom they will refer patients who have a positive test result.
Make sure to tell the doctor that you are of Jewish heritage and be as specific as possible about the geographic area(s) your family comes from. You may want to download the JGDC’s list of genetic diseases and bring it with you to your appointment. If you have ever been screened in the past, bring your report with you to your appointment.
Insurance Coverage: Many insurance plans cover testing for Jewish genetic diseases. The physician or genetic laboratory can determine coverage on an individual basis before the test is done. Patients who do not have coverage for testing may be eligible for a reduced-price test. The JGDC also has some resources for couples who are not otherwise able to afford screening. E-mail info@JewishGeneticDiseases.org or call 855.642.6900.
Sephardic/Mizrahi Diseases: As Jew of Ashkenazi background make up the predominance of the U.S. Jewish population, doctors and genetics programs may be more familial with the Ashkenazi Jewish genetic diseases than the Sephardic/Mizrahi Jewish genetic diseases. If you are of Sephardic/Mizrahi background, you may want to look for a program which specializes in these diseases.
Disclaimer: The JGDC does not endorse any of these programs. This list is offered for information purposes only. Please let us know if you have any information which will allow us to correct or add to this list. E-mail info@JewishGeneticDiseases.org or call 855.642.6900.
Hospital-Based Genetics Programs: Many hospitals around the country, especially in larger metropolitan areas, have medical genetics departments and offer genetic testing and counseling. A person who has a known family history of genetic diseases, has had a positive test result in the past, is already pregnant or has had a child with an inherited genetic disease may wish to go directly to one of these hospital programs.
Community and Non-Profit Screening Programs: There are several community and non-profit organizations which offer education and screening, often at a special price. These programs may have eligibility limitations and may not screen for all diseases.
Commercial Laboratories: There are three major national commercial laboratories which do genetic screening. Tests must be ordered by a physician with an account with the lab.
Counsyl: 888-COUNSYL (888-268-6795)
Laboratory Corporation of America: 800-LABCORP
Quest Diagnostics: 800-377-8448
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