Hang on a Minute, Let’s Think This Through

After testing positive for a mutation in my BRCA2 gene, I was on high alert. I rushed to all my doctor’s appointments and gathered a lot of information regarding preventive surgery options. I also did a lot of research on the statistics and newer medical studies regarding BRCA1 and BRCA2. I evaluated everything based on my age and current medical situation, and then I started thinking about my kids and other family members. There was a lot for me consider about both testing and any preventive procedures, such as medical insurance policy coverage, yearly out-of-pocket expense maximums, open enrollment periods, surgery co-pays, and life insurance policies.

As far as genetic testing goes, I was the first in my family to be tested. So when I received my test results, I wanted to forward it to everyone in my extended family. They needed a copy of my results to provide to their doctors, so the most appropriate genetic testing could be ordered if they wanted to find out if they carried the same mutation. Single site genetic testing (for a specific mutation that has already been identified in a family) can cost less than the initial testing, so if your family member has already tested positive, you may want to discuss this option with your doctor or genetic counselor.

One thing my family members needed to consider was health insurance coverage. Some of my extended family members did not have health insurance coverage, so they needed to get some. If you are in the U.S., there are many options now to get coverage, so be sure to look at various sources to find the best plan for you. If you already have health insurance, you may want to consider reviewing your current coverage, so that you are aware of your out-of-pocket expenses, yearly maximum deductible, preventive care coverage, surgery co-pays, and other details that may be important for any upcoming screening or preventive surgery. After reviewing these details, you could consider if there may be any changes to your plan that you would like to make prior to making further decisions. If so, you can contact someone with your employer (such as Human Resources) or your insurance company to discuss your options and open enrollment dates.

Another important thing to think about is life insurance (and potentially other insurance types). This can be a touchy subject, but if you don’t consider it, the consequences could drastically affect your family’s livelihood in the future. I personally explored many policies for my children, for protection for their future spouses and children. I considered these policies before genetic testing was performed. Life insurance policies for young adults can be relatively inexpensive. It gave me peace of mind to know that my future grand-kids would have some security, just in case. It might for you as well.

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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this blog is to promote broad understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. Ambry Genetics Corporation does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions or other information that may be mentioned on this blog. Reliance on any information appearing on this blog is solely at your own risk.