As genetic testing becomes increasingly incorporated into clinical practice to aid in both the diagnosis and risk assessment of genetic diseases, patients benefit from genetic counseling to support their understanding of test results either before and/or after genetic testing. Therefore, access to genetic testing and counseling is imperative for patient care. It is well established that health insurance coverage is a major determinant of access to health care in the United States as individuals without insurance are less likely to have a regular source of health care than their insured counterparts. Different health insurance plans and benefits also influence patients' access to health care. Data on the association of health insurance and the uptake of genetic testing and/or counseling for cancer risk are limited. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey, we examined the uptake of genetic testing and/or counseling for breast/ovarian cancer risk by health insurance type. We found that only a small proportion of women undergo genetic testing and/or counseling for breast/ovarian cancer risk (2.3%), even among subgroups of women at risk due to family or personal history (6.5%). Women with health insurance were more likely to undergo genetic testing and/or counseling for breast/ovarian cancer risk, particularly those with military and private insurance plans, than those without health insurance after adjusting for various demographic, socioeconomic, and health risk covariates. Further investigations are needed to examine potential disparities in access and health inequities.
J Pers Med
Association between Health Insurance Type and Genetic Testing and/or Counseling for Breast and Ovarian Cancer.