How Much Does a Karyotype Test Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

A karyotype test is a type of test usually done to determine changes in the chromosomes that may be related to certain blood disorders, genetic diseases, or cancer.  Simply put, it is used to gather information concerning the health and functioning of the chromosomes to identify a number of various genetic conditions.

How much does a karyotype blood test cost?

On average, this type of test is going to depend on the doctor, your geographical location and the number of tests performed in a sitting.  Without insurance, the prices can vary anywhere from $500 to as much as $2,100.

Forum members on this DiapersWappers.com forum thread, for example, stated that it could be around $600 for a test.

On this BabyCenter.com forum thread, one member said she paid $1,500, all of which insurance covers, while another said they had paid close to $3,000.

According to HealthTap.com, a karyotype test can cost about $2,000 depending on which laboratory it is sent to.

Karyotype blood test overview

A karyotype test is used to help diagnose genetic diseases, certain birth defects, as well as particular hematologic and lymphoid abnormalities.  It is done to detect the existence of genetic abnormalities within the bone marrow, blood, or tumor cells.  The test is typically done on a blood, bone marrow, or tumor sample, but using the white blood cells is the most common way to perform the test.  The specimen is then sent to a laboratory where a clinical cytogeneticist will perform the analysis using a microscope.  The results of the analysis are often made available within 7 to 10 days to the doctor, who will then be able to properly diagnose and determine an ideal treatment plan for the patient.

In carrying out a karyotype test, a sample from the person being tested is first collected.  Basically, the cells are collected, divided, and are then left to grow.  When they have cultivated, the doctor can then distinguish the genetic information needed to come up with a diagnosis.  The entire test takes one week to be performed.

The test may be performed on a fetus, a newborn baby, a woman or couple with a history of miscarriage, an infant born with congenital abnormalities, an individual with infertility or who has indications of a genetic disorder, or family members.  There are different ways to obtain a sample.  Amniotic fluid is collected from a pregnant woman, or a blood sample is obtained by inserting a needle into a vein in the arm.

Chromosome18.org explained a karyotype test like this: “A karyotype is simply a picture of a person’s chromosomes.  In order to get this picture, the chromosomes are isolated, stained, and examined under the microscope.  Most often, this is done using the chromosomes in the white blood cells.  A picture of the chromosomes is taken through the microscope.  Then, the picture of the chromosomes is cut up and rearranged by the chromosome’s size.   The chromosomes are lined up from largest to smallest.  A trained cytogeneticist can look for missing or extra pieces of the chromosome.”

What are the extra costs?

Regardless of whether the karyotype test is normal or abnormal, you will usually need a follow-up appointment to discuss the results with your doctor.  If the results were abnormal, the doctor may also order other examinations that go together with the karyotype test, or the patient may need to start treatment for a certain condition.

Tips to know:

Karyotype testing is typically covered by most insurance companies as long as it was ordered by a licensed physician and is medically necessary.  Be sure to ask your health insurance provider about the specific insurance coverage and who is part of your network. If the test is done without pre-authorization on most plans, for example, providers may not cover the expenses, leaving the patient responsible for the fees.  Insurance companies will probably not cover the test if it is simply requested by the patient or parents.

It is recommended that you have genetic counseling prior to deciding about a karyotype test.  A genetic counselor can help in making a well-informed decision and can give proper advice on what the test means and what it involves.

According to WebMD, karyotype testing can be done for the following reasons:

How can I save money?

Again, check with your insurance provider to see if they cover the cost of a karyotype test.  If you do not have an insurance policy or you are thinking about purchasing a new one, browse through hundreds of different policies for free at eHealthInsurance.com.

Those who do not have health insurance may be able to receive a cash discount if paid in full.


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  1. EM (Lebanon ,  New Hampshire) paid $ and said:

    I had this test after recurrent pregnancy lost. I thought it would be covered as our insurance covers 100% of infertility costs to a certain amount. It turns out this is considered a genetic test and recurrent pregnancy loss is not considered infertility, so I got stuck with the entire bill. (Our insurance “doesn’t cover genetic testing”). Luckily the rest of my antibody panel for the same issue was covered. I think with this test you end up paying for not only the lab work that has to be done (staining, mounting, etc of chromosomes) but also the expertise of the person who is reading the chromosomes, which I can understand.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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