About Counsyl

By HighYa Staff
Published on: Feb 7, 2014

In business since 2008, Counsyl is a genetic testing company who can screen you and your spouse for 100+ genetic diseases that could be passed on to your children. The company compares their services to “an ultrasound for your genes,” and claims that their goal is “to make the human genome practically useful for life-altering decisions.”

Counsyl was founded in 2007, and has been featured in TechCrunch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Newsweek, and more. The company holds an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, and just three closed complaints over the past 36 months. Regarding their services specifically, online reviews appeared to be mostly positive, with the most common complaint that the costs were not covered by insurance.

How Counsyl Works

According to the Counsyl website, the vast majority of us are carriers of one genetic defect or another. This typically isn’t a big deal though, since we need two sets of the same defective gene (one from each of our parents) in order to experience any negative symptoms. However, when we decide to have children of our own, we need to be mindful of any genetic defects that our partner may have that could be passed on.

Because most parents of children who are suffering from genetic diseases have no family history of that disease, Counsyl can screen you and your spouse for more than 100 genetic disorders, including Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile X Syndrome, some types of epilepsy, and much more. While there are thousands of genetic diseases, Counsyl claims they focus on the 100 that are most “actionable,” meaning that, regardless of the symptoms they exhibit, they can help you “plan for a healthy family.”

Having your genes tested through Counsyl is a simple three-step process:

  1. Have one tube of blood drawn, place your order, and your genes are then analyzed.
  2. Your physician is provided with the results of your analysis, and with their permission, they’re released to you.
  3. Counsyl’s genetic counselors can guide you through the results at no additional charge. In addition, the company also offers clinical support.

Overall, Counsyl claims that less than 1% of their clients are carriers of the same genetic disease. However, for those who are, this translates into a 25% chance that your children will be affected with symptoms of that disease.

Counsyl Pricing

If you have health insurance, Counsyl claims you will typically pay no more than $99 to have your test performed. Without insurance, the same test will cost you $599.

If you pay for Counsyl’s testing service using a credit card (versus going through insurance), you’ll be eligible for a full refund if you contact support@counsyl.com and cancel your order prior to shipment. Once it’s been shipped, it can be returned unopened, but you’ll be subject to a $50 processing fee.

Pros:

  • Using just one vial of blood, claims to be able to screen for more than 100 genetic diseases.
  • Simple three-step process.
  • Genetic counselors available to discuss your results at no additional charge.
  • Primarily positive online reviews.

Cons:

  • Counsyl’s test is not universal – there are thousands of genetic diseases (not just 100).
  • Expensive, and may not be covered by all insurance plans.

Editor's Note: This article was published on Feb 7, 2014 based on publicly available information at the time of the research. Information is subject to change, please visit www.counsyl.com for the latest details.

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28 Consumer Reviews for Counsyl

Average Consumer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 3 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 2 1 star:  22
Bottom Line: 14% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 28
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  • Nothing but a positive experience

    • Orlando, FL,
    • Oct 10, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    After reading some of the reviews below, I felt a positive review was needed. We have used Counsyl on two occasions because of family history, and we have nothing but excellent words for this company. They have been the most helpful group of individuals during what could have been a difficult time. In our experience, we would only recommend Counsyl to our friends and family.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 11, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Our patients are the driving force behind everything we do, and creating a positive patient experience is very important to us. We value your feedback and will continue our efforts on creating the best experience possible for all patients moving forward.

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    They promote a week turnaround for prenatal screen but it is a lie

    • Houston, TX,
    • Sep 15, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Before sending my blood sample to Counsyl for the prenatal screen, I called the company to go over pricing and turnaround time. Regarding pricing, they told me that once they received my sample and insurance information, they would send me an email with an exact amount through insurance. They said that I could also choose the cash price if my insurance did not cover the procedure, which would be $349.

    Once I received that email all it said was that my insurance may or may not cover it but that they would move forward with processing it through insurance. That basically told me nothing so I called the company and I am glad I did. If I wouldn't have called and they had continued through insurance, if my insurance didn't cover it I would have been stuck with a high balance. They didn't send me a quote like they said they would through insurance and also didn't make it clear in the email that the $349 cash price was only good if I decided to pay right now and stop the processing through insurance. People should know this so that they don't take the chances running it through insurance when Counsyl says insurance may or may not cover it. Deceptive on the part of Counsyl.

    Secondly, I asked in my original call to the company about turnaround time because my doctor had told me one week. Counsyl also said it typically takes one week. I had my blood drawn on a Tuesday, and they received the sample and started processing on a Thursday. It is now the next Thursday, and I hadn't heard anything, so I called the company. I spoke to a rep who basically kept telling me my sample still says processing, and it could take longer than whats typical. I basically had to demand her to contact the lab to see when results would be ready. The lab replied three days, which will be a Sunday, which means I won't get results from my doctor until Monday. That's 11 days from when they received the sample. This is far longer than industry standards (other NIPT companies) and far longer than the time frame that Counsyl promotes. Why promote seven days if it's going to take 11? This just causes unhappy customers who will most likely not recommend the company to anyone else.

    All in all, I'm very dissatisfied with my experience with Counsyl and would not recommend it. I have emailed my displeasure to them and have not heard back.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 18, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello,

      My name is Attiana, and I am a member of the client services team at Counsyl. We sincerely apologize for the experience that you have had thus far, and I'd would be happy to speak with you to address your concerns.

      Please feel free to send us an email at support@counsyl.com with the title "HighYa Review" and your contact information at your earliest convenience and we'd be happy to have a member of our team reach out to you.

      We hope to hear from you soon!

    • Oct 29, 2017

      Jennifer Fay

      My husband and I both had this testing done and the results came back as very low risk. My daughter was just diagnosed with multiple, severe genetic deformities this past Friday. I found out during my 20-week ultrasound. This is a waste of money. No wonder insurance carriers aren’t covering this.

    • Nov 7, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hi Jennifer,

      My name is Attiana, and I am a member of the client services team at Counsyl. We sincerely apologize for the experience that you have had thus far, and I'd would be happy to speak with you to address your concerns.

      Please feel free to send us an email at support@counsyl.com with the title "HighYa Review" and your contact information at your earliest convenience and we'd be happy to have a member of our team reach out to you.

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Do not order these services!

    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Sep 6, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    My doctor told me that this genetic testing service would be emailing me pricing options within a few days after collecting my blood at the doctor's office (before they performed any work or charged anything), and that I would be able to cancel the services if I couldn't afford the services once I received this email. The doctor also told me that the self-pay option would be $200, and to choose that option if I would owe more than that when my insurance was billed.

    However, the self-pay option was $349, and my insurance company didn't pay much, so I would owe much more than the $200. And I have GREAT insurance. So, of course, I would prefer to cancel everything all together. So I go to the website to check out how to cancel this and so far what I am seeing is that I can't?

    1). I was told I wasn't obligated to pay anything until I responded to the email.

    2). These Counsyl Terms of Service I just read on the website were never given to me, nor is it in the Counsyl info they give you at the office. So I had no recollection of any of this. I plan on getting an attorney and going to small claims court because of misleading information. I already have to pay enough money at the fertility Reproductive Center I am at, so this is ridiculous.

    I will be telling everyone I know, my huge social media following as well as the MD office about this scam and it's a HUGE Reproductive Center in Atlanta. Hopefully they will stop using these services too.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Sep 6, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello,

      My name is Destanee, and I am a member of the client services team at Counsyl. We sincerely apologize for the experience that you have had thus far. We would be happy to speak with you to address your concerns.

      Please feel free to send us an email at support@counsyl.com with the title "HighYa Review" and your contact information at your earliest convenience and we'd be happy to have a member of our team reach out to you.

      We hope to hear from you soon!

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  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Unauthorized and worthless (CAUTION)

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Aug 27, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    All of a sudden we receive an invoice from Counsyl. We have never heard of them before, and apparently, they received our blood three months earlier, and it was UNAUTHORIZED and WITHOUT CONSENT to this test. From all the reviews I see, it's more like a kickback fraud with doctors.

    I called them about six times, and they are never reachable. I even emailed them again today. They billed Cigna and got paid $300, and they still want more money from me.

    What's pissing me off from the invoice is it's more than three months and the invoice says I can access results online but they will not allow access. WONDERFUL. You got $300 from Cigna, and it's more than three months, and they will not provide results. Anyways, what use is it after five months into pregnancy to get your "genetic" results anyways?

    And you want even more money? Patients beware!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Aug 28, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello,

      My name is Attiana, and I am a member of the client services team at Counsyl. We sincerely apologize for the experience that you have had thus far. We would be happy to speak with you to address your concerns.

      Please feel free to send us an email at support@counsyl.com with the title "HighYa Review" and your contact information at your earliest convenience and we'd be happy to have a member of our team reach out to you.

      We hope to hear from you soon!

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  • 0 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Horrible customer service

    • Seattle, WA,
    • Aug 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    In April, I used Counsyl through my Maternal Fetal Medicine Office for a 10-week pregnancy genetics screening. I authorized Counsyl to bill my insurance companies (I'm double covered). In May I started receiving invoices, but they were not really invoices. It was "you can pay this" or "we can bill insurance, and you may have to pay more." I called the company and spoke with a customer service rep and explained I wanted them to bill insurance, for the second time.

    I stopped receiving invoices. It is now August, and I've received another invoice and in the past two days been bombarded with calls from their billing office regarding my "open invoice." I explained to the customer service rep that I have authorized TWICE that they bill insurance. She was very persistent in telling me I may have to pay more, I again explained I wish for them to bill insurance. They still have NOT. She said they would as she would like the open invoiced cleared up. I reminded her the bill will be cleared once they actually do what they are told.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Aug 14, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello Steph,

      My name is Attiana, and I am a member of the client services team at Counsyl. We sincerely apologize for the experience that you have had thus far. We would be happy to speak with you to address your concerns.

      Please feel free to send us an email at support@counsyl.com with the title "HighYa Review" and your contact information at your earliest convenience and we'd be happy to have a member of our team reach out to you.

      We hope to hear from you soon!

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  • Great customer service

    • South Carolina,
    • Aug 2, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Sad to read so many negative reviews. My mom was critically ill overseas, and I emailed Counsyl to see if I could expedite results to share with her while I was visiting. I wasn't made any promises, but results did arrive in record time. I was able to share with Mom, and so glad she made it home to await our little one with us!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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    • Aug 3, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hi Lindsay,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Our patients are the driving force behind everything we do, and creating a positive patient experience is very important to us. We are thrilled to hear that our support team was able to assist you to the best of their ability. We value your feedback and will continue our efforts on creating the best experience possible for all patients moving forward.

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Dishonest, unhelpful, stressful experience

    • Boise, ID,
    • Jul 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company is completely dishonest! They told my doctor what the "total out-of-pocket maximum" would be for my testing, even if my insurance didn't pay anything. They also assured both me and my doctor that since I have excellent, Federal Government insurance, that my test would likely be covered in full. But before they would bill my insurance they made me do genetic counseling via e-visit with a company called Genescreen out of New Jersey. I had to pay Genescreen for the counseling. The counselor concluded that yes, genetic testing was highly recommended.

    Counsyl billed my insurance, and it was completely denied. So they billed me for the "total out-of-pocket maximum" that they had told both me and my doctor. But I had already paid Genescreen for a service that Counsyl required me to do! Obviously, this raised my total quite a bit. Further, my insurance claimed that Counsyl had not done their due diligence in getting prior authorization, which is why it was denied. Counsyl claims they did ask, but the prior authorization was denied. If the prior authorization was denied, why wasn't I informed of that BEFORE they ran the testing? Or BEFORE they required genetic counseling?

    I have spoken with numerous people to try to get this resolved. My favorite quote, by Laura, supposedly a supervisor, "We can't be liable for what other companies (Genescreen) charge you for their services or for what our sales rep told your doctor (about maximum cost)."

    This whole process has caused me a ton of stress, and my results came back negative. With negative results and excellent health insurance, this process should have been essentially stress-free, which it has been anything but!

    Also, I have reached out to Attiana who responds to all the negative reviews on here, acting as though she will help them resolve the problem. It's been over a week, and she has not responded.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jul 24, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello,

      Thank you for providing your feedback. My name is Attiana and I am a member of the Client Services team at Counsyl. We are sorry to hear that your Counsyl experience did not meet your expectations. This is not the kind of experience we want for any patient, and we would like to try to understand any issues you encountered. It is our goal to always provide excellent service.

      We understand that you may have reached out to us previously. However, due to the nature of this site, we are unable to identify you or review your inquiry based on your feedback post. Therefore, we hope you would be open to reaching out to us again so that we may address your concerns.

      In order to provide the most prompt response, please send an email to socialmedia@counsyl.com with the title “HighYa Review” and provide us with your contact information so that we may reach out to you directly. We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you.

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Very rough service

    • Boston, MA,
    • Jul 10, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    We used Counsyl because it was (newly) recommended by one of Boston's biggest and best-known research hospitals. Nearly every step of the process was problematic. Here we go:

    1. We were advised we would get a chance to pre-approve each test with knowledge of cost in advance, which wasn't true. They ran multiple tests with neither authority nor our knowledge, then billed us for $350 per test.

    2. They claimed they couldn't reach us; however, our names, address, telephone numbers, and email addresses were clearly all over the file.

    3. When we tried to reach customer service, they were nearly impossible to get ahold of and, when we finally did, they were unhelpful and just kept demanding money.

    4. It took multiple emails to the CEO (who hides his email address, no surprise) then finally an English-speaking customer service representative called us back and after 20 minutes of angry arguing "kindly" comped the unauthorized tests and bills.

    5. Their customer service rep said they receive many, many complaints and service had been a real problem; however, they thought they were making progress.

    When we consulted with an expert, the chairman of a department of genetics at Harvard's main teaching hospital, he said he found Counsyl's services and knowledge dubious. He opined that their pitches were long on tech B.S. and low on genetics knowledge. He didn't recommend them but did recommend their oldest competitor, GeneDX.

    That was our experience. Stay away.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jul 11, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello Eric,

      My name is Attiana, and I am a member of the client services team at Counsyl. We strive to provide a positive patient experience, and sincerely apologize if your experience was anything less. We would be happy to speak with you to address your concerns.

      Please send us an email to support@counsyl.com with the title “HighYa Review” and provide us with your contact information so that we may reach out to you directly. We hope to hear from you soon!

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Disappointing customer service and lie

    • Rochester, Minnesota,
    • Jun 5, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    It's been over two weeks waiting for my test results. Every phone call made to the company has been less than helpful. They could not even give me the simple courtesy of looking into the delay in results. The customer service representative would not pick up the phone to call the laboratory. And I was told that she was the highest level employee as her manager was out to lunch.

    I would not recommend Counsyl to any of my friends, family members, or future patients who are relying on these results to make medical decisions. It's just another genetics startup company where the CEO is prospering and getting rich. It's all about money, unfortunately!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Jun 5, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello,

      My name is Attiana, and I am a member of the client services team at Counsyl. We sincerely apologize for the experience that you have had thus far, and I would be happy to speak with you to address your concerns.

      Please feel free to send us an email at support@counsyl.com with the title "HighYa Review" and your contact information at your earliest convenience and we'd be happy to have a member of our team reach out to you.

      We hope to hear from you soon!

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Did NOT consent

    I did not consent to have my health information or blood shared with this company. For the first few emails, I marked them as "spam" because my (EX) doctor never mentioned them and I had no idea who they were. I don't know if this is some sort of scam where they give kickbacks to doctors for authorizing screenings, but my health insurance claimed it was "medically unnecessary," and I was stuck with an invoice of $350 even though my insurance fully covers preventative prenatal care.

    My rights as a patient were violated when my personal information was given to a third party company, and a wider list of screens was performed without my consent.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • May 31, 2017

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello,

      My name is Attiana, and I am a member of the client services team at Counsyl. We sincerely apologize for the experience that you have had thus far, and I would be happy to speak with you to address your concerns.

      Please feel free to send us an email at support@counsyl.com with the title "HighYa Review" and your contact information at your earliest convenience and we'd be happy to have a member of our team reach out to you.

      We hope to hear from you soon!

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Tired of waiting.

    I thought this was a good idea. But I was told a week. It's been over a week. I called and emailed to see how much longer, but nobody has returned anything. At that rate, I could have waited and paid for better service and just gotten an ultrasound and then done the testing.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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