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.

» For Further Reading: Pros and Cons of an At-Home Genetic Test

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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34 Consumer Reviews for Counsyl

Average Consumer Rating: 1.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 4 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 3 1 star:  26
Bottom Line: 15% would recommend it to a friend
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Bad experience - worst customer service

    My wife's doctor sent the blood for testing without our authorization, and then our doctor told us that they will send us an email to seek pre-authorization to proceed with the test. Yesterday, we received an email in the night at 10:30 PM EST after hours so that we can easily miss that email and their office was closed at that time and no option to contact them at that hour.

    In the morning I called them at 6:30 AM PST (9:30 EST) and after waiting for 25 minutes on the phone, they asked for my wife's information, like DOB and other information, which I provided, and my wife is also covered under my insurance policy with my phone/email listed on their form. And after that, I asked them to cancel the order for the test, and they said that I am not authorized. On their form...I asked them why they wasted my time collecting the information if I am not authorized as the first info I provided them is that I am calling on behalf of my wife.

    Very bad customer experience and a very unethical way to send information when their customer service is closed, and if you skip those crucial time due to any reason, they will start the lab test, and you will see a big bill in your mail. Secondly, if we do not go with insurance, they will charge you $349, and if we go with our insurance, then they will charge almost $700. Why there is so much difference? Double the bill if we go with insurance.

    So, seriously, they are not serving you, they are serving themselves. So that's how these so-called medical companies earning the money from your pockets when they can provide services at lower costs. Lots to think about.

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

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    • May 21, 2018

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello Muhammad,

      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 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.

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  • 1 out 2 people found this review helpful

    They are not worth the trouble

    • San Jose, CA,
    • May 17, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Not professional at all, or better to say they are totally messed up.

    First of all, they messed up the sample itself, which delayed the testing for a month. Then they sent us the wrong report and marked it as a high-risk pregnancy case. As first-time parents, it was a shocker. Due to this wrong report, they asked us to take a blood test for which we have to run behind them to get it tested, as they don't have a facility itself for the blood test, and my doctor arranged the blood test for us so that Counsyl can proceed.

    Then it took them almost a month to update us back that my wife's results are clean and there is no issue. Now its more than three weeks and I am running behind them to send me a detailed mail with an explanation, and they are passing the balls around. If you are pregnant and your doctor asks for a genetics test, make sure you ask for the vendor and skip if it's Counsyl.

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

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    • May 17, 2018

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello Naresh,

      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, and we would be happy to speak with you, to address your concerns and look further into the information you are requesting.

      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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  • 1 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Exceptional

    • Ohio,
    • Apr 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Wow, maybe the poor reviews are old? I have nothing but positive things to say about this company.

    I’ll address cost first since that seems to be the most popular complaint. Testing was EXTREMELY affordable even without insurance covering any portion. They have payment options and financial assistance if someone were to need that. Testing costs less than a standard ultrasound.

    Customer service was excellent. Probably some of the best customer service I have ever experienced actually.

    Most importantly, the genetic screening that they provide is far superior to other tests on the market with the narrowest margins of error. They have genetic counselors to speak with you if needed.

    The support is incredible. This peace of mind is priceless to me. Additionally, my doctor's office explained that the typical turn around time is about ten days. I was surprised to receive results in five business days, and I live on the opposite side of the country. I can’t say enough positive things about Counsyl.

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

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    • Apr 9, 2018

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hello Chris,

      Thank you for your review! We are so happy that you had a positive experience with Counsyl and love hearing from our customers, and truly value being part of their lives.

      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.

      Best,

      Counsyl

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Such a scam, beware! These people should be ashamed!

    This is a total scam! I was told by my doctor that they would get preauthorization for me to have the test, and because I was over 35, it would likely be covered. I was also told that I received preauthorization and Counsyl sent me an email saying that my out of pocket cost would be minimal, and then after I got the test done, they sent me another email saying some BS about my insurance changing (which is absolutely not true), and now I may be responsible for a larger amount! Now I just got a letter from Anthem saying that they’re denying the claim and that I will be responsible for the full out-of-pocket cost.

    I will never PAY these frauds. What they are doing is unethical and fraud! I’m going to report them and hope they get shut down. After talking to loads of people, it seems this is common! And now after hearing this from people we know, I research online to find many, many people also being taken. My sister is an attorney, and I’ll make sure they don’t get away with this. Buyer beware!

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

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    • Mar 20, 2018

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hi Ali,

      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, and we would be happy to speak with you to address your billing 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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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Does not work with Veterans using VA insurance

    • Baltimore, MD,
    • Jan 30, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    My doctor recommended this service with the understanding that I would only be required to pay the cash option if my insurance denied the claim. My insurance was never contacted because ALL out-of-network are rerouted to cash payment. This is the opposite of what my doctor explained. I have VA insurance, and they aim to cover all patient costs. Counsyl refused to even work with the VA under the threat that I would have to pay the entire $2,000 bill if VA didn't cover it all. Counsyl does NOT work with Veteran's insurance!

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

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    • Jan 31, 2018

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hi Alexis,

      Thank you so much for reaching out to us. It appears that one of our client services managers was able to reach out to you directly, and has been able to successfully address and resolve your concerns.

      Please feel free to reach out to us at support@counsyl.com if you have any additional questions or need further assistance.

    • Mar 2, 2018

      Lindsay

      This company is a scam and terrible at communicating. You all should be ashamed of the business you promote.

      I tested positive, so my husband went ahead and got screened. We both carry different insurance through our jobs but my doctor informed me that the cost should be relatively inexpensive and in the event, it wasn't covered by insurance we could pay $350 out of pocket per patient, which we agreed to.

      Little did we know (because Counsyl refuses to make this clear to their patients) that the $350 option is only available prior to being billed by the insurance company. They only let you know this via email, and in that email, they do not make it clear that it is super time sensitive. Counsyl, do you know how many emails the working professional gets a day? It's a complete disservice to your patients that you communicate via email when the bill is small but continue to send many reminders via mail when the bill is large. We are now expected to pay my husbands $1,400+ bill when it could have been $350. Shame on you for your lack of communication.

      Please stay away! This company is very much like a scam and only out for the money.

    • Mar 5, 2018

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hi Lindsay,

      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 would be happy to speak with you to address your billing concerns.

      Please feel free to send us an email at billing@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. Additionally, you can also give us a call at 888-268-6795 if you prefer not to correspond via email.

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Support helped to resolve the issue

    • Bellevue, WA,
    • Jan 5, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I called Support, and they helped to resolve the issue. It turns out I didn't get an up-front email before they did a procedure. Still, the model doesn't look right to me; what if I'm on vacation and do not check my email? I should explicitly give my consent, not other way around (explicitly refuse). And the fact that I don't even know what bill to expect? Ridiculous.

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

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    • Jan 4, 2018

      Counsyl Support, Customer Support

      Hi Vitalii,

      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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    • Previous review
    • Jan 4, 2018

    Stay away, we got hit by unexpected bill

    We received a bill for $750 for Prelude Prenatal Screen. The bill claims that insurance refused to pay anything.

    I filed an appeal with my insurance and response was "Denied, we do not pay for experimental procedures."

    That is quite surprising since I before scheduling an appointment with Eastside Maternal Fetal Medicine office, I asked for procedure codes in advance (which the person on the phone refused to email, so I had to write them down).

    I double checked those codes with insurance and got a confirmation that we are good to go and those codes are covered. I really called twice since the situation was pretty suspicious. Usually, the medical office can handle all insurance-related stuff, and I don't have to worry about it.

    Also, during the visit, my wife specifically asked to perform only procedures covered by insurance. The interpreter translated that, and they were assured that all is good and covered. We double checked with the same interpreter during the next visit, and she clearly recalls that.

    And now I'm reading all these reviews here. I can't believe this is happening in 2017. And I am informing our ob-gyn and maternal medicine offices about that incident.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 2 out 4 people found this review helpful

    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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  • 3 out 7 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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  • 6 out 7 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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  • 5 out 7 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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  • 2 out 3 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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