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Genetic Disease Screening Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What is the California Newborn Screening Program?
The California Newborn Screening (NBS) Program is a part of the Genetic Disease Screening Program. Newborn Screening tests all babies for many serious but treatable genetic disorders. The goal of the program is to identify babies with these disorders early so that treatment can be started right away to improve the health of the baby. California law requires that all babies be screened soon after birth.   

​Is the test covered by the State of California?
Medi-Cal, health plans and most private insurance companies will pay for the NBS test. 
If your baby was born in a hospital facility and a sample was drawn prior to discharge, the cost is usually included in the hospital bill.
If your baby was born at home, you will receive a first statement notice from the NBS program asking for insurance information.

California law prevents insurance companies from refusing to issue or canceling a policy, or changing a higher rate or premium based on a person’s genetic characteristics, including being diagnosed with one of the diseases found by newborn screening. It is also illegal to refuse employment based on the results of a genetic test. If you have problems with your insurance, contact 1-800-927-HELP (1-800-927-4357) or if you have a prepaid health plan, contact 1-888-HMO-2219 (1-888-466-2219).

What is the cost of the Newborn Screening Test?

The cost is subject to change. Please check with your doctor, the hospital, or the NBS website for the current cost of the test.

​I have already submitted my insurance or Medi-Cal information. Why am I still being billed?

 These are the possible reasons why you are being billed:

 Your insurance or Medi-Cal information may not have been transmitted to us by your provider. You may provide your insurance information online or to an agent by calling 1 (800) 597-0832.

Your insurance company did not pay your claim. Contact your insurance company if your claim was denied.

Can I pay using my Credit Card?
Yes, the NBS Program accepts Master Card (MC), Visa Card (VI), Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Spending Account (HSA). 

For Homebirths babies, you may provide your credit card information online or by filling out the coupon form from your statement or to an agent by calling 1 (800) 597-0832.

For Providers and Hospitals, please provide your credit card information to an agent by calling 510-231-7406.

How can I get a confirmation of receipt payment?

For Homebirths babies, you can log in to our online payment portal or by calling 1 (800)-597-0832.

For Providers and Hospitals, you can request copy of receipt payment by calling 1 (510) 231-7406.

Why are you billing my medical group?

Your Health Plan is contracted with the medical group.

Is nonpayment or delay of payment going to affect my credit?

The NBS Program does not report to any credit bureaus.

For Homebirths babies, if your claim is not paid by your insurance company or state Medi-Cal denied the claim due to non-eligibility, you may be referred to the Franchise Tax Board for collection and your income tax return may be garnished for the amount of money that you owe. 

For Hospital/Providers, if your statement is not paid within 90 days, your account may be referred to Medi-Cal for offset and your Med-Cal income may be reduced by the amount of money that you owe.

How long does it take to receive a refund?
The refund gets initiated and approved at our office. After processing the documents, the Sacramento Accounting office forwards the refund request to the State Controller’s Office to issue the check. This process can take as long as 8-10 weeks before you receive the refund check.

Are discounts available?

No. the NBS test is a state mandated test and we are not able to accept amounts lower than the regulated fee. The fees are established by state regulation.  

My insurance paid, why am I still receiving a bill?
We probably did not receive the payment or insurance mailed the check directly to you or to the primary insured. We can do a research but we need information of the check payment or a copy of the cancelled check if it was cashed.  
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