Frequently Asked Questions
What is the California Prenatal Screening Program?
The California Prenatal Screening (PNS) Program is a public health program under the Division of Genetic Disease Screening Program. The PNS Program is working to reduce inequity in prenatal care by offering prenatal screening for certain birth defects and follow-up services to all pregnant women in California. The PNS Program is the largest prenatal screening program in the world.
For more information, please visit our PNS Program website.
Is the test mandatory in the State of California?
Participation in the PNS Program is voluntary. All prenatal care providers in California must offer this service to their pregnant patients.
Will my health insurance cover this service?
If the patient decides and consents to participate in the PNS Program, the patient will be charged a program fee, which may be covered by health insurance. Medi-Cal covers the program fee. With the exception of self-insured employers and out-of-state plans, most health insurance companies and HMOs are required to cover the fees for the PNS Program after any deductible, co-insurance or co-pay.
What is the fee for the California Prenatal Screening Program?
The current program fee is $221.60. The fee covers the blood tests and authorized follow-up services at a State-approved Prenatal Diagnosis Center but does not cover blood draw charges and/or nuchal translucency ultrasound. Please provide your insurance or Medi-Cal information on the test request form or send a copy of your insurance card with the specimen. If no insurance information is received with the specimen, the PNS Program will mail a bill and insurance form to the patient. Medi-Cal covers the program fee. With the exception of self-insured employers and out-of-state plans, most health insurance companies and HMOs are required to cover the fees for the PNS Program.
I have already submitted my insurance or Medi-Cal information. Why am I still being billed?
There are several possible reasons why you are being billed. Your insurance or Medi-Cal information may not have been transmitted to the PNS program by your medical provider. You may provide your insurance information online or to an agent by calling 1 (800) 597-0832. Your insurance company may not have paid your claim. Contact your insurance company if your claim was denied.
Can I pay using my credit card?
The Prenatal and Newborn Screening Programs accept Master Card (MC), Visa Card (VI), Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Spending Account (HSA). You may provide your credit card information online, by filling out the coupon form from your statement, or to an agent by calling 1 (800) 597-0832.
How can I get a confirmation of receipt payment?
You can log in to our online payment portal or by calling 1 (800) 597-0832
Why are you billing my medical group?
Your health plan is contracted with the medical group; please contact your medical group for more information.
Is non-payment or delay of payment going to affect my credit?
The PNS Program does not report to any credit bureaus. However, if your claim is not paid by your insurance company or if 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.
How long does it take to receive a refund?
Refunds are initiated and approved at PNS Program offices. After processing the documents, the accounting office forwards the refund request to the State Controller’s Office to issue the refund check. This process can take as long as 8-10 weeks before you receive the refund check.
Are discounts for the PNS Program available?
The prenatal screening test is voluntary. We do not offer discounts because the fees are established by State regulation.
My insurance paid the program fee. Why am I still receiving a bill?
The PNS Program probably did not receive the payment or insurance information, and we mailed the bill directly to you or to the primary insured. The PNS Program can investigate further but will need information such as the check payment or a copy of the cancelled check if it was cashed. Please contact us at PNS@cdph.ca.gov.