INSIGHT-Aetna, Cigna balk as Angelina effect spurs genetic cancer testing

April 12, 2015 12:00 PM

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NEW YORK, April 12 (Reuters) - Medical researchers call it the "Angelina Effect," the surge in demand for genetic testing attributable to movie star Angelina Jolie's public crusade for more aggressive detection of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

But there's a catch: Major insurance companies including Aetna, Anthem and Cigna are declining to pay for the latest generation of tests, known as multi-gene panel tests, Reuters has learned. The insurers say that the tests are unproven and may lead patients to seek out medical care they don't need.

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