Perinatal Services BC is pleased to announce that non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) for pregnant women who may have an increased chance of carrying a baby with Down syndrome is now funded in BC through PSBC’s Prenatal Genetic Screening Program.
NIPT is a blood test for the detection of trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18, and trisomy 13 that carries no risk of miscarriage and has a detection rate nearly equal to amniocentesis (>99%).
In October 2015, the Ministry of Health approved NIPT funding for eligible women at high risk for Down syndrome, trisomy 18, or trisomy 13. Pregnant women who meet one of the following three criteria will be provided with the option of NIPT:
- has received a positive screen result from IPS, SIPS, or Quad testing;
- has had a previous trisomy 13, 18, or 21 pregnancy; or
- has a risk of Down syndrome greater than one in 300 based on results of screening and ultrasound marker(s) of aneuploidy.
Perinatal Services BC is in the final stages of a Request for Proposal process to contract one supplier to process all funded NIPT in BC.
Women who do not meet the eligibility criteria for funded NIPT but are interested and prepared to cover the cost of self-pay testing (ranging from $495 to $650 depending on the supplier) should consult with their health care provider to have their blood drawn at a location offering NIPT.
For all information related to funded and self-pay NIPT, visit our NIPT page