Who pays for newborn screening?

Newborn screening is performed on every infant regardless of the parents' health insurance status or ability to pay. The fees for newborn screening vary by state, from less than $15 to about $150. Some states do not charge a fee for this testing. When there is a fee, it is often covered by private health insurance plans. This testing is also covered under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid for those who are eligible.

If a parent chooses to have supplemental screening done through a private laboratory, that testing is not covered under the fees charged by each state for newborn screening. The costs of supplemental testing are charged by the laboratory that performs the tests. Parents should check with their health insurer to find out whether supplemental newborn screening is a covered service.

If a newborn screening test comes back positive (abnormal), further testing needs to be done to determine whether the baby has a particular condition. This additional testing involves separate costs that may be covered by health insurance plans.