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prenatal screening program

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Information for Individuals and Families

Pregnancy can cause feelings of joy, as well as fear, stress, and uncertainty about the future. Some expecting parents want to know as much as they can about their fetus (developing baby) during pregnancy.

Positive pregnancy test

Prenatal screening offered through the California Prenatal Screening Program is a way to check on your fetus during pregnancy for birth defects. You decide if you want prenatal screening. Your prenatal care provider should discuss this information and your choice with you early in your pregnancy.

Find out more about prenatal screening from our new videos in English, Spanish, and Chinese below!

​English Video
​Spanish Video
​Chinese Video

Title: California Prenatal Screening Program and Luisa’s Decision

Language: English

Published: 8/11/2022

Duration: 3:29

Title: Programa de Detección Prenatal de California: La decisión de Luisa

Language: Spanish

Published: 8/29/2022

Duration: 4:14

Title: 加州产前筛查计划及路易莎的决定

Language: Simplified Chinese

Published: 9/20/2022

Duration: 3:59


Medi-Cal and private insurance must cover all program fees, with only a few exceptions. The exceptions are for self-insured employers and out-of-state health plans. There is no co-payment, co-insurance, deductible, or any other form of cost sharing, required of covered families. 

The costs of the program are $232 for cfDNA screening and $85 for MSAFP screening. Pregnant individuals whose screening finds an increased chance of one of the birth defects screened for in their fetus will be offered genetic counseling and other follow-up services through state-contracted Prenatal Diagnosis Centers. These services are provided at no additional cost. These are the follow up services provided:

  • Genetic counseling 
  • Ultrasound exam
  • Diagnostic testing: chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis

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