Founded in 2015, Color is a health technology company that offers DNA testing directly to individuals as well through health care providers, employers, and other professionals. As a population genomics company, Color has three main goals, as stated on its website:
All Color genetic tests are ordered by a doctor. This can be through your own physician, or, if you are shopping for a testing product on your own, you can also just pay a $15 fee as part of your purchase on the Color website for an independent physician to order the test.
Because tests have to be ordered by a doctor, Color does work with insurance billing; however, to be eligible, you need to have your test ordered by your own doctor. Color's genetic testing labs are CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified.
Customers can expect to receive results within about four weeks of the lab processing their samples. You will also get email updates on the status of your testing results.
Color has created a program called “Color for All” that works with cancer clinics to offer free genetic testing to underserved community members. The genetics company is also working on several research projects with the following institutions:
Keep reading our Color genomics review to learn more about the pros and cons of using this DNA testing company.
Color offers some of the lowest-cost clinical-grade testing available in the marketplace. It uses custom-built software and a specially designed automated lab for genetic sequencing.
Compared to recreational DNA testing companies, Color’s genetic screening tests are more thorough and include medical input and family history information to help understand and interpret the results. Medical professionals can use the genetic testing results to better inform treatment plans and lifestyle choices.
Color tests focus on cancer risk, heart health, and medication response. You can choose between three testing products including Color Standard, Color Hereditary Cancer Test, and Color Extended. Color Extended is the most comprehensive test compared to the other options.
Color Standard (only available through healthcare providers or employers). Employers can use this test as an additional company benefit for employees. This test covers the CDC's 10 most actionable genes for public health:
It also tests for 14 genes related to commonly prescribed medications and 3 genes linked to high cholesterol.
This test analyzes the top 30 genes that help people understand their risk for the most common hereditary cancers. Some of the common cancers include breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, uterine cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer.
This test does not include any of the heart health or medication recommendations.
Color Extended offers everything in the Standard, the Hereditary Cancer Test, the Medication Response Genetic Test, and the Hereditary Heart Health Test. This option is best for customers who want a comprehensive overview of their genetic health and risk.
There are several discount offers available from Color genetic testing.
Family members can enroll in the Family Testing Program through the Color website. Color can confirm mutations from any clinical-grade lab, DTC testing like 23andMe, and third-party raw data analysis like Promethease.
Rather than just offering DTC health screening, that you order online and never talk to a doctor about, all Color tests have to be ordered by a physician. This can be done in two ways:
Color produces in-depth results that supply you and your healthcare provider with enough information to make educated decisions. The reports Each genetic report will indicate whether a mutation has been identified in your DNA code. The following information is included in your report:
If you take a DNA test from Color, you are eligible for a free one-on-one consultation with a board-certified Color genetic counselor or a clinical pharmacist. They can answer questions, review your test results, provide insight on how the results could impact genetic relatives, give tips for discussing the results with family members, or suggest questions you should ask your healthcare provider.
Color gives clients control over how data is used. Its service is also HIPPA compliant.
Anonymized genetic data is shared with public databases like ClinVar. You may also be asked to participate in research projects, but you can say no.
Once your sample has arrived back at the lab for testing, the timeframe for your results to be ready in about four weeks. This is much faster than many of the ancestry companies that also offer health screening.
Customers who opt-in to the free Color Discovery service will get more DNA insights related to their genetic information which include topics like ancestry and physical traits, e.g. earwax, facial features, and taste perceptions. Discovery is currently only available to customers within the United States.
Color accepts insurance billing for some of its tests, but only when an in-office provider orders the test. Insurance billing is not currently accepted for the Color Extended test — self-pay is the only option.
If your doctor has prescribed a Color test and you are able to use your insurance billing, please note that some insurers require prior authorization.
Color has a 30-day refund policy, as long as the sample has not yet been received by the lab. If the kit has already been shipped to you, your refund will be less shipping and a $25 cancellation fee.
Some DNA testing companies give you the option to upload your raw DNA data if you have taken a test with a third-party company. A DNA upload fee is often much cheaper than purchasing a regular DNA testing kit. Color does not offer any DNA upload options for individuals who have taken a DNA test with another company. You may want to take this into consideration if you have already purchased one or more DNA tests from competitors.
Color’s genetic testing results can be difficult to interpret for the average person. Customers can take advantage of the free genetic counseling offered with the purchase of a test. Customers consider waiting till you can meet with a genetic counselor or healthcare provider before trying to interpret their own results.
Tests related to hereditary risk can cause added worry and stress for individuals who discover a genetic mutation. A licensed professional will be able to help you determine if any lifestyle adjustments should be made and the level of risk.