BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Medical Policy Manual

Genetic Testing for Mental Health Conditions

Does Not Apply to Commercial Genetic Testing Program effective 6/1/2018


Individual genes and genetic variances have been associated with certain mental health disorders. Individual and panel genetic tests have been proposed as a diagnostic tool and a predictor of risk for several mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, depression, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive disorder and substance-related and addictive disorders. Genetic variants that have been implicated in mental health disorders include, but are not limited to:

Commercially available testing panels include several of these genes (e.g., Mental Health DNA Insight™ panel) and are intended to aid in the risk assessment or diagnosis of mental health disorders.




Although studies have suggested that there may be a number of genetic variants associated with increased risk of mental health disorders, estimates of the increased risk vary across studies. There is a lack of evidence available to evaluate how testing for genetic variants improves net health outcomes.


BlueCross BlueShield Association. Evidence Positioning System. (8:2020). Genetic testing for diagnosis and management of mental health conditions (2.04.110). Retrieved February 10, 2021 from (34 articles and/or guidelines reviewed)

Gatt, J., Burton, K., Williams, L., & Schofield, P. (2015). Specific and common genes implicated across major mental disorders: a review of meta-analysis studies. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 60, 1-13. Abstract retrieved July 18, 2016 from PubMed database.

Jiang, H., Qiao, F., Li, Z., Zhang, Y., Cheng, Y., Xu, X., & Yu, L. (2015). Evaluating the association between CACNA1C rs1006737 and schizophrenia risk: a meta-analysis. Asia Pacific Psychiatry, 7 (3), 260-267. Abstract retrieved July 18, 2016 from PubMed database.

Liu, L., Fan, D., Ding, H., Hu, Y., Cai, G., Wang, L., et al. (2014). The relationship between DRD2 gene polymorphisms (C957T and C939T) and schizophrenia: a meta-analysis. Neuroscience Letters, 583, 43-48. Abstract retrieved July 18, 2016 from PubMed database.

McGrath, L., Cornelis, M., Lee, P., Robinson, E., Duncan, L., Barnett, J., et al. (2013). Genetic predictors of risk and resilience in psychiatric disorders: A cross-disorder genome-wide association study of functional impairment in major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 0 (8), 779–788. (Level 1 evidence)

Pasman, J.S., Verwejj, K.J.H., & Vink, J.M. (2019). Systematic Review of polygenic gene–environment interaction in tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis use. Behavior Genetics, 49 (4), 349-365. (Level 2 evidence)




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