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Humana Broadens Coverage of NIPT for Average Risk Pregnancies

NEW YORK – Natera confirmed Thursday that insurance giant Humana has expanded its coverage for non-invasive prenatal testing to all singleton pregnancies, including those with average risk.

The expansion follows broader coverage for NIPT from other insurers, including Centene and Aetna, following guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supporting NIPT for all patients, regardless of maternal age or baseline risk.

According to Natera, Humana's expanded policy covers an added 17 million patients, with a total of 139 million covered patients in the US for average risk NIPT. Under Humana's policy, patients are covered for multiple marker screening with or without two-dimensional ultrasonography or sequencing-based tests in single gestation pregnancy, using cfDNA for fetal trisomy aneuploidy.

"The average risk NIPT market still remains highly underpenetrated," Ramesh Hariharan, general manager for Natera's women's health business, said in a statement. "Increased insurance coverage, as well as improved society guidelines, are the key drivers for unlocking volume growth and improving test economics."

Natera's Panorama test can be used nine weeks into pregnancy or later and analyzes fetal or placental DNA to assess the risk of aneuploidies using single-nucleotide polymorphism-based technology, the firm said.

Earlier this week, Cowen analyst Doug Schenkel noted the expanded coverage decision and wrote "momentum continues to build and the outlook for [Natera's] NIPT business has never been better."