Direct-to-consumer genetics testing firm 23andMe has moved to a subscription-based pricing plan that now includes a one year contract and an additional charge of $5 per month.
Along with the change in pricing, the company has done away with its separate Ancestry Edition and Health Edition products, which are now part of one service, called Complete Edition, that the firm offers. The base price for the testing service remains at $499.
The Ancestry and Health Edition products were launched a year ago by 23andMe.
The changes took effect on Nov. 22. After the initial year expires, the contract will go to a month-to-month model, and customers will be able to cancel their contract at any time, a spokeswoman for Mountain View, Calif.-based 23andMe said.
In an e-mail, she said the new monthly charge is based on the company’s need to update its test and customers’ test results as new genetic discoveries are made. The company’s scientific team continually evaluates the latest scientific studies on genetic associations and on average incorporates two to five new genetic discoveries into 23andMe’s service each month.
In a separate announcement today, 23andMe said that it has transitioned to the third version of its genotyping array, enabling it to test approximately one million SNPs. Customers who purchase the 23andMe Personal Genome Service today or after will have their DNA tested on the new version of the array, it said. The new chip nearly doubles the number of SNPs for which the firm previously tested.