The medical field is full of innovations that revolutionize and oftentimes extend the quality of life for individuals. Antibiotics for instance drastically improved the average lifespan. While these innovations have the ability to revolutionize the world, developing these treatments is only half of the story.
An often overlooked aspect of medicine is the cost and associated availability of medications and treatments. Cost of treatment and access can oftentimes pose a barrier for people to receive treatments that could otherwise improve their health in some capacity.
Testosterone replacement therapy is becoming an increasingly more available treatment option for those that have lower than ideal testosterone levels, which usually leads to issues like erectile dysfunction, changes in mood like irritability or depression, fatigue, increase in body fat, low libido (i.e. low sex drive), and more.
In its early years, testosterone therapy was a treatment for only those with high disposable income and could afford the high out of pocket costs of a visit to a specialized endocrinologist.
With the power of telemedicine, Elite HRT is able to offer consultations and testosterone therapy in an easily accessible way that allows more men to have access to testosterone treatment and hormone therapy.
Simply follow the Elite HRT process and you could be on your way to receiving a highly personalized hormone replacement therapy to help any hormone deficiencies you may have.
What is Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Testosterone replacement therapy is a form of therapy that aims to adjust testosterone levels in the body through medical means. Levels of testosterone can be increased through the direct supplementation of testosterone as well as utilizing other indirect medications that help aid an elevation in testosterone levels.
Testosterone therapy is typically utilized in people that have a testosterone deficiency or have lower than normal testosterone within their body. A common cause of lowered testosterone is increased age. As men age testosterone levels can see a steady decline with each passing year after your young adulthood. This can result in symptoms such as lethargy, decreased muscle mass, decreased libido, and many others. Testosterone replacement therapy offers men the ability to minimize these symptoms and have a greater sense of wellbeing.
The direct supplementation of testosterone is typically administered through an injection. The body naturally releases testosterone into the bloodstream and by directly injecting testosterone, you are able to directly influence the amount of testosterone available in the blood.
Indirect supplementation of testosterone is typically also an injection, but rather than injecting testosterone, you inject a molecule that causes the body to have more testosterone. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone (HCG) for instance, is a molecule that signals the testicles to produce more testosterone. Typically, indirect testosterone therapy treatments are done in addition to direct testosterone supplementation to avoid unwanted side effects and to allow the treatment to be more effective.
Does Insurance Cover Testosterone Injections?
Medicine and treatments do not come at a cheap price which is a large reason why medical insurance exists. Medical insurance is meant to be a means of allowing people to seek medical treatment without having to directly worry about the cost. While insurance is generally good about footing the bill for routine and common issues and medications, when it comes to interventions that are deemed as optional insurers fall short.
Even with its ability to greatly improve an individual’s wellbeing, testosterone therapy is not normally covered under insurance. To insurers, testosterone therapy is viewed as a medically unnecessary treatment and therefore seen as elective. The discrepancy of medical necessity ultimately falls to the opinion of the insurer.
So while your physician may recommend testosterone replacement therapy as a means of improving your wellbeing, insurance is unlikely to cover the treatment.
What Impacts the Cost of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Since testosterone therapy is not covered under insurance, it is important to understand the costs associated with treatment. When looking at testosterone supplementation alone, you could expect to pay less than a few hundred dollars a month. Typically testosterone is only given a few times a month and the price is heavily dependent on a number of different factors.
Length of Treatment
The length of treatment refers to the amount of time you are on testosterone replacement therapy. While this factor does not play a role in your month-to-month costs, it does contribute to how much you will spend in the long run. It is important to consider the length of time you will be on the medication to ensure you have the funds to continue treatment for your desired amount of time.
The dose is another factor that can contribute to the cost of testosterone replacement therapy. Dose refers to the amount of testosterone given at one time. The dose that is prescribed is derived from the extent of your symptoms and blood tests. The prescriber takes these factors into account and decides on an appropriate dose.
Dose impacts the cost of treatment because the more testosterone being administered means the price will be higher. Because the dose varies from person to person, the cost of treatment is hard to generalize. One person could require a small dose, while another could require two to three times that dose to achieve similar results.
A common oversight when looking at the factors that contribute to the cost of treatment in the clinic. Physical clinics require many different roles and positions to function. Hiring staff, taking buying insurance, renting an office space, and paying utilities all add up to a high overhead for a clinic. To offset these costs, clinics tend to charge higher for consultations with healthcare providers and all sorts of various fees, especially when it comes to the in-house lab work fees they charge for a simple blood test.
With the power of telemedicine, these high overhead costs can be removed. Telemedicine allows clinicians to have direct interactions with their patients without having to pay high overhead costs associated with a traditional office visit.
With lower costs to the medical care team, they are able to offer visits and treatments at a better rate than their physical counterparts. Additionally, telemedicine allows patients to save money on gas and allows them the option to have prescriptions delivered straight to their homes.
Form of Testosterone
The different forms of testosterone are also another factor to consider when trying to estimate cost. While testosterone injections are a common route of administration, other forms of testosterone are available. Testosterone can come in a cream, nasal gel, injection, patches, and pellets. Injections can also come in a variety of different forms including testosterone cypionate, testosterone propionate, and testosterone enanthate.
While all of these forms of testosterone aim to elevate testosterone levels in the body, they achieve it through different internal mechanisms. Both the mechanism of action and cost can vary from option to option. At EliteHRT, our specialized care team will ensure that you get the best option for your personalized TRT.
Additional Costs of Testosterone Replacement Therapy
While testosterone can be given by itself, pairing it with other medications can ensure that you get the absolute most out of your treatment and experience fewer side effects associated with TRT. Both HCG and estrogen blockers can be added to a TRT plan to help. These additional medicines add to the cost of treatment but can make a large and meaningful difference in the treatment plan.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone (HCG)
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone (HCG) is a hormone that causes the testicles to produce testosterone. When going through TRT treatment, there is a risk of testicular atrophy which is caused by insufficient use and the need for the testicles to produce testosterone. Because you are supplementing testosterone, you are essentially bypassing the body’s natural testosterone-producing pathway. After extended TRT, this can result in poorer testosterone levels.
To help minimize the chance of testicular atrophy, HCG can be prescribed alongside testosterone to force the testicles to continue producing testosterone while on TRT. This can allow individuals to reap the benefit of TRT with a minimized risk of reduced testosterone production following treatment.
Another potential side effect of testosterone therapy is an increased chance of developing breasts. While it can seem counterintuitive that testosterone could cause the development of breasts, it is indeed a potential side effect.
Testosterone within the body is easily converted into estrogen through an enzyme known as aromatase. When undergoing TRT, testosterone levels are elevated which means that aromatase can convert more testosterone into estrogen. Elevated estrogen levels can then cause a number of adverse side effects including the development of breasts.
Estrogen blockers are essentially inhibitors of the aromatase enzyme. They can be added in addition to TRT to ensure that testosterone levels remain more consistent and to ensure excessive levels of estrogen do not occur.
In summary, testosterone replacement therapy is a great investment into your overall wellbeing and health. A testosterone deficiency can seem to put your life on hold and can hinder you from experiencing life to its best. Spending a couple of hundred dollars a month for a good and reputable TRT treatment could allow you to spend more time enjoying life and less time feeling fatigued and having the burden associated with symptoms of low testosterone.
To have the best understanding of the costs associated with a specialized TRT plan, a wellness consultant at Elite HRT can guide you through the associated costs and provide a more thorough explanation of what to expect out of your treatment plan.