I really don’t think I need to go into much detail about the rising costs of healthcare. We all are having higher deductibles or higher premiums to get health insurance along with the cutbacks in coverage from your current provider. We are all feeling the pain.
The one aspect that really gets to me is that most insurances do not cover what helps us significantly: Bioidentical Hormone Therapy. Get real folks, the government (Medicare) and most of all the other private insurances do not pay for substances that are exactly like what our body’s make. The Natural Hormones that we use are molecularly identical to what our own body produces, and they want us to purchase all the costs involved in using these natural substances?
Ask most people in the United States; “Who has the best healthcare in the world?”, and the majority would undoubtedly say America. Well that is true in some areas, but the reality is that the World Health Organization (WHO) has consistently ranked the U.S. around the 26th spot globally.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement has been around for many years. Europe has utilized it for about 40-50 years. There are even some older physicians that have been using it in the U.S., unnoticed for the last 20 years or so. So what am I leading up to here? I am certainly not putting down our Healthcare system. We all know it is indeed very much in need of help. My motive is more along the lines of what you could or can do to try and lower the cost to you by urging insurance companies to cover hormone replacement as much as possible by writing, phoning, email, or whatever means you like asking for coverage of these hormones.
Possible reasons why hormones are not covered by most insurances:
1. Mainstream medicine does not consider andropause a serious enough syndrome to warrant treatment. If they do, they will only cover synthetic replacement as they are FDA approved. While symptomatic menopause has been recognized for some time, again treatment with synthetic meds has been the treatment of choice for many years despite the negative aspects of this type of treatment. The American Menopause Community now recommends using synthetic hormones “in as low a dose as possible for as little time as possible”! Do you want to take a medicine with that kind of warning?
2. It is very difficult or almost impossible to get natural hormones approved by the FDA for 5 primary reasons.
a. They are custom made and coming from natural ingredients, or ‘compounded’ so the exact makeup may differ from one pharmacy to another. These differences are not ‘bad’; it is due to the customization per patient. At Pointe Med, each compound is tested for sterility and concentration by our pharmacy.
b. The hormones are made from natural substances and no synthetic materials are added. Drug companies have no interest in doing research for the FDA approval or producing it as there is no profit for them. Since they cannot market it as a drug, they cannot make a profit.
c. The FDA and drug companies are both facing this exact same scenario in treating andropause/menopause/perimenopause. This is complicated even more so since there has been so much controversy over utilization of synthetic hormones for women (which are covered by insurances as they are FDA approved). The synthetic variety has been found to be harmful and mostly ineffective. The Women’s Health Initiative Study and many other studies have proven that they are cancer causing, along with other untoward effects such as blood clots and cardiac issues, just for starters. The WHO has declared them as definitely carcinogenic, along with birth control pills.
d. Ignorance of the standard medical community not understanding how BHRT works, the safety and benefits it provides your body, and the proven good results time and again. Resistance to change and/or using something natural instead of synthetic.
e. There have been no U.S. backed formal scientific studies (usually funded by the pharmaceutical companies) using the traditional double blind placebo controlled method. Successful studies of this type would gain FDA approval. They have been done in other countries.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Have you ever heard that old expression “The squeaky wheel gets the grease?” That is what you can do……..be squeaky! Contact your insurance company, your local and/or national politician, congressman, senator, governor or even President Obama too! Tell them your stories. A strong emotional letter relaying the positive side of BHRT in quantity will be noticed. (By the way, one unofficial study/survey suggested that most senators and congressional women use BHRT!) This has to start as a grass roots effort, and it has already begun. BHRT is the fastest growing area of medicine currently. If you all can keep the ball rolling…….who knows, maybe the powers to be will become intelligent and get these valuable natural non-synthetic hormones approved entirely by the FDA. Then and only then, will insurances be required to cover them.
The sobering thought to all of this is, until that day comes, thousands of women will be prescribed an ineffective, cancer causing, synthetic medicine that has been proven to be a carcinogenic, like Premarin or Prempro. The prescribing MD and patient both believe that these medicines are fine. They are not, and many will contract breast cancer due to the composition of these medications, and most men will go untreated as well.
Be angry at our government! Let them know you do not want any of these synthetic medications on the market! They are unsafe, killers, and the government, FDA, and many physicians know this!
You may think the BHRT we supply is expensive. Well, compared to a $10.00 co-pay or even a $30.00 co-pay for brand drugs, our hormones are costly. Dr. Bernard and the Pharmacy have cut the costs of making (compounding) the hormones as much as can be allowed. There are significant costs in machinery, pharmacists, pharmacy staff, obtaining the raw material, etc. but a business can only price down so far. A profit has to be made or we would not be here to supply you with the care and treatment that you receive.
You can have an impact on health care! Compose a short letter and put one in the mail every week to whoever represents you. Just make copies and mail, or keep a draft and email out every other day. Quantity is the answer here. Once approval is granted, and it will be at some point, then YOU will have the $10.00 co-pay for which you are paying much more for as it is now. Take charge of your healthcare and also the health of all of us! Just as the cost may be a hardship for you, many people cannot afford it at all.
As Nike used to say………JUST DO IT! We would much rather keep costs down and enable all to get the remarkable results that Natural Hormone Replacement gives.