Top surgery is covered by my health insurance! Time to pop the champagne?
Insurance companies covering trans*-related surgeries isn’t yet common for most employers and universities. Mine happens to cover, presenting me with what at first appears to be a “jackpot!”, followed by the realization that there’s a long rainbow to walk over to get to the gold.
Even a glance tells me that the requirements insurance companies place on us are much stricter than if you were paying out-of-pocket. As this account points out, many top surgeons require a letter from a therapist or doctor stating that surgery is the next step in your transition. Some surgeons do not even require a letter from a doctor, and instead ask for your informed consent. Insurance companies will likely require lengthier letters from all your clinicians, a letter from your prospective surgeon, and a requirement for a length of time you have expressed gender dysphoria to your clinicians (whether or not you acted upon it).
Androgel is a medical product. So, of course, it is generally obtained through medical veins. Let’s just say it: trans men do not have the easiest time getting what they need from the medical system. If Androgel is on your path, you might face a bevy of issues before you even get it — mostly around obtaining & affording it. Like with applying Androgel, there are many nuances to consider.
Obtaining Androgel (legally) requires a prescription from a medical professional. As simple as that statement is, even obtaining that prescription and walking out the pharmacy door with Androgel in your hands is not a clear-cut process. How that looks depends on a lot of important questions.
Do you have a doctor? Do you have insurance? Can you afford Androgel out-of-pocket, if necessary? What if your insurance covers injectable testosterone and not Androgel? How does your doctor file your request with the insurance company? How does the insurance company list your gender? How does your state handle refills? Are there any alternative products that are more affordable?
The answer to these questions can help determine your path to acquiring Androgel.