How much does Testosterone Therapy Cost? (Cash Patients)
The cost of TRT can vary depending on whether or not you’re a cash patient or insured. If you’re insured you might have to follow a strict set of guidlines before the insurance company will reimburse your costs. For example Blue Shield and Anthem require that you take 2 Testosterone Tests before 10am to prove that you do in fact have low T levels. (Which in all fairness is reasonable. TRT is a serious condition and should never be started unless you’re absolutely sure you have a testosterone deficiency)
In this article I’ll be covering the cost of treatment for those without insurance. (As was my case prior to finally obtaining health insurance this year)
Gel Packets (Androgel)
The proper method of testosterone delivery for you is a matter for your physician to determine; however, some find that gel packets (Such as Androgel) are more convenient than injection. Additionally a slow spread out dosage of Testosterone can result in lower estrogen levels vs injecting a higher dose weekly. While prices vary depending on where you live, you can expect to pay roughly $300 a month for a 30 days supply of 50mg gel packets. 25mg packets are cheaper but only by 10-15 dollars.
On the flip side there can be a risk of unintentional transmittal to children or others with whom you may have physical contact with the use of gels. Testosterone patches can create a significant rash at the site of application, or do not stick well, especially in the summer months. Experience has shown that gels and patches may require dosage adjustments to obtain medically appropriate blood concentrations and some patients may never absorb enough testosterone from gels or patches to improve symptoms. That brings is to our second option:
Intramuscular Injection (Testosterone Cypionate)
Testosterone Cypionate is the most popular serum for those using the intramuscular injection method. It’s also signatifinacly cheaper than the newly released Gel packets. This is the method I choose when I first started TRT because I lacked health insurance. (Merica’) T. Cypionate generally costs between $40-$60 for a 10ml 2000mg bottle. At a dosage of say 100mg a week (on the lower side) you’re looking at a solid 2 months supply for a fraction of the cost of Androgel.
I find that the injection method is extremely effective at raising your testosterone levels. Though it’s not without its side effects. (See: High Estradiol)
You’ll also need syringes which at Wal Mart cost roughly .80c a piece.
Physician Visits & Blood Tests
If the high cost of medication wasn’t bad enough, blood work and doctor’s visits is where it really starts to pain the wallet. Most offices offer some type of cash discount and in my case it was $65 per visit. You’ll need to obtain at least one blood test for low Testosterone which can set you back roughly $150.00 per test. At some point you’ll need to test your estrogen levels which generally runs $280 + per test. Keep in mind most doctors will want these tests done bi-weekly/monthly when you first start and every 6 months after your T levels have stabilized. (I can’t help but laugh at this statement actually, I’m not sure it ever fully stabilizes)
- Testosterone Cypionate – $60
- Syringes – $4
- Generally Blood Test – $60
- Testosterone Test – $150
- Estrogen Test – $280
- Doctor’s Visit. First and follow up: $120
Fear not, there are way to save money! I wished I’d known then what I know as I could have saved myself hundreds of dollars.
How to Save Money on Blood Work:
There are a few discount blood work websites that while at first seem completely shady are actually genuinely legitimate. I was nervous the first time I order my tests online but was willing to take the risk if it meant saving money. https://www.directlabs.com/ is probably the most popular by far. However my go to website has been Health One Labs. They offer the following tests at a huge discount:
Estradiol, Testosterone (Total & Free) Package: $65.00
When I first had success with this site I was both relieved at the amount of money I saved and pissed I didn’t know about it sooner. (I am in no way affiliated with Health One, but they have saved me hundreds of dollars) Another benefit is the fact that you can pull your own labs when you’re curious about your T and E2 levels without breaking the bank. (And keeping your insurance company of your back)
ADMIN EDIT: 6/14/2017 – A few of our readers have asked if I am are affiliated with the above website. I am not. I am neither paid nor receive any benefit from posting the link above. I actually no longer use them as I now have health insurance (Thanks Obama). When I was without insurance, that website was a life saver. I still highly recommend using these types of websites to avoid paying some serious out of pocket expenses.
Using GoodRX to compare prescription prices in your area
GoodRX is a fantastic website you’ll hear me talking about often. After finding out I had low testosterone I knew I’d need to take some kind of medication. I’d heard about the gels and knew they were expensive. GoodRX allowed me compare the price difference between Gels and Serums. I still use it when checking the cost of Arimidex (Wal Mart usually has the cheapest price out here in California) In some cases it’s helped me save as much as $40 on testosterone cypionate.