Medicare Is Stopping Hormone Replacement Therapy

Don’t lose your hormones, if you are well on them and reaching 65.┬áMedicare is stopping hormone replacement therapy, HRT, in women over 65.

Many of my older patients who have benefited from HRT for years are receiving letters as well as their doctors that HRT is lethal at their age and that their HRT needs to be stopped or will not be covered by insurance regardless of mode or method of administration. This is all based on data on the women’s health study which gave non Bioidentical estrogens and progesterone to women who has risks for heart disease and had not received any HRT for years until after they entered the study. Hormones after years of not having them can be toxic, this is no try for women who have always maintained normal levels after the menopause.

This is causing incredible anxiety and worry to women whose estrogens are being denied or acutely withdrawn from. They are told they will have to deal with it. There are things that can be done to protect our patients or the right of physicians and patients to continue to prescribe and receive their HRT with adequate informed consent.

Let your doctor know that there is documentation to keep you on your hormones if you are healthy. Though I always recommend switching to transdermal hormones because they do not have the risk of blood clotting because they do not pass liver metabolism. ( see my 2014 entries on Bioidentical hormones)

The journal Obstetrics and Gynecology which prints the ACOG guidelines. In the Jan 14issue are the updated menopause, HRT guidelines which SPECIFICALLY state that age (over 65) is not an automatic cut off to HRT. Your doctors can use this data for you prescription to be covered by insurance.

At big pharmacies like Walmart you can get the generic Climara patch, 0.1, one month supply for about $45. So if someone uses .025 you can cut patch into four pieces. Also JanDRug in Canada has reasonably cheap vagifem (vaginally estradiol) which addresses just vaginal dryness locally – very successfully used 2-3 times per week.

I hope this helps you and your doctors guide through this next money saving efforts to control health care expenses by continuing to control women’s options. I do not see anyone limiting testosterone use in men over 65!

Posted in Hormone Replacement Therapy