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What do I do if I have no insurance, but need hormone replacemetn therapy? I am losing my hair and my mind is foggy. i have trouble remembering things. help!

By Anonymous February 1, 2009 - 7:13pm
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Hi, one of my friends has no insurance. She is experiencing hair loss and hormone imbalance. She has no insurance and is unemployed. She lives in North Hollywood, CA. Is there any hope fpor help?



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Along with the great suggestions of Alison and Diane, I would also suggest that you research all the doctors of whatever clinic you will attend. Even if the doctor is officially considered a "generalist", he or she will usually have specific interests or will have taken educational seminars on certain subjects.

For example, my children have seen two regular pediatricians but one had breastfeeding and autism as a specific "area of interest" and another had asthma and childhood asthma research. So a parent in need of any of the above would be able to pick one above the other, even though they are both "general" pediatricians.

Most doctors have their educations, residencies, bios and areas of interest listed on the clinic or associated hospitals websites. If not, you can always call the clinic or office and ask the office staff is any of the general doctors have an area of education or interest in menopause, womens studies or HRT. They will be the ones who know!

I hope your friend is able to get the help she needs. A lack of health insurance is a very unsettling way to live.

February 2, 2009 - 2:36pm

Anon, your friend might be able to get some help at a clinic that serves everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

The Valley Community Clinic is in North Hollywood on Coldwater Canyon Avenue. They are the family doctor for tens of thousands of people each year, and therefore they handle everything from vaccinations to family planning to diabetes management. They are a major training and education facility for medical residents from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and nurse practitioners from Harbor UCLA and Cal State Long Beach.

You definitely are going to get a generalist doctor here, but if you do some research ahead of time on your particular symptoms and different kinds of HRT and go with specific questions in hand, you will probably get some help and come away with a prescription for synthetic or bioidentical HRT that will get you started down the path, if that's what you and the doctor agree will help. Here's their page on women's health:


HRT does not tend to be a really expensive prescription, and if you go to a regular doctor, tell her or him that cost is a consideration. They can counsel you on the different formulas and on their costs; and most doctors will give a patient samples to get them started.

I am interested in how your friend knows her hormones are not in balance; is she having other symptoms of perimenopause or menopause? Hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, a feeling of "fogginess?" While she is working on getting some medical help, there are also some natural ways to cope with the symptoms:


My sister and her family were without health insurance for quite a few years. She found most doctors very willing to work with her regarding their rates if she paid cash. I know that might be hard for your friend to do right now, but perhaps just knowing that she can call and negotiate a lower rate will motivate her to try and see what happens.

February 2, 2009 - 10:10am

Here is the website for Clinical Trials (ran by the National Institutes of Health, or NIH): http://clinicaltrials.gov/

You can also call doctor's offices that would treat for hormonal imbalance and/or hair loss, and they may have some resources or know of clinical trials in your area.

February 1, 2009 - 8:15pm

I have two ideas for you, as I am in a somewhat similar situation (I have health insurance, but does not pay for allergy-related services).
1) Negotiate reduced rates with doctor/hospital for cash/in advance payment
2) Look for clinical trials in your area

I was told (have not tested this yet), that if you call the doctor's office (or lab, hospital, etc), and ask them:
1) What are your negotiated fees if I pay in cash?
2) What are your negotiated fees if I pay in advance?
3) What are your negotiated fees if I pay in cash and in advance?

The sad truth is, even individuals WITH health insurance do not have adequate coverage, and many of these people are paying their doctor bills, hospital bills, etc, "out-of-pocket" anyways. The health insurance companies negotiate with these services to lower the costs by about ONE THIRD! So, consumers are now doing the same thing (probably will not get close to 1/3 off, but you can negotiate a reduced rate). Perhaps your friend can cover the cost if it is considerably less (if she is able to pay in cash and in advance, that is).

I've heard of free clinics for some services (namely, STD and pregnancy-related), but unsure about other conditions. We'll keep searching for you!

My last thought: I'll look to see if there are any clinical trials in your area. You can go to www.medlineplus.gov to find clinical trials, that may offer some treatment (there is also the likelihood that your friend would be in the "no treatment" group, but would receive some basic doctor examinations for free).

February 1, 2009 - 8:10pm
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