How Much Can Testosterone Replacement Therapy Cost?
- TRT costs can vary based on the treatment, dose, where you live and other factors.
- Lab work, physician fees, and medication costs also vary.
- TRT isn’t always covered by insurance, but you can often use an HSA or FSA to minimize out-of-pocket expenses.
Maybe you’ve already had a doctor suggest testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for symptons of low T. Or maybe you have a sneaking suspicion that your brain fog, low energy, or lack of libido are due to a shortage of testosterone, and are thinking about talking to a doctor about TRT. Either way, men in your shoes typically have similar questions: Will it work? Does self-injection hurt (most guys say it’s easier than they expected, fwiw), and, of course: how much can testosterone therapy cost?
TRT costs can vary, depending on the treatment, dose, where you live, and other factors. Let’s dig in.
What Is TRT?
Before talking about testosterone replacement therapy costs, it’s worth discussing what TRT is, and why you might be prescribed it in the first place.
TRT is used to treat clinically low levels of testosterone (an androgen hormone). Per the American Urological Association (AUA), that’s below 300 ng/dL.
Testosterone production peaks in your late teens and early twenties. As you hit middle age, your body starts to pump out less T—around 1 percent per year on average (1). The process that works like this:
- Your testes synthesize less testosterone
- Lower testicular T causes your hypothalamus to scale back production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH).
- Lowered GnRH causes your pituitary gland to produce less luteinizing hormone (LH)
- Lower LH ultimately results in lower total testosterone production.
How Do I Know If I Need TRT?
While declining testosterone levels with age is completely normal, many men’s levels can fall far below what the AUA categorizes as normal for their age (2).
If your T levels are below what they should be for your age, you’re most likely experiencing clinically significant testosterone deficiency—specifically, hypogonadism or low T.
The only way to know if your T levels are within the normal range for your age is with a blood test. You can talk to your doctor about testing your testosterone. You can also order Hone’s at-home hormone assessment, the cost of which includes an online consultation with a licensed, Hone-affiliated physician.
If you’re diagnosed with low testosterone, your doctor may recommend and prescribe testosterone replacement therapy to rebalance your hormone levels and help reduce or eliminate symptoms related to low T.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone Levels
If you have low testosterone, chances are you feel pretty lousy. Beyond day-to-day symptoms, low T can also impact your body’s ability to carry out critical functions, which can increase your risk for other serious health concerns, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Symptoms vary by person, but if you experience several or all of the below, it’s worth getting your T levels checked:
- Decreased muscle mass, stamina, strength
- Lack of energy
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Diminished sperm volume
- Weight gain or body fat redistribution (usually around your midsection or breast tissue)
- Brain fog
- Loss of facial or body hair
- Sleep problems
KNOW YOUR T
How Much Does Testosterone Treatment Cost?
One reason why men are apprehensive about TRT is its potential cost. That’s a valid concern—money doesn’t go as far as it used to and healthcare is notoriously expensive. But the costs associated with TRT treatment can vary, and they may not be as expensive as you think.
Testosterone replacement therapy is effective, and the costs associated with it depend on a number of factors:
- Your type of treatment/medication and the materials (like syringes) necessary to administer
- Whether there’s a generic, more affordable version of the medication
- Your dosage—if you require a greater quantity of treatment, it will likely cost more
- How severe your symptoms are
- How long you need treatment
- Your location—the cost of living varies throughout the United States
- Your pharmacy—there may be additional costs associated with your prescription
- Insurance plans
The best way to break down the costs is to list what treatment generally entails.
Blood Tests and Lab Work Costs
Assessing your hormones can be pricey, especially since the ensuing treatment is tailored to address specific hormonal deficiencies. Also factor in location: if you’re getting the test done in a lab or doctor’s office you might have a copay, which isn’t a factor if you collect your own sample and mail it to a lab.
A full, 8-hormone panel can cost as much as $800; some labs quote as much as $1,500 for a comprehensive range of tests that aren’t covered by insurance companies.
Performing at-home testing is a considerably more affordable option. However, it can still run anywhere from $80 to $350.
Hone’s at-home hormone assessment costs $45, and it includes all of the materials necessary for you to collect a blood sample and mail it to a partner lab.
Hone’s partner labs are accredited by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and, where applicable, by the College of American Pathologists (CAP). A lab’s accreditation means that it meets or exceeds all federal testing standards managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Medical Services Costs
Once the lab comes back with your results, you’ll schedule an appointment and have a video consultation with a physician that’s affiliated with Hone. (As we mentioned earlier, the cost of this appointment is included with the $45 at-home hormone assessment.)
Hone’s doctors specialize in endocrinology, urology, internal medicine and hormone replacement therapy. They will review all results with you and determine if you’re a viable candidate for TRT.
If you qualify for treatment, your physician will create a personalized plan and explain everything you need to know, including what to expect and any potential side effects of risks.
If you choose to undergo TRT through Hone, you’ll enroll in a subscription plan that costs $120/month, plus the cost of medication (more on that below). Your subscription plan includes:
- Free at-home monthly delivery of TRT medications and materials necessary for self-administering
- 2-day Fedex priority shipping on all orders filled through our partner pharmacies
- On-going medical support from our physician team
- On-going follow-up lab panels (at-home or on-site)
- On-going follow-up consultations with your physician (scheduled every three months)
It’s worth pointing out that the costs related to these services, much like those with blood and lab work, can range depending on factors like medication and dosage, location, and insurance eligibility. Regardless of whether you choose Hone for your hormone optimization needs, do your research before settling on a company.
Let’s say the doctor has determined that your deficient testosterone levels qualify you for TRT. How much will your prescription cost every month?
The same factors that determine the costs of lab/blood work and medical services also pertain to your out-of-pocket expenses for medication.
If you see an in-person doctor for treatment, chances are your costs will increase to cover office visits.
Hone’s at-home subscription includes the cost of supplies (like syringes and needles), but this isn’t the case with every at-home provider, so be sure to ask before you agree to any treatment.
Let’s look at the potential monthly cost of TRT medications:
Testosterone Injections Cost
Injectable testosterone are generally your most affordable TRT option. If you opt for injections, you’ll administer testosterone into the muscle or right under the skin.
Without insurance coverage, the cost of a single 200 mg/mL testosterone vial can range between $40 and $100 a month. Through Hone, a dosage of 200 mg/mL testosterone starts at $28/month. The price may change if you require a greater monthly dosage. The cost of your medication includes home delivery and the materials needed for injection.
Testosterone Cream Cost
A transdermal form of TRT you apply to specific regions of your body (usually the scrotal area), testosterone cream can cost as much as $500 a month.
When added onto Hone’s prescription plan, a monthly supply of testosterone cream begins at $60/month, with the price adjusted to accommodate your prescribed dosage.
Under-the-tongue lozenges are a popular alternative to self-injection and creams. Hone offers sublingual TRT starting at $60/month. The price is comparable if not better than most at-home testosterone firms offering troches as part of their subscription plans.
Oral Medication Costs
Testosterone tablets can pricey–anywhere from $100 to $300 a month.
Hone offers medications that are alternatives to testosterone, including clomiphene citrate and Anastrozole. These medications can treat symptoms and increase testosterone, without impacting fertility like TRT can (see risks below).
At Hone, clomiphene citrate starts at $38/month, and Anastrozole starts at $22/month.
Is TRT Covered by Insurance?
Some insurance plans cover medical treatment for low testosterone, others don’t.
Hone currently doesn’t accept insurance, but our treatment plans and medication are comparable to the co-pays offered by most insurance providers. For example, for a typical high deductible health plan (with a $1,000 deductible), one office visit and blood work alone could cost between $200-$600, services that are included in our monthly Hone membership at no additional cost.
Most in-person clinics will charge between $50-$100 per weekly visit for injections, which will likely cost more than your Hone treatment plan per month and require you to travel to a local clinic on a regular basis.
Furthermore, we accept Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) cards, a pre-taxed advantage that could keep your out-of-pocket expenses minimal.
What Is the Best Form of Testosterone Replacement Therapy?
Deciding which method of TRT is best for you is a tough question, and one that doesn’t necessarily have a wrong answer. Whether you choose injections, a topical cream, troche or oral tables, each method of treatment offers advantages and downsides.
Ultimately, it’s up to your doctor and you to determine what treatment options you’ll best respond to, which one can offer the greatest benefits and which might have side effects that may not agree with your body. When discussing with your physician, ask as many questions as possible so you can get a clearer picture and make an informed choice.
If your testosterone levels are clinically low, TRT can reduce or eliminate some of the symptoms that lead you to seek treatment in the first place.
Research shows that TRT may:
- Boost energy levels(3)
- Recharge your libido (3)
- Increase muscle strength (3)
- Help with weight loss (4)
- Sharpen your mental focus (5)
- Decrease inflammation (6)
Just like you’d notify your physician of any side effects, update them of any positive progress you see or feel.
It’s important to inform the doctor that you’re feeling better or seeing improvements in various aspects of your wellbeing. This way, they know that the prescribed treatment is properly working, and they can better determine what, if any, adjustment is necessary.
Why is that important? While you can stop TRT, in most cases, testosterone therapy is a lifelong commitment. Your body no longer naturally produces the same amount of testosterone it used to, so you need treatment to keep your levels balanced. And it’s not just a set course of treatment and you’re done; be aware that optimizing hormones can require constant balancing, and therefore continuous adjustment of dosage and frequency.
Hone’s at-home testosterone assessment is so easy you can knock it out before your AM coffee.
Right now you can save $15 on your test, which comes with a free physician consultation.
Why You Shouldn’t Get Your TRT Illegally
Despite radical advancements in recent years, testosterone replacement therapy continues to have a stigma attached to it. That makes many men feel uncomfortable about considering treatment, or worse—to purchase testosterone illegally.
Other men who don’t meet the clinical threshold for treatment seek illegal testosterone for benefits like:
- Bulking up muscle for bodybuilding or other athletic endeavors
- Improving sex drive/performance
- Losing weight
- Boosting energy and stamina
Purchasing illegal testosterone is a risky endeavor. For starters, when you buy testosterone without a prescription, you have no idea what you’re actually getting. Testosterone that’s sold on the black market isn’t subject to any government safety standards. As such, the medication may very well be expired, compromised, mislabeled or counterfeit.
Why risk irreversibly damaging the very thing you’re looking to preserve or improve — in this case, your body?
TRT is intended to help improve men’s health and their lives, but it’s prescribed only if your body truly needs it. Your doctor can recommend other alternatives that can help naturally boost your hormone levels, whether it’s supplements or altering your diet and exercise regimen.
Using TRT illegally only risks your health, and there’s no health professional to help monitor what it may be doing to you.
TRT VS STEROIDS
TRT Risks and Side Effects
Testosterone replacement therapy, even when administered and monitored properly, still comes with its share of possible risks. That’s why we can’t emphasize enough that going on any form of TRT must be approved, prescribed and continuously monitored by a physician.
Your healthcare provider will ensure that you’re taking the correct treatment and dosage, and adjust accordingly. They’ll also make sure that you aren’t experiencing side effects as a result of your treatment.
Potential risks of TRT, though rare, can include:
- Frequent need to urinate
- Fluid retention
- Acne or oily skin
- Lumps or hardening around injection site
There’s also a small possibility that more severe side effects can occur. If this happens, immediately consult with your physician. These side effects can include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Infertility or decreased sperm count
- Testicular shrinkage
- Worsening of obstructive sleep apnea
- Increase in cholesterol levels
- Abnormal spike in blood sugar levels, which can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
- Yellowing of the skin or around your eyes
- Uncomfortable swelling or enlargement of breast tissue (gynecomastia)
- Redness, warmth around lower leg area
- Unusual increase in red blood cell count, which can result in high blood pressure, joint/muscle pain, trouble with eyesight or thrombosis (blood clotting)
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is testosterone?
TRT costs vary depending on the type of treatment, dose, where you live, and whether or not insurance will help pay for treatment. If you choose testosterone injections through Hone, the medication starts at $28 per month. You’ll also pay a $120 monthly subscription fee which includes expedited shipping, supplies, and ongoing support from your medical team.
How much does a cycle of TRT cost?
Without insurance, the cost of a 200 mg/mL testosterone vial can range from $40 to $100 per month. Testosterone cream can cost as much as $500 per month.
Is TRT normally covered by insurance?
Your insurance plan may or may not cover TRT, so it’s important to check your plan. At this time, Hone is not able to accept insurance but check back as we’re working to change this.