Blue Cross Covers Viagra But Not Estrogen

I’ve had that virus that’s been going around.  It’s a real doozy.  Started out at 3am on December 30.  I woke with the worst sore throat.  It felt like I’d swallowed shards of fiberglass and followed that up with some acid.

By that afternoon I had a sinus pressure headache and for the next nine days I’ve been coughing almost around the clock with copious amounts of nose blowing and expectorating.  My doctor finally prescribed antibiotics and a codeine cough syrup yesterday.  Walgreen’s still had antibiotics on hand but they were out, and are still out, of all forms of the cough syrup and don’t anticipate any more coming until March.  Yeah, that’s not a typo.  March, like the month after next.

Thanks, anti-vaxxers.  But I digress…

One of the other prescriptions I intended to pick up yesterday was estrogen patches.  Up until December 31, 2014 my HealthNet insurance policy (which was discontinued that day) covered a percentage  of that prescription, leaving my co-pay around $39.  As of January 1, 2015 the generic version of that prescription is $75 and my new policy at Blue Cross doesn’t cover any of that.  Zero.

HOWEVER, I called my health insurance agent and we should all be pleased to learn that Blue Cross DOES cover ED (Erectile Dysfunction) medications like Viagra and Cialis.  Not surprisingly, the pharmaceutical companies lobbied for this coverage citing:

“Erectile dysfunction (ED) can profoundly affect men’s self-esteem,  marriages and families. Our experience to date, which includes widespread prescribing and comprehensive safety monitoring, confirms that Viagra is a safe and effective breakthrough that should be reimbursed by health plans.”

Well, that is a compelling “argument” and we all know how important men’s self-esteem is.  You are probably asking yourself, what benefits could estrogen provide to women that could possibly compare to that?  According to the National Cancer Institute, a study by the Women’s Health Initiative showed that some of the benefits of estrogen therapy include:

“For women in their 50s, for example, estrogen therapy showed the benefit of a decreased risk of heart disease and mortality. But, among women in their 70s, those same risks were increased. The study also noted that a decreased breast cancer risk was associated with estrogen use, regardless of age.

Other benefits of estrogen therapy include restoring elasticity and lubrication to vaginal tissue. Not only can vaginal atrophy and dryness drop kick your libido right out the window, but urinary incontinence (associated with lack of tone with vaginal tissue) and increased risk for infections can become a problem as well.

Another benefit of estrogen therapy which doesn’t get much air play, is that “good” cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL), tends to decrease with the loss of estrogen, and “bad” cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) tends to increase, which raises the risk of heart disease.

It is low estrogen levels which are associated with those dreaded hot flashes and night sweats during perimenopause and menopause. During my own years in perimenopause, I addressed hot flashes and night sweats by drinking soy milk every day, which contains phytoestrogens (plant based).

In proper balance, estrogen also helps with mood disorders. There is plenty of evidence which shows that too much estrogen, or estrogen dominance, contributes to raging mood swings. However, when properly balanced with progesterone, estrogen stabilizes mood swings and irritability by raising serotonin levels in the brain. “

Not to mention building bone density, which is one of the reasons I take it.

Can someone PLEASE tell me why men having erections and, thereby, having better self-esteem is more important than all the benefits than estrogen provides to women?  Could it be sexual discrimination and old, bald white men running the show–trying further to keep women under their thumbs?

Yes.  Yes, I will be talking to an attorney.

 

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About girl du jour

Smart. Opinionated. Refreshingly Honest.
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6 Responses to Blue Cross Covers Viagra But Not Estrogen

  1. Polly Grace-Molony says:

    THIS is the kind of Shit that drives me crazy!!! It’s the same thing as Insurance Companies paying for Vasectomies (obviously, for one reason only…..men not reproducing!)but not for Birth Control for Women! How can these “old white men” justify the blatantly sexist double standards that allow these discrepancies in Men and Women’s Health Care Coverage? HOW?

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  2. girl du jour says:

    Call an attorney. This is discrimination!

    Like

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  4. ObviouslyTravis says:

    This entire page is incorrect. I am 42m with BCBS-TX. I was prescribed Cialis for ED and this medication, as well as all ED meds, are not covered. If I want any ED drug, I pay cash. Blue Cross Blue Shield does not cover any ED drug for ED.

    Let me repeat – actually let me quote verbatim from BCBS’ benefits book I hold for my coverage – Under section ‘Pharmacy Benefits – Limitations and exclusions – #18 – Drugs to treat sexual dysfunction including but not limited to sildenafil cirate, phentolamine, apomorphine, and alprostadil in oral and topical form.’

    Understood? Not included are ED drugs.

    Now, Cialis may approved for BPH – a condition which causes the male urinary tract to close up. Cialis prevents this closure from occurring by increasing blood flow slightly which greatly assists in urinary function – it opens the tube so the flow can release (to be blunt).

    Now I don’t think we should truly complain about men being helped to urinate properly, right?

    If requested, I can upload images from the BCBS policy book to imgr for all to see.

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  5. girl du jour says:

    I am writing about my own personal experience. Perhaps you should not assume that you are always correct.

    Like

  6. girl du jour says:

    Welp… I’m in California. Perhaps you should be railing on Rick Perry instead of me.

    Like

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