How to get started with HRT/GAHT at FOLX

If you’ve been thinking about trying hormones or had questions about how FOLX HRT works, we’ve got you covered in this guide on how to get started on your gender-affirming hormone therapy journey with us.

January 4, 2022
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Congratulations on beginning your gender-affirming hormone replacement therapy (GAHT) journey, and happy new birthday! We’re so excited to have you as part of the FOLX community. We believe that trans health care can and should be different. We approach healthcare differently at FOLX, starting with our telehealth model. Which means that everything you need for your gender journey will be available to you digitally. That includes all aspects of virtual healthcare: visits with an LGBTQ+ affirming clinician, labs, medication shipped to your door, 24/7 support, and exclusive content just for members. No more long waits in sterile waiting rooms only to be seen by doctors who don’t get it.

Whether you want to embark on a feminizing or a masculinizing journey or no matter how you identify on the gender spectrum (non-binary, gender-variant, transmasculine, transfeminine, female-to-male, to male-to-female), FOLX will always respect your gender identity. At FOLX, we believe in informed consent, which means that you choose how you want to move through this journey with your body. Remember: your body, your consent. So at any point during this process, if you want to change your dosage of medication, add medication, or take a pause, just know that you are in control. 

With that said, if you’re all set to get started there are a few things to know for our version of an intake. Read below for what you should expect from the process and where we’ll need you to pay extra attention so that we can care for you in the best way possible. To understand how pricing works, read our article How Pricing Works at FOLX.

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HRT Labs

Types of labs

At FOLX, we run basic labs associated with HRT to assess hormone levels and monitor the impact hormones can have on your health. To keep costs low for our members, we only run labs that are necessary for the care we are providing.


Frequency of labs

We’ll monitor your hormone levels every three months, and after 2-4 rounds of labs, we will generally find your resting dose. From that point forward, we recommend getting labs drawn every year for however long you’re taking hormones to keep an eye on your health and adjust if needed. 

Lab fees

Pricing varies based on your insurance, location and where you get your labs done. You can learn more about specific pricing by discussing it with your clincian and reading this article.

Scheduling labs

Your clinician will work closely with you to let you know when labs need to be completed. The process can vary depending on if you are receiving labs at a Quest or other location. For a step-by-step guide to getting your labs quickly and easily, read our article on labs here.

Getting your labs done

No need to fast! The labs we are checking are not impacted by meals. Just make sure you are having your labs drawn at the right time based on if you are taking injections, sublingual tablets, or gel. 

  • If you are on injections, the best time to get labs is half-way in between your injections (or about 3-4 days after your last injection). 
  • If you are on sublingual tablets, it is best to either get the labs before your morning dose, or to wait at least 6 hours after your last dose.
  • If you are using T gel, please hold your gel application on the day of your appointment, until after your blood is drawn.

Once we have your results, your clinician will review them and reach out to you with their interpretation. 

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FOLX Member Account

We have our member self-service portal so you can update your address, billing information, and photo ID whenever you need to.

Once you log in to your account on the FOLX homepage (top right corner) After signing in, you'll see your member dashboard. Here you can schedule appointments, message your clinician or our member support team, as well as join the FOLX Community Platform. To learn how to use our community platform, visit here.

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Appointments with your clincian

After your first appointment, you can schedule any future calls with your clinician whenever you like.

Anytime you'd like to schedule a visit with your clinician you can visit this page.

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Medication and refills

The cost varies based on the medication(s) you are taking and which dosages. We have discounted rates from our FOLX pharmacy and you can get your meds delivered. See pricing details for the FOLX pharmacy here. You can also use your local pharmacy, with insurance (see below for details), or check out GoodRx for coupons if you don’t have insurance.

Testosterone is a controlled substance that is shipped via FedEx. Your signature will be required and this cannot be sent to a PO box. 

Your clinician will discuss your medication and refill options based on your location, insurance, and specific dosage. To avoid any delay in your next delivery, we recommend having labs done at Quest at least two weeks before your refill is due.

Keep an eye out for a “Refill Survey” message from your clinician! These are just a few questions to make sure we are on track with your dose and to monitor safety measures. Your response to these questions is very important. Based on your response, we can determine if we need to make any changes to your doses for your next prescription. We do not know what the cost of medication at the pharmacy will be, so it may be more or less than the cost through TruePill.

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Billing

All FOLX members pay a membership fee ($39.99/month or $299 annually) for access to our services. This gives you access to all member benefits, including the ability to book and see an LGBTQIA+ expert clinician within a few days, message with your clinical team (including nurses and medical assistants) and our Member Navigation team for questions or referrals, prescriptions sent to our partner pharmacy for delivery right to your door (or we can send to your local pharmacy), access to our FOLX Community Platform to connect with others and explore resources, support groups, and more.

You’ll pay a fee for each visit with a clinician. This fee is higher for the initial consultation ($159), and then each follow-up visit is $79 (with the exception of 1-1 therapy, which is available in select states for $149 a visit). See below for how you may be able to use your insurance for visits. You can see a clinician about gender-affirming care, primary and preventive care, sexual and reproductive health care, and mental health care (depression and anxiety medication management is available through primary care, and we also offer 1-1 therapy in select states).

If you need to change your payment method, log into the member service portal and update your card information there. 

Insurance

FOLX works with select insurance companies to provide lower costs to you. We refer to these as in-network with FOLX. We are continuing to add more in-network insurance plans, but we currently partner with:

  • Blue Shield of California (BSC)
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX)
  • Cigna (national coverage)
  • Evernorth (part of Cigna): Behavioral Health services in Florida
  • Optum: Behavioral Health service in Colorado and Florida

You may be saying, what if I have insurance, but it’s not one of the in-network insurance plans above? While you won’t be able to use your insurance for visits with FOLX, you can still use it for medication at your local pharmacy.

If you do not have insurance, the "billing" section above outlines our out-of-pocket costs.

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FOLX Health is the first digital healthcare company designed by and for the LGBTQIA+ community. Our services include virtual primary care, gender-affirming hormone therapy including estrogen and testosterone (HRT), mental health care, sexual and reproductive health care, preventive care, and fertility consultations. FOLX memberships give you access to LGBTQIA+ expert clinicians, peer support, thousands of LGBTQIA+ resources, and more. Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-conforming, or nonbinary, you can find LGBTQIA+-specialized health care that helps you meet your wellness goals. FOLX Health is health care that's queer all year. Get all the benefits of becoming a FOLX member and sign up today!

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