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Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: diagnosed with hpv, need treatment, but no insurance


 spirate - Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:14 pm

I just graduated from college and therefore lost insurance coverage through my parents because I am no longer a full time student. I just received the results for a pap that I got while I still had insurance. The nurse said I had atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance and that they did a culture that came back positive for hpv. She said it was one of the high risk strains of hpv and that I needed to go for a colposcopy and biopsy. I have since moved back in with my parents in the Tampa area. Since I am uninsured I contacted the county health department and asked if there were any programs for hpv treatment for uninsured women and they said that they only offered std testing, and not treatment. They said anyone who tests positive for hpv is referred to regular gynecology clinics. So I called a nearby ob/gyn clinic and they said that I needed to make a consultation appointment before I make an appointment for a colposcopy. I asked if they worked out payment plans for people who were not able to pay everything upfront and they said no, and that a normal appointment would cost anywhere between $250-350, not including any labwork. She said they work payment plans for patients who have been established at the clinic for a while, and because I just moved into the area I don't have a relationship with any clinics around here. So I know I need at least 2 appointments and whatever labwork is necessary for the colposcopy. It sounds as if this process may end up costing like almost a thousand dollars. I just got out of school and I'm unemployed, with no insurance. I am wondering if family practice clinics perform these procedures as well, and if that would be a more financially-friendly option? Is $250-350 a visit normal for a gyn visit? I know how important it is to move forward with treatment because I don't want to get cervical cancer, but how am I supposed to pay for this? Please advise.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Feb 23, 2008 9:31 pm

User avatar Hello,
If I were you I would look hard for a job that offers insurance benefits. This is likely not an emergency but still you should follow up as soon as you can. If you get insurance soon through your employment and you show proof of the insurance you had with your parents, this will likely be covered as you would be continuously insured (there are provisions for a certain length of time between insurance as a rule). So, even if the job is not something you want to do long-term, focus on something you can live with in the meantime that offers insurance, get the treatment you need and continue your search for the job you want. I'm afraid this is "life in these United States." I assume that is where you live based on the information you gave about insurance. All too often we have to make employment decisions based on such things as health benefits but think of it as a temporary step towards something better down the road. In the meantime it doesn't hurt your resume either to have some work experience and references.

Other than this I really don't know what can be offered but some clinics do have sliding fees so you may just need to check around for facilities that offer charity care or reduced cost. You might try your local hospital to ask if they know of such clinics or possibly the local health department could tell you where to find one, even though they don't provide it themselves. If you have a teaching hospital in your state, perhaps that would also be a good resource. I'm not saying they will provide, but they may know how you can get assistance.

Good luck.

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