My health insurance does NOT cover any of the costs for getting Gardasil, the shot to prevent Human Papillomavirus (HPV). For those of you who do not know about HPV, certain types of HPV cause genital warts or cervical cancer. Every year, about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and almost 4,000 women die from this disease in the U.S. (CDC, 2008). This is why it's a great idea to protect yourself just like any other vaccination. Currently, the series of three shots to become protected costs around $375 total ($125/dose). Right now, I am covered by my mothers insurance because she is a NYS school teacher. Apparently, BlueCross Blue Shield insurance (very common) does not cover ANY of this large expense. In my opinion, this vaccination should become as ordinary and common as the Meningitis shot or Hep. B shot. Considering the amount of males and females who are sexually active before marriage it seems fairly reasonable to have it as a protective measure. My suggestion is that all insurance companies should cover Gardasil for men and women (if they opt to get it) just like all of the other required shots in the U.S.
Ironically to me, most, if not all insurance companies, cover the costs for Viagra (the drug used to help with erectile dysfunction for men). 4,000 women are dying every year from this virus yet our government feels that it's more necessary to help pay for men who are unable to get erect for intercourse. I do understand that every man should have the right to be able to procreate and if there's a drug available for them than more power to them. However, I don't believe our priority is in the right place for all of those men to be covered for erectile dysfunction when all of these women are dying from cervical cancer caused by HPV. Therefore, in my situation, because it was too much money to get the series of shots at any health center I heard about a way of getting it cheaper through Planned Parenthood. I was forced to lie to Planned Parenthood and say I had no insurance in order to take advantage of their plan meant for people who cannot afford it. I had to resort to taking the funds from Planned Parenthood, a great organization, in order to become protected from this virus because I did not want to pay the high amount of $375. I am thankful for this option but it should not be abused by people like me who actually have insurance. In this case, Gardasil should be at least partially covered, if not all the way covered, by all insurance companies.
Not too long ago this immunization required for all girls in the state of Texas. This shows the importance of getting the vaccinations. However, I feel that this should not be a requirement. People should have the right to decide what goes in their body. Eventually, Texas decided to change it's mind and not make it a requirement. I'm glad they revoked it. I do believe that for those people who are interested in getting it they should be able to get it with their insurance, considering how common cervical cancer is because of HPV.
There seems to be a lot of loopholes in this healthcare system. The Gardasil immunization should be included in all plans just like all of those other shots. What's your health input?