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Penile Implants Not Always Covered by Insurance

Penile Implants Not Always Covered by InsuranceU.S. health insurers do not always cover penile implant procedures, and those that do may vary their coverage depending on a patient’s location, according to a recent study.

Penile implants, sometimes called penile prostheses, are a common treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED). The devices are surgically implanted and allow a man to achieve an erection at any time. (Learn more about penile implants here.)

Implants are often a last resort for men with ED. Patients may choose implants after trying other ED treatments, like pills, injections, and vacuum devices.

Many men with ED are prostate cancer survivors. But insurance coverage for ED treatment after prostate cancer treatment is not a federally protected right. (In contrast, breast cancer survivors who undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy usually have coverage protected by the women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998.)

With this disparity in mind, a team of researchers from Texas set out to discover how many men had insurance coverage for ED and, more specifically, penile implants. They presented their findings at the May 2018 annual meeting of the American Urological Association.

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