Erectile problems are incredibly common, especially among older men, and can have a variety of both physical and mental causes. For some men, psychological factors like stress can play a large part in the development of erectile dysfunction, but for others, medications and lifestyle may come into play.
Vacuum pumps, also known as vacuum constriction devices, work by creating a vacuum around the penis. The vacuum helps blood flow into the penis, producing an erection-like state, while a constrictive band is placed around the base of the penis to maintain the erection. The process is completely scientific, and repeated use has shown to result in longer-lasting erections over time.
Does Medicare cover ED vacuum pumps?
While Medicare does provide coverage for a large variety of medical equipment, it does not currently cover medical treatment for lifestyle concerns – meaning treatment to enhance sexual activity isn’t covered.
Medicare benefits are typically reserved to pay for medically necessary treatments that are ordered by a physician. As a result, Medicare does not generally pay for ED pumps unless the use of such devices is an integral part of a larger treatment approach to a serious medical condition.
What if ED medications are prescribed for a different condition?
Although Medicare does not cover the cost of a vacuum constriction device or related sexual aides, some men may be able to receive coverage for certain erectile dysfunction medications if they are prescribed for a condition other than erectile dysfunction. Many ED medications dilate blood vessels to allow for greater blood flow, so it could be possible that these medications would be prescribed to treat cardiovascular conditions not directly related to ED.
In order for coverage to apply, it’s likely that other treatment methods would need to be attempted prior to the erectile dysfunction medication being prescribed, and the prescribing doctor may need to include detailed notes in a patient’s health records to indicate that the medication is not being prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction.
Who should consider using a vacuum pump?
Vacuum erection devices are most commonly used to treat medical causes of ED. These causes include:
- Poor blood flow into the penis
- Excess blood flow out of the penis during erection
- Damage to nerves that control the erection reflex
- Because VCDs are safe to use and have few long-term side effects, they are also sometimes recommended as a treatment for anxiety-based ED
To learn more about your Medicare benefits and coverage limitations, check with your plan. If you’re struggling with symptoms of ED, penile exercises and vacuum pumps can help. To learn more about Vaxaid’s unique hydro penis pump options, visit our shop or our FAQ section.