How Much Are Penis Pumps Costing Medicare?

Vacuum erection system/penis pump (Ali Express)

Vacuum erection system/penis pump (Ali Express)

Here’s something you may not know: Medicare covers the costs of penis pumps.

Contrary to a depiction in the 1997 movie “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” penis pumps aren’t only used for cosmetic purpose. The devices, known in the medical industry as vacuum erection systems (VES), help treat erectile dysfunction.

A 2014 report looked at data from 2006 to 2011, and found that yearly claims for VES devices grew to $38M+ in 2011. This was nearly double the amount from 2006, where claims hit $20M+. Over five years, Medicare received over 474K claims for VES devices.

Pricing is also inflated: Consumers on Medicare are paying nearly twice as much than those paying the retail value.

As the population ages, it’s safe to speculate that more people will rely on the devices, and the spending could continue to climb even higher.

 

 

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