Vasectomies are standard surgical procedures in place to prevent men from producing children, and it’s a popular option for birth control and is generally a quick, outpatient medical procedure. Vasectomies aren’t covered through Medicare benefits, and it’s essential to know why. Below we’ll look at why Medicare doesn’t offer vasectomies and how much you can expect to pay for one.

Does Medicare Cover Vasectomies

Unlike many other medical procedures, vasectomies aren’t usually covered through your Medicare benefits. Vasectomies and vasectomy reversals are elective urology surgeries, and Medicare won’t cover elective procedures. Medicare covers surgeries and medically necessary services. Medically essential vasectomies are pretty rare. Medicare plans won’t cover elective surgeries unless it’s for a serious health condition that significantly impacts your life and well-being.

Why Would A Vasectomy Be Medically Necessary?

In most cases, vasectomies are elective procedures to work as a form of birth control. On rare occasions, vasectomies may need to be considered medically necessary if pregnancy risks jeopardize the mother’s life. These procedures may also be essential if there’s a significant risk of passing a severe genetic disorder, disability, or dangerous hereditary medical condition.

Why Won’t My Medical Insurance Cover A Vasectomy?

Vasectomies are a form of sterilization. Sterilization isn’t a preventative health care service but rather an elective procedure. Since these procedures aren’t preventive, federal laws don’t require health insurance companies to pay for them. And while many private insurance companies won’t pay for these popular birth control methods, some just may. It’s best to speak with your plan to know the extent of your health insurance coverage.

What Is The Success Rate of A Vasectomy?

Vasectomies are one of the best methods of birth control. So much so that this procedure has an overall success rate of more than 99% effectiveness. Just 1 or 2 women out of every 1,000 will fall pregnant with a partner who’s had it.

What Are The Risks of A Vasectomy?

While the risks of vasectomies are possible, they aren’t prevalent. Some men may experience short-term effects, and others could experience long-term health effects. Directly following the procedure, men may experience short-term side effects. These effects don’t generally continue past a few days following the procedure. Some men may experience the following:

  • Mild pain – Some men may experience sharp pain in the scrotum following the procedure.
  • Surgical failure – While extremely rare, some men may experience a failed vasectomy, where viable sperm still exist and can impregnate a woman.
  • Scrotum discoloration – Men generally experience swelling and bruising within the scrotum following the procedure.
  • Hematoma – Some men experience a hematoma or bleeding right after a hysterectomy.

Some of the long-term effects men could experience include:

  • Epididymitis – This condition occurs when sperm flow becomes backed up and can lead to swelling and pain.
  • Vasovenous fistula – While incredibly rare, this health condition results from a vasectomy and involves blood accumulation that leads to a fistula.
  • Sperm granuloma – Around 15 – 40 percent of men develop a sperm granuloma following the procedure. Sperm granulomas are clumps of sperm that turn into cysts. These granulomas don’t typically carry symptoms, but some men could develop pain in these areas.
  • Surgical infection – Although rare, the surgical site can sometimes develop an infection.
  • Swelling – Swelling can develop after surgery due to hematomas, bleeding, or fluid accumulation.
  • Surgical failure – Immediately after surgery, you still have viable sperm. Doctors generally say it takes around two months for your semen to be free of sperm.

Typical Cost of A Vasectomy

Vasectomies are generally around $1,100 for patients seeking the popular procedure. Your out-of-pocket costs may vary depending on whether you have insurance coverage, the extent of your follow-up health care, and how many semen tests you’ll need to complete. Another factor that could create a stark price difference is the type of vasectomy you undergo.

For example, whether you experience a vasectomy via an incision or a no-cut procedure. they tend to cost less if performed in your doctor’s office with local anesthesia than in a surgical center. Most procedures in a surgical center tend to be nearly double the cost of being performed in a doctor’s office.

Who Can Perform A Vasectomy?

Your family practice physician can often complete your vasectomy right in the doctor’s office under a local anesthetic. In most cases, a urologist (a doctor who focuses on male reproductive health). Doctors conduct an initial consultation to discuss what to expect and confirm that you want to proceed with the procedure.

Will Part C Pay For Vasectomies?

Medicare Advantage policies must, at the minimum, cover everything that Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) covers. But many Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans cover additional benefits. Some Medicare Advantage plans may surprisingly cover the vasectomy procedure. However, it’s always best practice to check your specific plan’s benefits to see if it will be covered.

Do Medicare Supplement Plans Cover The Cost of A Vasectomy?

Medigap plans pay for expenses that Medicare covers and Medicare Supplement Plans serve as a bridge over the gap of expenses, such as coinsurance costs that you’d typically be responsible for. Since Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of a vasectomy, a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan won’t either. It’s best to plan on paying for the procedure out-of-pocket when you have Medicare coverage, even if you pay additional monthly payments through Medigap.


Are Vasectomies Covered At 100% Under Medicare?

Although vasectomies are sometimes used to treat underlying medical conditions, Medicare treats this procedure as an elective procedure since they’re most commonly used for sterilization.

Are Vasectomies Federally Funded?

Federal funds don’t pay for vasectomies, but statewide programs may help cover the costs if you qualify.

How Much Of A Guarantee Is A Vasectomy?

Vasectomies are incredibly effective and successful. It’s known as one of the best types of birth control available. These procedures are nearly 100% effective.

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Written By:
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Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare editor for She's been contributing to many well-known publications since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.
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Rodolfo Marrero, Rodolfo Marrero is one of the co-founders at He has been helping consumers find the right coverage since the site was founded in 2013. Rodolfo is a licensed insurance agent that works hand-in-hand with the team to ensure the accuracy of the content.