Does Medicare Cover a Vasectomy?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Vasectomies are a highly effective, low-risk birth control procedure that hundreds of thousands of men get each year. Find out if Medicare covers vasectomies.

Around half a million men get vasectomies as a form of birth control annually. The procedure stops sperm from entering into semen, preventing pregnancy, and it involves cutting the vas deferens, which are the tubes that sperm travels along from the testicles to the urethra. It’s generally considered a form of permanent sterilization.

In most cases, vasectomies aren’t used to treat an underlying medical condition. Because of this, they’re considered elective procedures, and Medicare doesn’t cover them. However, there may be other options.

What Parts of Medicare Might Cover a Vasectomy?

Vasectomies are considered elective surgeries, meaning it’s a surgery you’re electing — or choosing — to have. It’s not a surgery necessary to treat a medical condition. Therefore, Medicare beneficiaries generally can't get their insurance plans to cover a vasectomy.

Medicare pays only for services considered to be medically required. It does not pay for elective surgeries, and that includes vasectomies and vasectomy reversals. This also applies to all sterilizations, with the exception being procedures required to treat an underlying health condition.

While vasectomies aren’t covered by Medicare Part A and Part B, some Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans may help cover vasectomies.

Part D and Medigap

There are also Medicare Part D and Medigap plans, but it’s important to note that Part D plans only cover prescription drugs while Medigap plans still only cover some of the out-of-pocket costs that Medicare Part A and Part B require for covered services.

What Deems a Vasectomy Medically Necessary?

In most cases, vasectomies are elective surgeries. These procedures are almost always used for sterilization — very rarely are they necessary for other underlying health conditions.

How Much Does a Vasectomy Cost Without Insurance?

The average cost for a vasectomy in the U.S. is between $300 and $3000. This fee usually covers the initial consultation, the actual procedure and the follow-up visit.

Vasectomy costs are affected by multiple factors, including where you live, the type of facility that’s performing the procedure, the type of vasectomy required and how much care you need before, during and after the procedure.

It’s also important to note that there are two types of vasectomy procedures: A conventional vasectomy, which uses a scalpel, and a no-scalpel vasectomy. However, the costs for these are usually the same, but be sure to ask your doctor about the procedures.

Another consideration is that costs may differ significantly based on where the procedure is performed. Also, keep in mind that complications of the procedure may lead to unexpected costs.

Tips for Saving

If you’re using insurance or a Medicare Advantage plan that covers vasectomies, make sure the doctor performing the procedure is within your plan’s network. You’ll pay far less by remaining in-network.

If you’re paying out of pocket, inquire about payment options. Some doctor’s offices have plans available that will allow you to make regular payments rather than pay upfront. Many providers also offer a cash discount for people who are paying for procedures themselves.

Alternatives to a Vasectomy

Since vasectomies are elective procedures intended for sterilization, there are a number of alternatives available, including temporary contraceptives such as:

  • Condoms
  • Diaphragms for women
  • Birth control and hormonal treatment for women

Each method varies in effectiveness, but all are viable alternatives to a vasectomy procedure. They’re also good alternatives for individuals or couples who may want to consider children at a later time.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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