|Authors||Le B, McAchran S, Paolone D, Gralnek D, Williams D, Bushman W|
|Journal||Urology Volume: 102 Pages: 126-129|
|Publish Date||2017 Apr|
To determine the degree of transparency of health insurance policies regarding coverage of male sexual health conditions, we examined the publicly available policy coverage documents of the largest U.S. medical insurance plans.We selected 2 index patients across the male sexual health spectrum: (1) a phosphodiesterase type 5 refractory erectile dysfunction (ED) patient requiring intracavernosal injection therapy or penile prosthesis and (2) a 50-year-old male patient with laboratory-confirmed, symptomatic hypogonadism requiring testosterone replacement therapy as defined by endocrine society criteria. We researched the policy documents regarding coverage for standard therapies. We used breast reconstruction after mastectomy as a control.We queried the publicly available policy statements for 84 of the largest health-care plans in the United States. Whereas breast reconstruction policies are publicly available for 94% of the plans examined, policies of only 39% of the plans for advanced ED treatment options and 62% for hypogonadism are publicly available. Of the plans that had publicly accessible data for ED coverage, 85% viewed penile prosthesis and intracavernosal injection as medically necessary, whereas 91% viewed androgen replacement as medically necessary for our index patient.There is a lack of transparency among medical insurers regarding coverage of ED and hypogonadism in stark contrast to reconstructive breast surgery.