Cost of Care

For Grown Ups Only: Men and ED 

By James N. Giordano 

It’s Men’s Health Month, so you are likely to hear a lot about chronic illnesses common to many men — things like heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. But you may not hear much about a frequent consequence of those conditions: erectile dysfunction (ED) or the mental health fallout of that condition.

Wait, you may say, isn’t there a pill for that? There is, but it doesn’t work for all men. For men who have a severe venous leak or Peyronie’s disease, the treatment for ED is a penile implant, which often isn’t covered by insurance.

Did you know that insurance companies may deny claims for these types of medical issues, even when they’re caused by a more serious underlying condition? In fact, one study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that about half of the men seeking insurance coverage for a penile implant were denied. 

The inability to achieve or maintain an erection may not be life-threatening, but it certainly threatens a man’s quality of life. Unfortunately, many procedures that can enhance quality of life are not covered by insurance.

And as we already know, nearly every plastic surgery procedure is deemed unnecessary, even if having a procedure could improve one’s mental well-being. You may not think that’s an issue for men, but, in fact, demand for cosmetic procedures among men is increasing. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that male cosmetic procedures (both surgical and non-surgical) rose 29 percent between 2000 and 2018.

That means men who would benefit from a penile implant or a plastic surgery procedure are reaching into their own pockets to cover the expense. And those who don’t have that kind of cash on hand have no option but to rely on predatory financing like a medical credit card with high interest rates and “gotcha” fees — if they qualify at all.

That’s why Care Cap Plus was created. Care Cap Plus extends payment options with no interest or fees to the patient, who only has to pay 20% of the cost of the procedure upfront, with the balance paid over 12 months. We look at a patient’s entire propensity to pay, not just their credit score, so we are able to accept a much greater number of patients. 

Participating doctors (who agree to discount the financed amount by 13%) benefit from being able to accept and help more patients and by creating an environment where patients are more likely to return and recommend the practice to others.

This Men’s Health Month, it’s worth learning more not just about the health conditions that affect men and their consequences, but about the ways to pay for them — and bringing needed and desired treatments within financial reach of more men.