A vasectomy is a simple surgery typically performed right your doctor's office, so it tends to cost less than other surgical procedures.
Surgical sterilization for men is significantly less expensive than for women, who must undergo a procedure called tubal ligation that can be four to six times more costly. It's also a longer and more complex procedure, which means it must be performed in a hospital or surgery center and requires general anesthesia.
Over the long term, vasectomy may even be less expensive than other birth-control options such as the Pill or IUDs. [Click here to see our cost-comparison chart]
What is the cost of a vasectomy?
With insurance, you may have little to no out-of-pocket cost. Without insurance, the cost of a vasectomy typically ranges anywhere from $350 to $4,000 depending on your location, the surgical technique used, and other variables such as your method of payment or whether your surgeon uses income-based sliding scales.
Some doctors bundle the cost of vasectomy into one overall price, while others list them separately. (Price bundles can include initial consultation, anesthesia, follow-up appointment, and/or semen analysis.) If you're paying out of pocket, be sure to get clear estimates on each of those elements, or a list of everything that may or may not be included in a bundled price.
Does insurance cover a vasectomy?
The cost of a vasectomy is covered by most health insurance policies, so contact your insurance company and to discuss your coverage. In such cases, the majority of the associated vasectomy costs will be paid by your insurance. Your exact out-of-pocket cost will depend on your plan's:
- Co-payment - a flat fee paid at each doctor's visit (such as $25)
- Deductible - a fixed amount that you have to pay before your health insurance policy covers the costs of a visit or procedure
- Coinsurance - the percentage of the doctor's costs that you are required to pay (such as 20 percent).
In addition, vasectomies are often a qualified health savings account (HSA) expense. If your insurance plan won't pay for the procedure and you contribute to an HSA, you may be able to get reimbursed that way.
Are there ways to reduce the cost of vasectomy?
If you don't have health insurance, the procedure can require a significant up-front payment. Some options can help make that more affordable, including:
- Discount for paying in cash - Making the payment in cash is the next best option if you don't have insurance coverage for vasectomy. Even if you create a special savings program in your household budget, it should not take long to put aside the total amount needed. A full cash payment in advance may earn a small discount.
- State assistance - Many states offer this to men who lack funds to pay for the procedure. Ask your doctor whether there are programs that may apply to you.
Reviewed December 14, 2012, by Marc Goldstein, MD - Urologist