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Which of These 5 Insurers Covers Viagra?

Only Aetna among the top 5 U.S. health insurers reimburses policyholders for their purchases of ED drugs, and then only for the generic equivalents of Viagra and Levitra. 

Sadly for the millions of men and women suffering from some form of sexual dysfunction, insurers have taken a dim view on reimbursement for drugs designed to treat these problems.

Although one might have anticipated some change in their coverage policies for ED drugs with the introduction — beginning in late 2017 — of generic alternatives, most insurers still balk at paying for these medications.

Drug Formularies Reviewed

We recently undertook a review of the prescription drug formularies of America’s five largest health insurers — Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare. None of them covers brand-name Viagra, which was the first of the PDE5 inhibitors introduced to treat vascular-related erectile dysfunction.

While all of the insurers provide some degree of coverage for sildenafil citrate, which is the active ingredient in Viagra, in most cases, that coverage is limited to the use of the drug as a treatment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

In addition to its role in the treatment of erectile dysfunction, sildenafil citrate in tablets of 20 milligrams each were approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of PAH. The brand-name of that PAH drug, also marketed by Pfizer, is Revatio.

Off-Label Use Frowned Upon

Although you might find a doctor willing to prescribe multiple tablets of 20-milligram sildenafil to you for use in treating ED symptoms, technically that would be viewed as an off-label use, something the FDA and many medical professionals frown upon.

Of the five major insurers, only Aetna offers to reimburse for generic ED drugs, including sildenafil, which is generic Viagra, and vardenafil, which is generic Levitra and Staxyn.

No Coverage for Female Drug

While it may offer little comfort, our search revealed that none of the top five health insurers offered coverage for Addyi (flibanserin), the only drug approved by the FDA to treat the most common form of female sexual dysfunction. Addyi treats hypoactive sexual desire disorder, although clinical trials indicate that it improves sexual desire only marginally.

So the outlook for insurance coverage of ED drugs — at least in the short term — is not particularly promising. However, the growing availability of lower-cost generic alternatives to brand-name ED drugs, including Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Staxyn, has allowed more men than ever before to afford these life-altering medications.

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Whether you’re shopping for a brand-name ED drug or a generic alternative, you will find what you need at eDrugstore.com, a longtime online facilitator based in Tempe, Arizona. In business since the late 1990s, eDrugstore offers a full range of ED medications — including both brand-name and generic products. And they’re available at competitive prices.

Better yet, ordering online from eDrugstore saves you the hassle of a trip to and from the pharmacy. It can even arrange a complimentary online consult with a licensed U.S. physician for customers who don’t yet have a prescription. To learn more, visit eDrugstore’s Erectile Dysfunction page.

Don Amerman has spent more than three decades in the business of writing and editing. During the last 15 years, his focus has been on freelance writing. For almost all of his writing, He has done all of his own research, both online and off, including telephone and face-to-face interviews where possible. Don Amerman on Google+