Wondering if your insurance will pay for vein treatment?
Sep 04, 2019
In what instances will insurance pay for vein treatment? Experts from a top medical center answer.
Statistics show that one out of every two Americans suffers from some sort of vein disease – mostly varicose veins or spider veins. Not many people with diseased veins treat them, however – and this is mostly due to one reason – the cost. While you might assume that vein treatment may not be covered by insurance, we’ve got news for you – in most circumstances, insurance does actually cover varicose vein treatment. Read on to learn more!
Insurance will pay for vein treatment if you have symptoms of vein disease
If you have symptoms that make you uncomfortable, it is a clear indication that you have a disease, and insurance usually pays to make you feel better. The symptoms of vein disease are usually quite vague, and most people do not associate them with the visible varicose and spider veins. So what symptoms must you track if you have visible veins?
The first symptom to look out for is a feeling of heaviness and aching in the legs. This may be accompanied by swelling of the feet and ankles, particularly at the end of the day, or if you have been on your feet for a long time. You may also experience throbbing pain in your legs, or sudden cramps. The cramps, sometimes accompanied by an irresistible urge to move your legs, often worsen at night.
You may also feel symptoms specifically related to your veins, such as throbbing over the area of the veins. You may also experience itching, burning or some other form of irritation over the veins. Most symptoms of vein disease may improve with exercise, and so people tend to attribute them to ‘being unfit’, or even shrug it off as a normal part of the ageing process. However, the symptoms never completely go away, and you should be aware that they could be associated with vein disease. Reporting all symptoms accurately to your vein specialist will go a long way in ensuring that you get insurance coverage for vein treatment.
Insurance coverage is more likely if you have evidence of chronic venous insufficiency
Both varicose and spider veins are defective veins that arise from a condition called chronic venous insufficiency. In chronic venous insufficiency, disease begins in the main superficial veins that transports blood back to your heart – called the saphenous veins. These leg veins have to work against gravity, and certain one-way doors, called valves in the veins assist with this process. Once the blood flows past them, the valves shut and prevent the blood from falling back down into the legs. If the valves become faulty, some blood can escape through and trickle back down into the legs. Chronic venous insufficiency is basically the problem of faulty leg vein valves. Over time, the excess blood puts pressure on the leg vein walls, causing the veins to expand and bulge. The excess pressure also forces the formation of tiny, new, unhealthy veins to accommodate the blood. These tiny, new veins are called spider veins, while bulging, bigger veins are varicose veins.
To assess whether or not you have chronic venous insufficiency, the vein specialist will perform an ultrasound to monitor the flow of blood through the veins. The results of the ultrasound generally indicate whether or not vein disease is present, and will be requested by the insurance company as evidence.
Most kinds of insurance usually cover varicose vein treatment.
The following treatments for varicose veins are generally covered by insurance
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA): This technique uses radiofrequency thermal energy to act on the inner walls of your vein. The skin over the defective vein is numbed, and a small incision is made. A radiofrequency catheter is then inserted into the vein, and energy is delivered through this. This causes the vein walls to soften and stick together, thus cutting off blood circulation.
- VenaSeal: This is a state of the art method that does not need local anesthesia, or an incision. This technique involves injection of medicated glue directly into the defective vein. The glue acts within seconds to fuse the vein walls together. Over time, the vein hardens and gets absorbed by the body.
- Varithena: This is a form of sclerotherapy which uses medicated foam for injection. The foam tends to disperse over a wider area, and so this can be used for slightly larger veins.
- Endovenous Laser ablation (EVLA): The technique is the same as RFA, but it uses a laser fiber and laser energy instead of a radiofrequency catheter. Although this is covered by insurance, it causes a lot more discomfort during the procedure, so most vein doctors prefer to use RFA.
Treatment of spider veins alone may not be covered by insurance
Spider veins are usually treated by a procedure called sclerotherapy. In sclerotherapy, a medicated solution (called sclerosant) is injected into the spider vein. The sclerosant irritates the vein walls, causing them to stick together, which blocks blood circulation. The sclerosant acts on only a limited area, which is why this can be employed only for small veins. Since treatment of spider veins alone is considered cosmetic, this may not be covered by insurance if it is done in isolation. However, if your spider veins are associated with vein disease and varicose veins, you could receive insurance coverage for treating these as well.
The Vein Treatment Clinic offers advanced minimally invasive vein treatment options performed by experienced and skilled vein doctors. We accept all types of insurance, including Medicare. If you have any queries regarding our treatment procedures or insurance process, call 855-386-0195 or book an appointment online.
Meet our Vein Specialists
Dr. Namrata Khimani
Venous specialist | Harvard Medical School
Dr. Khimani is a nationally recognized leader in the field of venous medicine. She is an expert in Spider Vein and Varicose Vein Treatment based in New York City. While Dr. Khimani treats a variety of patients experiencing varicose vein problems, she also sub-specializes in the treatment of vein disease in women, including those with pregnancy and post-pregnancy related spider and varicose veins.
If you have varicose veins and spider veins, suffer from leg cramps, leg swelling, or restless leg syndrome, come see Dr. Khimani at our Vein Treatment Center NYC. Most procedures are covered by major medical insurances, including Medicare. Call us and get verified today.
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