Insurance Coverage for Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose veins are often more than a cosmetic concern for patients. Many experience uncomfortable symptoms like heaviness, aching or swelling of the leg. Despite symptoms, patients often refrain from seeking treatment because they don’t think insurance will cover the cost. The good news is many treatments for vein conditions are covered by insurance, as long as proper diagnosis of the condition is made prior to treatment.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are often the visual signs of an underlying condition known as venous insufficiency. This condition occurs when tiny valves in the veins that move blood back to the heart stop functioning as efficiently as they once did. This can lead to back-flowing and pooling of blood in the veins, causing the veins to swell.
Varicose veins commonly appear on the lower legs, since these veins have to work much harder to move blood back up to the heart. By removing varicose veins, blood can be rerouted through healthy veins nearby, relieving venous insufficiency and improving blood flow. Since it is usually superficial veins near the surface of the skin that become varicose, removing them does not negatively impact the function of the vascular system in any way.
Cosmetic vs. “Medically Necessary”
In determining whether to provide coverage for vein treatment, insurance companies often distinguish between treatments that are merely cosmetic and those deemed “medically necessary.” For treatment to be considered medically necessary, patients usually need to be experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
Fatigued legs, particularly after periods of standing or sitting
Leg heaviness or aching
Restless legs or cramping, especially at night
Swelling of the lower leg, ankle and foot
Itching, numbness or burning sensations in the lower leg
Skin discoloration or changes to skin texture
The appearance of open sores around the ankle (venous ulcers)
Many insurance companies require non-invasive treatment of varicose veins prior to seeking a medical procedure to eliminate the veins. This commonly involves the use of compression stockings for a prescribed period, in an effort to relieve symptoms and stop progression of the vein disease. Talk to your insurance company to find out if this requirement is included in your plan.
A correct diagnosis of a vein condition is the first step in ensuring insurance coverage for treatment. At Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan, Dr. Ronald Lev is experienced in diagnosing all types of vein conditions. His staff works with most major insurance companies to ensure you get the coverage you need to make treatment more affordable. To learn more about varicose vein treatment options, contact Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan at 212-204-6501.