The cost of varicose vein treatment usually depends on what type of procedure you have and whether it’s considered “medically necessary.”
Venous insufficiency can cause varicose veins that are painful, burning and unsightly, as well as twisted and discolored spider veins. If you’re suffering from the symptoms of venous insufficiency, you’re likely looking for quick and efficient relief. However, you should know that companies often make a distinction between interventions that are “medically necessary” and those that aren’t, which can affect insurance payments. Let’s take a closer look at what that means:
What Are Varicose Veins?
Veins have one primary responsibility: to return blood from the rest of the body back to the heart. However, there are several challenges these veins face. For instance, blood in your legs has to fight against gravity as it makes its way upward. To help with this, the veins have a set of one-way valves that, when working properly, only allow blood to flow toward the heart.
When combined with genetic predisposition, certain conditions like obesity, long periods of standing or sitting, or a rise in estrogen due to pregnancy can cause the valves to fail. In these situations, the blood that should be headed to the heart begins to back-up and pool. In turn, the veins become enlarged and take on the painful and gnarled condition that many patients know all too well.
What does “Medically Necessary” Mean?
Veins come in all different sizes. Those with a small circumferences tend to be superficial and near the surface of the skin. Veins with a larger circumference (sometimes called “deep veins”) are usually further away from the surface.
Since deep veins are responsible for carrying more blood, they tend to be associated with more pain and other debilitating symptoms than the superficial veins. While superficial venous insufficiency can also be painful, it often causes more problems in terms of aesthetics than discomfort. For example, this condition often results in spider veins, which may or may not have noticeable symptoms.
Since there’s a distinction between spider veins and more serious varicose veins, many insurance companies have decided to treat them differently. Procedures to address large, deep varicose veins are classified as “medically necessary” whereas fixes for smaller superficial veins may be deemed cosmetic. “Medically necessary” procedures to help fix large veins will typically be covered by insurance, whereas the “cosmetic” procedures will often require some partial or out of pocket payment on the part of patient.
The only way to definitively characterize the nature of your venous insufficiency — and whether any resulting procedures are likely to be covered by insurance — is to have a complete ultrasound assessment. Fortunately, the initial screening is completely covered by most insurance companies.
Contact the Center for Vein Restoration today to schedule your consultation. Once we’ve assessed your individual treatment needs, we can further discuss procedure options and insurance coverage.