Will insurance pay for my varicose vein treatment???

By Jill Buterbaugh CRNP and Carle Garland, Billing Specialist

What is the difference between varicose veins that insurance covers and cosmetic veins that insurance will not pay for?

Venous insufficiency is a medical disease that causes varicose veins to develop.  Varicose veins by definition are veins that have become dilated more than 5 mm.  Once the vein becomes that dilated it loses its ability to recoil or retract back to its normal size.  Similar to elastic that loses its stretch.  The vein walls then lose their integrity and fluid and nutrients leak into the tissues and with time, result in physical symptoms.  As the veins dilate, there are one way valves inside them that fail to close properly and this allows blood to flow in the wrong direction back down the vein further increasing the pressure in the vein and further dilating the vein.

What is the difference between varicose veins that insurance covers and cosmetic veins that insurance will not pay for?

Insurance plans generally will pay for the treatment of varicose veins that are 5 mm and greater in size with more than one half a second of blood flowing in the wrong direction.  This information is obtained by measuring veins by an ultrasound examination.

What is the difference between varicose veins that insurance covers and cosmetic veins that insurance will not pay for?

The initial physical examination and the ultrasound evaluation are generally covered by insurance because we are evaluating patients for medical conditions that have caused physical symptoms to occur that interfere with activities of daily living.  The most common physical symptoms that result from varicose veins are pain, heaviness, aching, swelling and skin changes such as itching, dryness, rashes or wounds.

What is the difference between varicose veins that insurance covers and cosmetic veins that insurance will not pay for?

Cosmetic veins are those veins that are smaller than 3 mm and “spider” veins.  Research has proven that these veins do not cause physical symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with activities of daily living.  They may burn, sting or bleed but generally are not bad enough to cause complications.  They are more of an annoyance.  Those veins can be treated, but that treatment is not covered by your insurance and you would be responsible for the full payment. All cosmetic services are paid for at the time the service is received.

 

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