Does Health Insurance Cover Spider Vein Treatment?
It’s a common myth that varicose veins and spider veins are a “cosmetic” issue only and don’t require vein treatments. Yes, spider veins can sometimes be harmless. But this oft-quoted adage can also be extremely dangerous because spider veins and varicose veins are often caused by a serious medical condition called chronic venous insufficiency.
Spider veins are the thin clusters of red veins in the legs — they resemble spider webs and can be seen on the surface of the skin. Varicose veins are larger protruding veins that resemble tree trunks or knotted ropes. Both spider veins and varicose veins can be indicative of underlying venous insufficiency.
Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition in which your vein valves malfunction, which causes blood to flow into your leg veins. Over time, the accumulated blood leads to vein dilation and the formation of spider veins and varicose veins. If left untreated, venous insufficiency also leads to other issues like skin diseases, leg ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis.
Whether insurance will cover the cost of spider vein treatment depends on whether your spider veins are symptomatic of chronic venous insufficiency. And there’s no way to determine if your spider veins are caused by vein disease without consulting vein specialists who will diagnose your spider veins.
In this article, we discuss whether you get insurance coverage for spider vein treatment and varicose vein treatment.
Insurance Coverage for Spider Vein Treatment
As previously mentioned spider veins are dense red clusters of blood vessels visible on the surface of the skin. They appear in the formation of spider webs or the branches of trees.
In and of themselves, spider veins are harmless and they only lead to mild discomfort, self-consciousness, and social anxiety. However, spider veins are often symptomatic of a dangerous circulatory disorder known as chronic venous insufficiency.
To determine if your spider veins are dangerous, you need to consult board-certified vein specialists in your area. They’ll run diagnostic tests like Doppler ultrasound to visualize the blood flow in your veins. This test will reveal if your spider veins are caused by vein disease.
If your spider veins aren’t caused by vein disease, then you can treat them with sclerotherapy. This is a procedure in which the vein specialists will inject a sclerosant medicine into the spider veins to seal them shut. The spider veins will turn into scar tissues and the accumulated blood will reroute to healthier veins. Over time, the hardened veins will get absorbed by the body and disappear.
Sclerotherapy is a minimally-invasive and non-surgical vein treatment that’s always successful. You can generally see results within three weeks. However, insurance doesn’t cover the cost of sclerotherapy because it’s a cosmetic procedure and only treats the symptomatic spider veins.
However, if your spider veins are caused by venous insufficiency, the vein specialists will have to first treat the underlying disease. Some of the most popular vein treatments for venous insufficiency include radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser ablation, and VenaSeal.
During these procedures, the vein doctor will use heat, laser, or vein glue to collapse or seal the affected saphenous vein and restore blood circulation to the heart. These are also minimally-invasive and non-surgical procedures that generally conclude within an hour and carry a negligible risk of side effects.
However, vein treatments for venous insufficiency receive insurance coverage because they’re medically necessary. After the medical procedure, the vein specialists may also use some of the residual sclerosant from the primary treatment to treat the symptomatic spider veins.
As such, even though spider veins don’t receive insurance coverage in and of themselves, your vein doctor may still cover the cost of the treatment after the vein disease treatment. Please discuss this with your vein specialists.
Insurance Coverage for Varicose Vein Treatment
Varicose veins are large rope-like knots of twisted veins that bulge out of the surface of the skin. Unlike spider veins, these are always caused by venous insufficiency. As such, varicose vein treatment is widely considered to be medically necessary, which is why they receive insurance coverage. However, every single varicose vein treatment isn’t covered by insurance.
Radiofrequency Ablation is a procedure in which the vein specialists insert a catheter into the diseased vein under ultrasound guidance. The catheter generates heat energy to disrupt the vein walls and collapse the affected saphenous vein. The accumulated blood reroute to healthier veins and the diseased vein hardens and disappears. This is the most effective and popular varicose vein treatment and you receive insurance coverage for it.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Endovenous Laser Ablation is a procedure in which the vein specialists treat the diseased saphenous vein using laser energy channeled through a catheter and laser fiber. The laser energy destroys the diseased saphenous vein to restore blood circulation to the heart. Health insurance will also cover the cost of this procedure.
VenaSeal is a procedure in which the vein doctor injects a medical adhesive into the diseased vein to seal it shut and restore blood circulation to the heart. Health insurance does not cover the cost of this procedure because it’s a fairly new varicose vein treatment and it has only recently been approved by the FDA.
Ambulatory Phlebectomy is a procedure in which the vein specialists surgically extract the superficial varicose veins through incisions made on the surface of the skin. This procedure does not receive insurance coverage because it doesn’t treat the underlying vein disease but only the symptomatic varicose veins.
Schedule a Consultation with Board Certified Vein Specialists
As you can see, whether your vein treatments receive insurance coverage depends entirely on whether you suffer from venous insufficiency. VIP Medical Group is home to some of the best board-certified vein specialists in the country who use the latest technologies to diagnose and treat your spider and varicose veins. So schedule a consultation with vein specialists near your location today.