Does Medicare Cover Spider Vein Treatment?
Spider veins affect approximately 50% of all women and around 30% of all men, but most people are extremely hesitant about seeking treatment. There are primarily three myths that stop people from seeking spider vein treatment.
First, because they think spider veins aren’t dangerous. Second, because they think spider veins can only be treated with compression stockings or other home remedies. Third, because they think spider vein treatment is extremely expensive.
However, these are all myths with no basis in reality. So let’s debunk them and establish why it’s important to seek spider vein treatment:
- In some cases, spider veins may just be a cosmetic issue. However, spider veins are often caused by underlying venous insufficiency, a condition in which your vein valves malfunction and blood accumulates in your leg veins. This is a serious medical condition that can lead to skin diseases, leg ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis if left untreated.
- Home remedies like wearing compression stockings, elevating the legs, and exercising can alleviate some of the discomfort of spider veins. But these methods cannot magically remove spider veins, especially if you have venous insufficiency.
- Spider vein treatment can range from $0 to $3,000 and more, depending on insurance coverage and various other factors.
As you can see, spider veins can be extremely dangerous, they can only be treated by medical procedures, and they can be reasonable if covered by insurance. In this article, we’ll discuss when does medicare cover spider vein treatment and what are the treatment options covered by medigap plans.
When do you Get Original Medicare Coverage for Spider Vein Treatment?
As previously mentioned, spider veins are often caused by underlying venous insufficiency. Chronic venous insufficiency is a medical condition in which your vein valves malfunction. These vein valves are usually responsible for smooth blood circulation to the heart. They act as one-way doors to allow blood from the legs to flow to the heart but they prevent blood from flowing back down due to gravity.
When your vein valves malfunction, blood flows back down and accumulates in the leg veins due to gravity. Over time, more blood accumulates in your leg veins, which leads to vein dilation, which leads to the formation of spider veins and varicose veins on the surface of your skin.
Venous insufficiency is a serious medical condition because it leads to complications like severe bleeding, skin diseases, discoloration of the skin, leg ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis. The latter of these complications can also be fatal if the blood clots break away and travel to the lungs, thus inducing pulmonary embolism.
When you go to a vein treatment clinic, the vein doctor will first run diagnostic and imaging tests like Doppler Ultrasound to determine if you’re suffering from venous insufficiency. If your spider veins are caused by venous insufficiency, you will receive Medicare coverage. However, if your spider veins are not caused by venous insufficiency, your treatment will be considered cosmetic and won’t be covered by Medicare.
To put it shortly, whether you get Medicare advantage depends on whether your spider veins are caused by venous insufficiency.
Sclerotherapy Spider Vein Treatment — No Medicare Coverage
Sclerotherapy is currently the best spider vein treatment. It’s a minimally invasive and non-surgical procedure in which the vein doctor simply injects a medicine called sclerosant into your spider veins. The veins close down and eventually harden and disappear while the accumulated blood reroutes to healthier veins.
This procedure only treats the spider veins and doesn’t treat the underlying venous insufficiency. That’s why sclerotherapy isn’t covered by Medicare and you have to pay for it yourself. The cost of an average sclerotherapy session costs $700. However, in our vein treatment center, we can use the remnant medicine from your vein disease treatment to also treat your spider veins.
Does Medicare Cover Varicose Veins Treatment?
Varicose veins are always indicative of underlying venous insufficiency. As such, the only way to treat varicose veins is to treat the diseased saphenous vein. The following are the primary treatment options for spider veins and varicose veins caused by vein disease.
Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure in which the vein doctors uses thermal energy to irritate the saphenous vein’s walls and eventually collapse it. The average cost of a radiofrequency ablation procedure is $3,000, but it’s covered by medigap plans so it drastically cuts down the out of pocket costs.
Endovenous laser treatment is a procedure in which the vein doctor inserts a catheter and laser fiber into the diseased saphenous vein and uses laser energy to destroy it. This procedure may cost between $2,000 to $7,000 but it’s covered by Medicare.
VenaSeal is a new and advanced vein treatment procedure during which the vein doctor injects a medical adhesive into the diseased vein. This adhesive fuses the vein walls and eventually shuts it down, thereby restoring blood circulation to the heart. This is a new treatment that has only recently been approved by the FDA so it’s not yet covered by Medicare and you have to pay for it yourself.
Schedule your Spider Veins and Varicose Veins Treatment
At VIP Medical Group, we thoroughly diagnose the root cause of your spider veins and treat it with the latest minimally invasive procedures. We are also affiliated with Medicare and all the leading insurance providers so we can offer the best Medicare coverage for spider veins and varicose veins treatment. For more information, please schedule your spider veins and varicose veins treatment today.