Does Health Insurance Cover Spider Vein Removal?

Varicose and spider veins are frequently dismissed as just cosmetic concerns. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are a serious problem that can jeopardize your circulatory health, as anyone who has experienced the side effects and symptoms of painful veins can attest.

Most health insurance policies, fortunately, will cover treatments for varicose and spider vein removal as long as they are deemed “medically required” rather than aesthetic. Here are the criteria your insurance company will use to determine if vein removal is medically required.

Are spider vein removal covered by insurance?

Veins that are swollen and painful are signs that medical attention is needed. Wearing thigh-high compression stockings can help blood flow around the problematic area, but varicose veins will remain until they are surgically removed or closed.

Before covering varicose vein treatments, most insurance companies will want to see the results of a venous ultrasound. A quick consultation appointment in a vein specialist’s clinic is covered by most insurance plans, and the provider will be able to present the quality of your veins. Your therapy will be categorized as medically required if the ultrasound reveals that your varicose veins are causing swelling, ulceration, heaviness, or backward blood flow. This proof will provide your insurer with the information they require to fund the removal operation.

If Your Veins Are Cosmetic Concerns

The look of lesser vein problems can be dramatically improved with cosmetic vein therapy. Cosmetic veins, such as spider veins, are not considered symptomatic of medically essential therapy, unlike varicose veins. As a result, this sort of treatment is classified as cosmetic and is rarely covered by health insurance. As a result, patients will almost always have to pay for cosmetic procedures themselves.

Endovenous laser ablation

The energy used in this treatment cauterizes (burns) and closes varicose veins. This vein treatment is effective in reducing discomfort, edema, and irritation associated with veins. Ablation is a less invasive and safer alternative to standard vein removal surgery. Ultrasound will be used by your doctor to visualize the vein. Through a small incision, a fiber or electrode is transferred to the desired spot within the vein. To collapse the vein around the fiber or electrode, local anesthetic is given into the tissues around the vein. The energy warms the vessel, forcing it to close and shrinking the defective vein.

Chemical ablation using state of the art foam sclerotherapy (Varithena)

Varithena (polidocanol injectable foam) is an injectable foam used to treat varicose veins caused by problems with the great saphenous vein (GSV) and other veins in the GSV system of the leg. Varithena reduces the appearance of varicose veins and alleviates symptoms associated with or caused by varicose veins. Within seconds, a column of concentrated foam will ruin the vein wall’s lining, triggering an inflammatory response that will allow the vessel to close. In general, as compared to other types of sclerosis, it is a far safer and more effective tool to utilize at this time.

Medical adhesive that results in closure of the unwanted veins (Venaseal)

The vein is closed with an adhesive in this process. A qualified clinician fills a syringe with medical adhesive, which is then injected into the VenaSeal closure system’s dispensing gun, which is linked to a catheter, during the process. Under ultrasound guidance, the catheter is inserted into the affected vein. The catheter is implanted in precise regions along the sick vein, and the medical adhesive is delivered through a series of trigger pulls by the clinician.

Mechanochemical ablation of the vein (MOCA)

Sclerosant chemicals are administered directly into the defective saphenous vein trunk with a catheter that also rotates and somewhat damages the vein lining during mechanochemical vein ablation. This combination is intended to boost the vein’s obliteration success rate.

Ambulatory microphlebectomy

Through small, slit-like incisions in the skin, ambulatory phlebectomy eliminates superficial veins. This procedure can be used to treat both asymptomatic and symptomatic superficial veins in the skin. Larger veins that bulge over the surface of the skin, as well as varicose veins, are commonly treated with this procedure. Small incisions are used to define the veins, and bulging veins are surgically removed segment by segment.

Finding The Best Treatment Option For You

It can be difficult to tell whether your leg pain is caused by a normal ache or soreness from a long day at work, or if it is a symptom of a more serious problem that necessitates medical attention. Contact Hinsdale Vein & Laser today to schedule a consultation appointment to see if your insurance will cover the removal of your varicose veins.

How much does it cost to get a spider vein removed?

According to 2020 figures from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of spider vein treatment (sclerotherapy) is $413, and the average cost of laser treatment for leg veins is $312.

Does insurance cover leg veins?

Patients with both medical and aesthetic vein problems are not rare. What is the distinction? Most insurance companies only cover varicose vein therapy if it is judged necessary “Medically required.” Cosmetic treatments are those that do not match the policy’s criteria. What is considered medically necessary by insurance companies? Is it even worth it to try to get your insurance to pay for your vein treatments? All of these are regular inquiries that we receive on a daily basis. Sometimes the answers are self-evident, and other times the distinction between medical and cosmetic vein disease is hazy. The answer to whether or not your varicose veins are medically necessary may be determined not only by your symptoms, but also by the terms of your insurance coverage. This means that what is medically required under one insurance plan may be considered cosmetic under another. In this article, I’ll explain what you’ll need to get insurance to fund your vein treatments, as well as whether or not attempting to do so is in your best interests.

To begin with, most insurance plans would say that spider vein therapy is not medically necessary. As a result, the majority of spider vein treatments are deemed cosmetic. The only exception is when a patient’s spider veins are causing hemorrhage. Spider veins are small red and blue veins on the skin’s surface that are smaller than 1mm in diameter. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are bigger (3mm or greater), ropy veins beneath the skin’s surface. Varicose veins frequently bulge or protrude, forming lumps. However, not all varicose veins are visible on the surface of the skin; in fact, many people have varicose veins beneath the skin and only visible spider veins on the surface. An examination by a vein care specialist can help you establish if there is any pathology beneath the skin that meets medical requirements. Swelling and even ulceration, for example, are symptoms of severe vein disease, although they can also occur in the absence of ropy varicose veins.

This brings us to the first medical necessity criterion: symptoms. It is not medically required to dislike the sight of a vein; however, having symptoms usually is. Aching, heaviness, discomfort, throbbing, leg tiredness, frequent nighttime cramps, itching, swelling, and restless legs are all common venous symptoms. Other possible presenting signs include bleeding, pigmentation (skin discoloration), and even ulceration. Many patients do not know how symptomatic they are until their veins have been treated, in my experience. Patients mistakenly feel that their symptoms are just normal indicators of aging since venous disease symptoms develop slowly, frequently over several years. It’s vital to keep in mind, though, that your legs should not hurt or be tender. On a daily basis, fatigued or heavy legs are not normal. Similarly, leaving imprints on your ankles with your socks is an indication of swelling. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you may have venous insufficiency, and a medical vein disease workup is recommended.

Venous reflux is the next criterion that most insurance companies use to determine medical necessity. This criterion is reasonable. In essence, the insurance companies are claiming that they would not cover the costs “If a vein isn’t broken, it can be repaired. Although blood should go up the veins from the legs to the heart, gravity always pulls it back down to the feet. Backwards flow is prevented by valves in the veins of our legs. If the valves fail, gravity pulls the blood back down rather than up the vein. Reflux is the term for this retrograde flow. An ultrasound is the most accurate technique to identify whether you have reflux or not, and it should be performed in a standing position to be accurate. This criterion also rules out spider vein treatment because ultrasounds aren’t sensitive enough to detect reflux in such small veins.

A trial of conservative therapy is the final requirement frequently seen in most insurance policies when it comes to the medical necessity of venous care. Essentially, your insurance provider encourages you to attempt non-invasive methods to alleviate your symptoms. Maintaining a healthy weight, walking, periodically lifting your legs above the level of your heart, calf raises, and using compression stockings are all conservative steps you may take at home. In fact, most insurance companies require you to wear class 2 compression stockings (medical grade or at least 20-30mm Hg) for 6-12 weeks before they will pay treatments. To aid with venous symptoms, I usually recommend all of the aforementioned conservative approaches. Unfortunately, while compression stockings, leg elevation, and walking all assist, none of them provide long-term relief in my experience. That is, symptoms usually return shortly after you remove the compression stockings or put your legs back down.

In summary, the three most common medical necessity criteria are symptoms, venous reflux, and a conservative therapy trial.

Is this to say that everyone with symptoms should bill their insurance for all of their treatments? Again, the answer to this inquiry will be determined by your coverage and deductible. If you have symptomatic varicose veins that are likely to show reflux on an ultrasound but might be readily treated with sclerotherapy and a high deductible plan, you might be better off treating and paying for it as a cosmetic operation. This is because the cost of an ultrasound and therapy will almost certainly be less than your deductible. In certain circumstances, bypassing the ultrasound and going straight to therapies could save you money.

If, on the other hand, your deductible has been met, the identical scenario could be ethically and legally billed to your insurer because the veins are symptomatic and meet the policy’s medical necessity rules. Of course, you should consult with a physician to see if you can avoid the ultrasound. If the veins are small but overlie or drain areas of commonly diseased veins, you may have a problem with one of the named superficial veins, such as the Greater Saphenous Vein. In this case, sclerotherapy alone is unlikely to provide long-term relief, and an ultrasound would be recommended to determine the exact source of the problem. If your doctor determines that an endovenous ablation is necessary after the ultrasound, those operations are more expensive, therefore it’s probably preferable to bill them to insurance and have them applied to your deductible.

It’s also worth noting that these are only guidelines; each insurance coverage is unique. It’s critical to verify with your insurance company to see what your policy’s exact requirements are.

Please contact our office if you have any further questions about whether you have medical or cosmetic vein disease, or both. We provide free cosmetic tests, and if it is discovered that you have a medical condition, you may be scheduled for a formal and full clinical assessment, as well as an ultrasound if necessary.

Can I get rid of spider veins myself?

In the end, spider veins will not vanish on their own. This is why it is critical to treat them as soon as possible to avoid them worsening. If you have any associated discomfort or swelling, which could signal underlying disorders, it’s extremely crucial to consult a physician.

How many laser treatments does it take to get rid of spider veins?

After therapy, little spider veins may disappear completely. Larger spider veins and varicose veins will deepen and remain visible for 1 to 3 months before disappearing. You may require three or more sessions to achieve complete clearance.

The majority of patients are able to return to work the next day and resume many of their routine activities.

Some patients must wear compression stockings for a brief time after each treatment.

For 3 to 4 weeks, each patient must keep the treated region out of the sun. This helps to avoid the formation of black stains. Keeping your skin protected from the sun all year will help you avoid developing spider veins and skin cancer.

EVLT and RFA (endovenous laser therapy and radiofrequency ablation) are two recent procedures. They frequently eliminate the need for a vein to be surgically removed.

Both treatments seek to kill the vein from within. EVLT is used by dermatologists to treat spider veins and minor varicose veins. Large varicose veins are treated using RFA.

Local anesthetic is used to numb the area to be treated. The anesthetic causes the region to enlarge as well.

Your dermatologist will then make a small incision in the vein and implant a laser fiber (for EVLT) or a catheter (for RFA).

The laser or radiofrequency device is activated by your dermatologist, which heats up the vein, causing it to collapse and seal shut. The heat has little effect on the environment.

You should take daily walks and wear the compression stockings as advised to help reduce side effects. The compression stockings are typically used for 1 to 2 weeks by most patients.

With both EVLT and RFA, the treated vein takes roughly a year to vanish. You may require more than one treatment to achieve the greatest results.

Physical exam essential before treatment

Your dermatologist will use a physical assessment to determine whether leg vein therapy is safe for you. Your dermatologist will examine your leg veins and ask about your medical history during the physical exam.

Non-invasive examinations to examine the veins in your legs may be required as well. The blood flow in your leg veins will be visualized with a Doppler ultrasonography. Plethysmography (pla-thiz-muh-graph-) employs a blood pressure cuff to assess changes in blood volume, which can aid in the detection of issues such as irregular blood flow.

Your dermatologist can tell you if leg vein treatment is suited for you and which treatment would be the most effective after analyzing all of the facts. To achieve the best results and minimize side effects, more than one type of treatment may be recommended.

Whether treatment is suggested, make sure you check with your insurance company to see if it will cover it. If you merely want to improve the appearance of your legs, you’ll almost certainly have to pay.

Skill is the key to getting best results

The outcome is mostly determined by the individual who does the leg vein treatment. Dermatologists have an advantage in employing these therapies because they pioneered many of the innovations that have resulted in safer, less intrusive treatments for leg veins.

By heading to Find a dermatologist and selecting Cosmetic Dermatology as a speciality, you can find a dermatologist that treats leg veins.

How do you cover spider veins?

Use a yellow or orange waterproof concealer like Maybelline Cover Stick Corrector to hide blue-green lines caused by varicose and spider veins. Then, to conceal the troublesome areas, apply a body foundation on top. Wearing support stockings on the plane before your next vacation might also help lessen the look of veins before slipping into a bikini.

Can spider veins go away naturally?

Spider veins are a collection of veins that form in a branching or spider-like pattern. Many people question if spider veins will go away on their own without treatment because they are usually only a cosmetic concern and do not cause pain. Spider veins may not go away on their own, and while they may not be bothersome at first, they tend to worsen over time. Fortunately, there are treatment alternatives that are minimally invasive and may be completed in the office in a short amount of time.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are tiny veins that form near the surface of the skin. They are usually blue, purple, or red in color. They can take three different forms: branch-like, linear, or the typical spider shape with a dark spot in the center. Spider veins are most commonly found on the thighs and ankles, but they can arise anywhere on the leg. They can even show up on your face.

What are the Symptoms of Spider Veins?

The majority of people who have spider veins don’t have any symptoms. However, they have been reported in some people. Swelling in the lower extremities, burning or discomfort in the affected area, and itching surrounding the veins are all symptoms of spider veins. Spider veins can sometimes evolve into leg ulcers and bleed. These symptoms will typically worsen if you sit for extended amounts of time or stand for long periods of time.

What Causes Spider Veins?

Experts estimate that 70% of all women will have venous insufficiency at some point in their lives. Spider veins and varicose veins are examples of this. While spider veins can appear in men as well, they are more common in women, who are twice as likely to develop them. When the valves of veins become weak, spider veins emerge. When the valves stop working properly, blood collects in the small veins at the surface of the skin, resulting in spider veins. Spider veins can be caused by a combination of genetics and hormonal changes. Another factor is weight growth, as well as working in a sector that requires you to be on your feet or sit for the most of the day.

Treatment Options for Spider Veins

At BASS Vein Center, we provide a variety of treatment options for spider veins. Sclerotherapy is one of the most frequent treatments, and our doctors can perform it right in the office. Sclerotherapy is a non-surgical procedure that treats both varicose and spider veins. In the afflicted vein, an FDA-approved solution is injected. The lining of the vein’s wall sticks together as a result of this solution, and the vein gradually closes. Blood flow is hampered when a vein is shut, and scar tissue begins to form inside the vein.

The blood is rerouted to healthier veins once the vein is sealed, and the body gradually absorbs the closed-off vein. This treatment is frequently repeated over a period of weeks or months. It’s done to make sure the patient gets the results they want.

What is the best way to get rid of spider veins?

A: Sclerotherapy or laser treatment can be used to eradicate spider veins. Both of these procedures produce good results with little to no downtime. Even high-intensity physical exercise can usually be resumed the next day for most patients.

The use of laser therapy is very popular. By infiltrating the skin, it kills the vein. However, as it penetrates, it burns and, sadly, causes skin damage. It also only damages a little portion of a vein at a time. For spider veins, I personally do not use laser treatment.

Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution into big veins with a tiny needle. The solution irritates the vein, causing it to scar and close, and it spreads to all of the vein’s branches. You can see them vanish in an instant. It’s a lot more efficient technique with a lower risk of skin injury. It’s almost painless because the needle is so small and delicate. It’s also a painless solution.

What insurance covers varicose veins?

Is Varicose Vein Treatment Covered by Insurance? The following are the factors used to assess if insurance will cover varicose vein therapy.

Varicose vein treatments that are considered “medically required care” will be covered by most insurance types (including Medicare and Molina), but not for “cosmetic care.”

To be covered by insurance, varicose veins (bulging leg veins) must produce symptoms such as leg pain. Spider veins (tiny clusters of blood vessels on the surface of the skin) are a cosmetic procedure that is not covered by insurance.

Vein treatment that is medically necessary indicates the varicose veins are causing symptoms like leg pain, heaviness, chronic swelling, nighttime cramping, or burning. Leg ulcers (open wounds) from varicose veins, repeated blood clots or phlebitis, ruptured bleeding veins, or skin darkening around the ankle are all symptoms that may indicate therapy.

The symptoms must be severe enough to interfere with a person’s everyday activities or capacity to work. A teacher, for example, may have varicose veins that hinder them from standing and doing their job because they need to elevate their legs frequently. Due to leg soreness after a few hours, a restaurant server may no longer be able to work long shifts. Symptoms might make it difficult to live a healthy lifestyle, such as limiting the amount of exercise one can do or being unable to cook or perform housework owing to leg pain.

In most circumstances, insurance companies demand that conservative methods be taken over a period of time. Compression stockings, leg elevation, exercise, weight loss, anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen or vasoactive drugs such as horse chestnut or Vascular, and hot/cold packs are all examples of conservative therapy. Before being authorized for treatment, many insurance companies require that you wear medical-grade compression stockings for 6 to 12 weeks. You should schedule an appointment as soon as possible and start incorporating cautious management into your daily routine. You should start maintaining a daily journal of the conservative therapy you’re using. If your primary care physician has previously prescribed compression stockings, having a note from your doctor or the prescription will help you stay within your conservative management time frame.

Ultrasound testing is required to confirm underlying venous insufficiency. Most insurance kinds cover the ultrasound study to determine the treatment as well as the physician appointments.

The following treatments are not covered by insurance because they are considered “cosmetic services”:

If you responded yes to each of the four questions, you are likely to meet the medical necessity requirements for vein treatment. Please note that this is a condensed questionnaire for the benefit of the patient’s understanding.

And/or have you had any of the following varicose vein complications?

  • Have you tried conservative management but it hasn’t totally healed your vein problem?
  • Yes, I’ve tried compression socks/stockings as well as at least two of the following:
  • OTC supplements like horse chestnut or grapeseed extract or venoactive medications like Vascular
  • Have you had an ultrasound to see whether you have underlying venous reflux disease?
  • Yes, my ultrasound showed reverse flow in my veins, which was documented (venous reflux)

Some individual insurance policies, however, do not cover varicose vein therapy; this is mainly due to an employer’s exclusion. In this instance, it’s possible to urge the company to include varicose vein treatments in the insurance policy. You can call the number on the back of your insurance card to see if vein treatments are covered. We will assist you in determining what your insurance will cover when you begin the vein treatment process with us. Our prior authorization specialist will acquire preauthorization (permission) for your treatment and will be available to answer any questions you may have.