Varicose Veins and Health Insurance
Does Insurance Cover the Treatment Of Varicose Veins?
Yes, since this is a medical issue that can lead to serious health consequences most insurance companies do cover the treatment of varicose veins. CIGNA is one of the insurance companies that does not cover in their lower level plans. Most insurance companies, like physicians, believe the treatment of varicose veins is a necessity and should be taken care of immediately.
How Common Are Varicose Veins?
About 50-55% of American women and 40-45% of American men suffer from some form of vein problem. Varicose veins affect one out of two people age 50 and older.
Who Usually Has Varicose Veins?
Many factors increase the chances of developing varicose veins including
- Increasing age.
- Family members with vein problems or being born with weak vein valves.
- Pregnancy. The increase in the amount of blood during pregnancy can cause veins to enlarge. The expanding uterus also puts pressure on the veins. Varicose veins usually improve within three months after delivery.
- Obesity, leg injury, prolonged standing and other things that weaken vein valves.
Why Do Varicose Veins Usually Appear In the Legs?
The force of gravity, the pressure of body weight, and the task of carrying blood from the bottom of the body up to the heart make the legs the primary location for varicose veins. They endure the most pressure. This pressure can be stronger than the veins' one-way valves.
Are They Painful or Dangerous?
Varicose veins usually enlarge and worsen over time. Severe varicose veins can cause health problems including
- Debilitating/lifestyle altering symptoms as described below
- Spider/reticular veins that may advance to non-healing sores or skin ulcers
- Ongoing irritation, swelling and painful rashes of the legs.
What Are the Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency?
Some common symptoms are
- Aching pain
- Easily tired legs
- Leg heaviness
- Swelling in the legs
- Darkening of the skin or leg ulcers
- Restless legs and/or numbness
- Itching or irritated rash in the legs
What Should I Do If I Notice One or More of These Symptoms?
See a physician who specializes in the treatment of varicose veins.
What Treatments Are Available?
In many individuals, since varicose veins are a chronic issue, there are several areas that need to be treated. Once the treatment areas are established by a physical exam and ultrasound study, varicose veins are best treated by either laser or radiofrequency ablation (closure) of the vein.
Is Treatment Painful and How Long Is the Recovery Process?
It is relatively pain free and can be done in the comfort of a physician's office. In the past, treatment required a hospital stay and a painful procedure called “vein stripping.” New techniques and technology have led to the new laser and radio frequency approach that can be performed in less than one hour and have you back on your feet on the same day.