Although varicose vein development is closely linked to aging, vein conditions can affect anyone at any age. Many people view varicose veins as a common condition that doesn’t require treatment, but untreated veins can lead to complications and painful symptoms such as bleeding, fatigue, skin discoloration, swelling, and aching. These are signs of an underlying condition called chronic venous insufficiency.
Does Medicare cover treatment for varicose veins?
Medicare does cover the medical treatment of varicose veins that cause symptoms and have ultrasound characteristics of chronic venous insufficiency. A physician office visit and diagnostic ultrasound are needed to determine the medical necessity of vein treatments. Patients are encouraged to try non-medical treatment options such as exercise, weight-loss, and compression stockings (20-30mmHg) prior to medical vein procedures. As varicose vein symptoms become more severe, the likelihood that Medicare will cover the cost of treatment increases dramatically.
Varicose vein treatments are performed in an outpatient setting and can include phlebectomy, sclerotherapy, laser ablation, foam sclerotherapy, and vein stripping.
If your outpatient vein procedure qualifies for Medicare coverage, you must meet your Part B deductible in order to benefit from the coverage. Provided the deductible is met, Medicare will pay 80% of all procedure related charges.
Untreated varicose veins can lead to serious complications which can require hospitalization for treatment. In this case, Medicare Part A will pay for inpatient care and Part A deductibles will apply.
There is no specific medication approved for the treatment of varicose veins. However, your doctor may help you manage symptoms before and after treatment by prescribing medication. Under Medicare coverage, medications often require a coinsurance or copayment amount and must meet a plan-dependent deductible.
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