Does Medicare Cover Vein Surgery
Does Medicare Cover Vein Surgery?
One common vein problem a lot of people have is varicose veins. These veins can get swollen and become visible right under your skin’s surface. You see it happen a lot in your legs, but it can appear in other areas of your body. There are health complications that can go along with this type of vein issue, including blood flow complications and heavy bleeding. If you’re having vein problems that are leading to bigger health issues, your Medicare benefits can provide coverage for treatment.
Why vein issues occur
Your veins carry blood throughout your body and back to your heart. Veins come designed to allow your blood to flow in a single direction, and this keeps blood flow regulated throughout your body. Every vein has valves evenly spaced throughout that help ensure the blood flows one way. The valves can lose how well they function over time. If this happens, your blood can actually start to flow backward. In turn, this can lead to swelling, increased blood pressure, itching, and discoloration around the area. You can also get issues with vein bulging.
Age is a leading factor involved in developing vein issues. When you age, your veins can weaken. This boosts your chances of having problems. You could also have a family history of vein problems. Being overweight, a female, or not exercising regularly all factor in. These factors can lead to restricted blood flow, and this can lead to weaker or deteriorated veins.
Treating vein issues
There are some vein issues that are purely cosmetic, and they usually don’t cause serious health issues. However, some issues will lead to complications that your doctor will have to address to prevent them from getting worse. If your veins bleed regularly or you have sores on your skin due to untreated vein issues, it may be medically-necessary to have surgery.
Vein issues can also cause pain to the immediate area, swelling, and tenderness. You could feel restless, have fatigue, or feel a heaviness, throbbing, or tingling in the area after prolonged periods of exercise or standing.
Vein surgery and Medicare benefits
If you’re not currently having any serious side effects from your vein issues like visible sores or bleeding, Medicare usually won’t cover your surgery or treatment because it’s cosmetic. It has to be medically necessary for Medicare to pay for it.
Surgery is one of the most common ways to take care of vein issues, but Medicare can require you to try other routes first. They may advise you to wear compression socks or sleeves, or your primary care provider will set up an exercise and diet plan to help you lose weight. They could also advise you to elevate the area at least once a day to reduce the swelling.
This could go on for several months. If you don’t show any signs of improvement, Medicare could cover the cost of other procedures like surgery. Laser therapy, stripping out the affected vein, or using chemicals to close the problem veins are common.
Vein surgery cost
If Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of vein surgery, your out-of-pocket costs will fluctuate based on your location and the time it takes you to recover. This can easily top $3,000 per procedure if you strip the veins out. If Medicare does cover it, they’ll usually pay up to 80% of the Medicare-approved amount as long as the doctor accepts Medicare assignment.
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