Will my Aetna insurance cover the removal of varicose veins and spider veins?

I have severe varicose veins and spider veins. Will my Aetna insurance cover the removal in order to reduce leg pain and cramping? Please advise what is the usual/normal Costs for both legs. Thank you.


F, 59, Illinois

Tags:150-169 lbs cost legs

That's a difficult question to answer without an examination.

In non-specific/general terms, I can tell you that varicose vein treatment will not be covered by Aetna if it is not considered "medically necessary."

To determine whether or not your varicose veins constitute a medical necessity, your doctor would need to perform ultrasound tests and assess your medical history to understand if and for how long you have experienced recurring pain. Your doctor would also need to consider to what extent your varicose veins are affecting your daily life.

There are many very specific requirements under Aetna's insurance policy which are used to determine whether or not varicose vein removal is covered under your health care plan.

The average cost of plastic surgery to remove varicose veins depends on many things including the experience and skill of the vascular surgeon. Average costs typically run between $1500 and $3000, but I can't offer you any specific guidance without an examination.

Spider vein removal via sclerotherapy or foam sclerotherapy is typically not covered by health plans. Spider vein removal procedures are generally considered to be cosmetic and not medical necessities. There are a wide range of costs for the procedure depending on the location and number of spider veins needing treatment.

Please note that if your treatment is not covered by insurance, many plastic surgeons will offer payment plans and financing to help you pay for your surgery or sclerotherapy and laser treatment over time.

I encourage you to contact a board-certified plastic surgeon for a direct examination and a consultation regarding insurance coverage and other payment possibilities.

I can't give you any definitive answers here of course but, in the most general terms, health care procedures which are deemed “medically necessary” are covered by Aetna insurance.

Whether or not you’re covered also depends on your specific Aetna insurance plan. As Aetna has many health plans with a broad range of health benefits and coverage levels, I can't answer any questions specifically -- but hopefully I can provide you with some insight:

If your varicose veins involve specific symptoms, Aetna will typically consider varicose vein removal to be a "medical need." For example: Severe, recurring pain which prevents you from participating or completing your daily activities is usually grounds for coverage by Aetna.

If your varicose veins are affecting your quality of life, I encourage you to contact a board-certified plastic surgeon for a free consultation.

Regarding spider vein treatment:

A sclerotherapy procedure is an effective treatment for treating spider veins and reticular veins. The procedure is minimally invasive and involves the injection of a sclerosing agent into the treatment area. The sclerosing agent prevents blood flow within spider veins. After sclerotherapy, your normal blood flow is naturally re-routed through other (less visible) leg veins, and the spider veins will fade over time.

Spider vein removal is considered to be a ‘cosmetic procedure’ by insurance companies and in my experience none of the treatment options (including sclerotherapy treatment and laser treatment) are likely to be covered by your plan.

To answer your question about cost: Sclerotherapy vein treatment costs vary depending on the complexity of the individual case, the experience of the physician, and your geographic location. The general costs start from around $150 per leg, but can rise significantly (to thousands of dollars) depending on case specifics.

Surgical varicose vein removal costs also vary widely and often range from $2000 to $4000 -- but the only way to give you a realistic estimate is with a direct consultation.

If your varicose veins and spider veins are contributing to a negative self image or affecting your quality of life, I suggest you contact a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in varicose vein removal for a free consultation.

Lawrence Broder has 1 Spider vein treatment before & after:

Spider vein treatment before image performed by Dr. Lawrence BroderSpider vein treatment after image performed by Dr. Lawrence Broder

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