Health insurance for varicose veins can determine whether people will opt for treatment. With New Zealand's
current public hospital admission protocols just about no vein treatments occur in the public system. Private treatment is practically the only option.
Costs Without Insurance
For those without private insurance, the costs for treatment can be equivalent to a year or two's premiums for a regular policy. In view of this, and with the lack of a public alternative, many people opt to pay for treatment themselves.
What Is Covered?
For those with insurance, though, what can be covered?
There are some useful distinctions that can be made. Most companies will not cover treatment for purely cosmetic reasons. Having said that, most people achieve a very good cosmetic result with their treatment.
Symptoms And Physical Conditions
Acceptable reasons for non-cosmetic treatments will vary from company to company. Usually more that just mild pain associated with the veins is cause for cover.
Skin changes from eczema, to long term venous pressure changes with alteration in the colour and the texture of the skin indicating long term scarring-type effects, to ulcers will all usually always be acceptable problems.
Superficial clots in the varicose veins - superficial thrombophebitis - also trigger acceptance of cover.
Types Of Veins
For most companies there needs to be deeper drainage vein problems present as well - like long and short saphenous veins and perforator involvement with evident reflux, or back-flow, of blood.
The qualification of the treating doctor is important in health insurance for varicose vein cover. A few, especially with parent companies in the USA - like AIG and ING - require the assessment and treatment to be undertaken with a vascular surgeon. Such a specialist has a surgical college fellowship and specialises in vessel treatments especially arterial. Vein problems are part of the territory.
Many other companies are happy for those like myself who have had training and especially fellowships with the Australasian College of Phlebology to assess and treat people. They understand the background, training and expertise that has been acquired.
Need For Referral
Some companies will require you to be referred by your family doctor or General Practitioner. Southern Cross, for which I am an affiliated provider, does not require referral except in some special circumstances. These normally relate to the time you have been a member with the insurance company. As varicose veins tend to be a slowly progressive condition where people might seek cover just to get treatment over a short period, this is understandable.
Having varicose veins previously treated before joining a health insurer can result in it being an excluded condition. Often where the policy is part of your employment contract pre-existing conditions are accepted for cover.
If there is any doubt about you possible cover it is always wise to check with your company whether their health insurance for varicose veins will cover you for assessment and treatment and whether they require a particular doctor group to assess and treat you.