Southern Cross And Varicose Veins Treatment Cover

Southern Cross and varicose veins treatment cover is an important consideration for a number of people in deciding if and when to go ahead with therapy.  As the leading health insurance provider in New Zealand, this company's policies affect a large number of people.

Insurance Coverage

Their coverage of treatments has varied over the years as they have responded to the number of cases and the bottom line effect that has on their cash flow.  The current policy has been in place for quite a few years now.  With the aim to provide cover for the most severe cases, if you do have a major vein associated problem, you should be able to have your treatment covered.

But what exactly are their criteria?



First whether you are covered is important.  Some people with previous vein treatments with other companies might have had varicose veins excluded as a covered condition.  Frequently business-funded health insurance through Southern Cross will accept prior conditions.  It helps the uptake of the policies.

If someone has recently taken out a policy, often within two years of seeking treatment, Southern Cross may require some background check to enable them to see how long you have had the problem for.  Usually this is done by them communicating with your family doctor or general practitioner.  


Criteria For Treatment

Beyond this, there are two main areas that need to fit the criteria they have laid out.

Underlying Vessel Problems

For Southern Cross and varicose veins treatment cover the first is the requirement to have a deeper connection vein that has been affected by the problem.  That is it needs to be enlarged.  By definition in the company's requirements this needs to be 3mm or above in diameter.  There needs to be clear reflux (backwards flow) in this segment, communicating with the deep vein system inside the muscles of the leg.  

Both the size and flow need to be viewed by ultrasound imaging to determine this.


Associated Varicose Vein Problems

The second requirement is for any one or more of a number of conditions to be present associated with the varicose vein.  These are:
  • Significant pain, that is not relieved by simple analgesia like paracetamol.  Often there can be ankle swelling.
  • Varicose eczema
  • Varicose ulcers currently present or having healed
  • An episode of bleeding from a surface varicose vein
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis - a clot occurring in the surface varicose veins that becomes inflamed and tender as the body attempts to break it down
  • Lipodermatosclerosis - a skin change in the lower part of the lower leg that involves some scarring reaction in the skin and area below the skin from long term raised back-pressure in the veins.  The skin changes in colour with pigmentation and also at times loss of pigmentation.  The skin feels hard and less elastic.
  • Acute panniculitis - a situation related to the problem above where the tissue under the skin in the lower leg becomes inflamed - tender and red - in response to the raised vein back-pressure.

Treatments Covered

If these two areas are fulfilled then Southern Cross will cover the treatment and a compression stocking for each leg requiring therapy.  They cover both endovenous laser treatments and ultrasound guided treatment.

If your policy meets a percentage of usual treatment fees, like 80% as is common, there will be the 20% shortfall to be met by yourself.  Likewise some people have an excess of $300 or $600 to reduce policy costs.  This likewise would need to be met by you. 


Areas Not Covered

They do not cover surface laser treatment of veins.  

They also specify they do not cover treatment of surface spider veins as these are considered a more cosmetic problem.  Frequently, though, we can treat quite a number of spider veins as part of the full varicose vein treatment that is covered.


Process For Payment

The cover for Southern Cross and varicose veins does mean that quite a number of people will be eligible.  As an affiliated provider for Southern Cross at Springdale we can assess and tell you whether you meet their criteria and deal with the payment of the assessment and treatments on-line without the need for you to send accounts for the treatment to the company.

Certification & Industry Affiliates

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09 239 3323