Can I Get My Insurance Company To Cover The Cost Of My Wig?
May 22, 20202 min read
First of All: What in the world is Cranial Prosthesis?
According to Wikipedia:Ahair prosthesis (or cranial prosthesis) is awigspecifically designed for patients who have lost their hair as a result of medical conditions or treatments, such asalopecia areata,alopecia totalis,trichotillomania,chemotherapy, or any other clinical disease or treatment resulting inhair loss. The terminology is used when applying for medical insurance or tax deduction status.
Doctors have been prescribing these prostheses since the 1950s. Cranial prostheses also help to protect disease-weakened immune systems from the sun, and to regulate body temperature.
So when/if you apply to your insurance company, for reimbursement or payment, you want to use the term ‘cranial prosthesis’ and not ’wig’.
So Wait, Are You Saying That My Health Insurance Plan Will Pay For My Wig?
Well yes and No. Whether or not you are covered will depend on your insurance company. The good news is that many American companies (BCBS, CIGNA, AETNA to name a few) do cover cranial prosthesis in part or in full - meaning that some will reimburse partial cost and others will reimburse the full cost. But, but but… you must have a medical or clinic diagnosis that makes a cranial prosthesis a necessity (see that wikipedia definition above).
What about an FSA or HSA, can I use them to pay for a wig?
Our preliminary research says that Yes, cranial prosthesis are covered by your FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HSA (Health Savings Account). However, you will need a letter from your doctor staging the medical necessity of said cranial Prosthesis.
Side note: I use my FSA for massages (I have some back issues) and every year my doctor actually writes a prescription for massage.
Tell me again which conditions are maybe possibly covered?
Any hair loss related to, or caused by, conditions such as cancer, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, alopecia or lifestyle and environment issues (aging, stress, medication etc.)
So what should I do next?
Call, email, or message (a lot of them have chat on their websites now) your insurance provider to see if you are covered and what percentage they cover. Make sure that you ask them up front what forms you may need to submit for reimbursement.
Get a letter or prescription from your doctor, make sure that he uses the words ‘cranial prosthesis’
If you have a company that you deal with specifically for your FSA and/or HSA, reach out to them with the same questions that you asked your insurance company. These accounts are regulated by the IRS and that’s why you may only need a letter from your doctor to submit to them AFTER you’ve purchased your wig.
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