Did You Know Health Insurance May Cover the Cost of Your Medical Wig?
Are you experiencing temporary or permanent hair loss from illness or genetics? Very few people know this, but when you lose your hair due to medical reasons such as chemotherapy, alopecia, trichotillomania, or other medical conditions, you can file an insurance claim to receive partial or the full cost of your wig (cranial prosthesis).
What is a Cranial Prosthesis?
A cranial prosthesis is a wig for medical patients who have permanent hair loss (such as alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, trichotillomania), or temporary hair loss resulting from treatment for chemotherapy, radiation, or any other clinical disease.
The term, cranial prosthesis, is used when applying for medical insurance or tax deduction status. Other common terms for a wig used for medical purposes include: full cranial prosthesis, hair prosthesis, cranial hair prosthesis or extra-cranial prosthesis.
Your Coverage Depends on Your Insurance Plan
For medical hair loss, you may be eligible to obtain full payment for a cranial prosthesis. Depending on your policy, some insurance companies will require you to pay upfront and then be reimbursed; while others will pay for your prosthesis upfront.
Most insurance companies will cover between 80-100% of the cost for your full cranial prosthesis and will allow you to receive one cranial prosthesis per year for medical hair loss. Depending on your insurance, your prosthesis may also be a tax-deductible medical expense.
Most Types of Medical Hair Loss Covered by Insurance
- Alopecia Hair Loss
- Chemotherapy Related Hair Loss
- Radiation Related Hair Loss
- Thyroid Related Hair Loss
- Kidney Related Hair Loss
- Cancer Related Hair Loss
- Medical Hair Loss Due to Genetics, Stress, Reaction to Medical Illness, Life and Environmental Changes, Aging, Thinning, and/or Balding
- If your policy covers a cranial prosthesis
- If yes, what type of cranial prosthesis is covered (i.e., synthetic wigs, human hair wigs, etc.)
- How much of the cost will the insurance pay
- What specific terminology they need to have on the prescription for a wig
- What specific documentation they need to submit your claim
Note: If you are reviewing your insurance policy and do not see cranial prosthesis listed, this does not automatically mean that you don’t have coverage. We highly recommend using our medical billing partner to help navigate through this process.
What we’ll need:
- Obtain a prescription for a “cranial prosthesis” (or the specific terminology required by your Health Insurance Provider) from your doctor with the medical procedure code A9282. Make sure the prescription does not say “wig.” A wig is a fashion item and is therefore not medically necessary.
- Add an extra touch: Ask your physician to also write a letter explaining hair loss and its effects and have her/him state that it is not simply for cosmetic reasons but for emotional well-being.
- If you are planning on paying upfront or out of pocket initially, place your order online at Kinkistry.com
- Once you place your order with Kinkistry, email email@example.com with your order number and request a copy of your invoice for your cranial prosthesis prescription.
- We will provide you with a copy of your invoice with a notation on the bottom that describes your purchase as a Cranial Prosthesis along with Kinkistry’s Tax ID number.
If Your Insurance Won't Help Cover the Cost of Your Wig
Option 1: When paying for your wig out of pocket, save the receipt just in case your purchase qualifies as a tax deduction. If a person's medical bills are over 7.5% of their income, then the wig would become tax deductible. Make sure to consult your tax advisor for more information.
Option 2: Talk with your doctor or social worker about local resources! Contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society, National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF), and other foundations about qualifying for financial assistance toward the purchase of a hair piece or wig.