Every now and then I have dreams that my hair has grown back. Last night was one of those nights. My hair was back and I was so excited that it was FINALLY long enough to wear in a sloppy bun! For whatever reason Miley Cyrus was also in my dream and she was stoked for me. Needless to say, I woke up with no sloppy bun and no hype girl Miley. Shoot!
Today I wanted to write about alopecia and insurance. When I lost all of my hair, I was shocked to find out my insurance did not provide coverage for wigs. After some research I learned that this is an all too common thing in the alopecia world. Apparently having your immune system attack all of your hair follicles leaving you with less hair than you had at birth is not reason enough to provide coverage. It is cruel and so completely unfair. Especially since human hair wigs typically cost $1000+ on a good day. Reality is that most HH wigs are at least $2000 – $5000 depending on length, density, and cap. If you want a cap that adheres to your scalp without tape or glue, you have to shell out the big bucks. The human hair wig industry is designed for the rich and fabulous, but alopecia doesn’t give a crap about your income bracket.
So, what should you do? Try to get your insurance to pay for it even if they say they won’t! I’m not saying that this will work for everyone, and even if they decide to pay, it is very likely that they will only pay a percentage. Either way, money is money and its worth a shot! I submitted a claim for my first wig and ended up getting 6% back! This sounds like nothing, but my first wig was expensive AF and 6% was WAY better than nothing. Especially since insurance said they’d cover 0. Here is what you should do:
• Get a prescription or a letter from your doctor explaining the reason why you need a cranial prosthesis. This should include a diagnosis code.
• Purchase your wig from a salon that knows how to create an insurance friendly invoice. The receipt should not say ‘wig’ anywhere on it. Your purchase should be billed out as a ‘cranial prosthesis’ (because that is exactly what it is).
• The salon will need to include the proper insurance code along with their Tax ID.
• Submit the claim and hope for the best!
• If they deny it, CALL! Call and talk to supervisors or whoever you need to until they understand that this is not a normal claim. My claims have always been denied until they get sent to the complex billing department. Be your own advocate! A no does not always mean no. To me a no just means you haven’t talked to the right person in the department who can help.
After my first wig, my company’s insurance switched over and they now offer partial coverage. Even so, it has taken me months to get each claim processed correctly. Each time it is initially denied. Then after months of phone calls it gets approved and processed. Every. Single. Time. This is why I say you MUST be your own advocate!!
For me, beautiful wigs helped me with my healing. If it weren’t for Follea, Yaffa, and Shuly, I don’t think I’d be at this place of peace that I am. I want insurance to get on board with helping every alopecian get to this same place of peace by eliminating that financial hardships that come along with hair loss. My hope is that one day they will hop on board, but until then keep fighting for yourselves friends!