Paying for Wigs after Medically Induced Hair Loss

Will insurance cover the cost of a wig?

Will Insurance cover the cost of a wig?Partial or complete baldness from certain conditions such as cancer treatment, alopecia and trichotillomania are categorized as medically induced hair loss. For these individuals, there may be ways to offset or even completely cover the cost of the wig, which, for medical purposes, is called a cranial prosthesis. Regardless of how your cranial prosthesis is paid for, be sure to keep copies of all related paperwork: doctor’s prescription, sales receipt, completed insurance claim form and all correspondence with the insurance company.

Private Health Insurance

Most health insurance companies will partially or entirely cover the cost of the wig under the classification of “durable medical goods.”  Before you even begin shopping, contact your insurance company and ask about their requirements, what they will cover, and the exact terminology needed on the prescription. Avoid the word “wig” and instead refer to it as a “cranial prosthesis” or “extra-cranial prosthesis.” If you refer to it as a wig, the insurance company will likely reject your claim. The insurance company may require you to purchase the wig first, and then file a claim for reimbursement. Most insurance companies allow one cranial prosthesis per year for medically induced hair loss.

Medicare Advantage

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not typically cover wigs for patients who are suffering from medically induced hair loss, including cancer treatment. However, a Medicare Advantage plan, sometimes called Part C, offered by a private insurance company, may cover cranial prosthesis for patients with medically induced hair loss. Consult with your Medicare Advantage carrier on their coverage and requirements.

Non Profit Organizations

Several national and local non-profits help cancer patients by granting financial assistance, refurbishing gently used wigs or providing brand new wigs to patients in need. The local chapter of the American Cancer Society may also offer a wig bank where new wigs are given to cancer patients who can’t afford to purchase one. Nonprofit organizations may require that you show proof that you are not able to pay for the wig.


If you pay for a wig out of pocket, be sure to save the prescription and the receipt because the purchase may qualify as a tax deduction. For 2018, the IRS allows you to deduct qualified medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, taxpayers can deduct unreimbursed allowable medical care expenses that exceed 10% of their adjusted gross income.

Professional Advice

Salons, shops and professional consultants that specialize in wigs for cancer patients will usually help you file an insurance claim. If they don’t do the filing for you, they may have a staff person who can coach you through the paperwork. At Artemis Hair Studio, our caring, experienced staff will meet with you in a private setting where we can discuss your unique hair loss situation and evaluate your insurance coverage.

If you are experiencing medically induced hair loss due to illness, genetics, chemotherapy or other reasons, Artemis Hair Studio will be your partner whether you want to look like you again or try something completely different. We specialize in creating high-quality, natural looking wigs that are custom designed to match the style, color and cut you want. Call 713-576-6918 or complete our online form to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced stylists today.

07/19/18 | Comments Off on Paying for Wigs after Medically Induced Hair Loss comments | in Chemotherapy Wigs, Custom Human Hair Wigs

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