High quality, custom wigs and hair extensions can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.  If you’re purchasing wigs and or extensions for medical-related reasons, you may be able to have your insurance help pick up some of the cost.

While insurance companies may not cover the cost of a wig, they may be more inclined to help with the cost of a “hair prosthesis.”  This is defined by Wikipedia as “a custom-made wig specifically designed for patients who have lost their hair as a result of medical conditions or treatments, such as alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, trichotillomania, chemotherapy, or any other clinical disease or treatment resulting in hair loss. The terminology is used when applying for medical insurance or tax deduction status.”

Steps you should consider if you’re buying a wig for medical reasons:

  • Check your insurance coverage to see if hair prosthesis is covered.
  • Ask your doctor to write a prescription specifically for “medical cranial hair prosthesis.”
  • Have your local wig store adjust the receipt so it specifically mentions “medical hair prosthesis,” instead or wig.
  • Take before and after photos to send with your claim
  • Write a letter to send with the claim explaining the emotional reasons why the hair replacement is important to you

Coverage for wigs from insurance companies is different across the board.  Some insurers will pay up to 50%, while others will put a designated sum towards your expense.  Remember that if you don’t succeed with your first attempt, all insurance companies have an appeal process that you can also try.  Talk with your agent to determine what additional steps you should take to help ensure you can get the right hair piece for you!