First, let's start with what medically induced hair loss is.( MIHL) is hair loss that is caused by any medical condition such as Cancer, Alopecia, tetracyclominia, or even medications which cause hair loss. The first step to do is to talk to your doctor to see how fast you will lose your hair. To purchase a wig, you will need two things from your doctor:
A letter of necessity(This is important because it shows that you will need one and why)
A prescription (what the insurance company uses for the actual item)... special note, If you have Alopecia or tetracyclomania, these are long term hair loss situations, and sometimes, your insurance company might require a prescription per year.
But let me back up a bit . Most insurance companies will pay for a wig(which in the medical field is called... A Cranial prosthetic) and as long as you have a prescription and letter of necessity, the rest is easy right? If you answered yes, your wrong. When you first get a prognosis, your social worker/hospital/ oncology clinic, will offer you 1 free wigs from the American Cancer Society, yes, FREE Yahooooooooooooooo. These are called Wig banks. A wig bank comprise of Wigs which have been donated to the Wig bank. These are either seconds, discontinued or wigs donated by “patient for cancer” wigs. But wait. There is a huge problem with this, because you usually have to take what you get and even though I am proud to say that I admire what they do, other people do not realize that there are alternatives. Even if you find the right style, they will most likely not have it in your color. Most Wig Banks only have 20-30 Wigs, some only have available 10, so if your not picky about what style and color you want, and just want hair on your head, this is one way to go. Even we at AJ's Wigs do a wig bank when we can purchase current wigs at very reduced rates due to a color being slightly off among other reasons.
Now, the second place you can get a wig, is through an IN-NETWORK wig salon. An in Network Wig salon is a business which directly bills the insurance company so that you don't have to have any out of pocket expenses. In other words, you choose a wig and never have to pay for it. The only problem here is, that in the United States, especially in our area, there are very very few salons who direct bill due to that fact that most Wig salons are small business's and sometimes can't wait for the time it takes for insurance companies to pay the salon. Sometimes, it takes months for the insurance company to pay for your wig yet in the mean time, the salon is out that money. The other problem is, that most medical grade wig salons don't have a large selection.
There is another way which works out for most people, but not for all. A place like Aj'SWigs. Let's start with the down fall... Yup,even we have a downside to our business.... you have to pay for the Wig upfront, however, on the positive side, we give you all the codes you need to quickly collect from your insurance company. Codes such as :
2)exact cancer code(also known as a ICD code)
3)our business's id number
(we then take your Letter of necessity and prescription, put it all together duplicate everything, so you can collect with ease)
No, we are not in network yet, but we are the largest in New England with over 500 wigs in stock. We do a lot of work for you, and if there is a problem collecting, we will talk to your insurance company for you. Now in your area, this is the kind of Wigs salon who will partner with you if they are not “in Network”
Now, there is a good part of society who purchase Wigs on line, the problem here is that insurance companies will not cover Wigs if purchased on line, unless of course, the on line Wig store has an actual business or “store front”(such as AjsWigs) and isn't just an on line business.
Purchasing a wig on line is a whole different kind of blog which we have touched on in our Blogs before, but just know, that most insurance companies won't cover these wigs. Insurance companies are highly trained and meticulous and may deny claims which don't have their duck's in a row, so to speak, or better put, they deny claims if you don't your I's dotted and your T's crossed, so before you put your claim in, make sure you have everything ready to go, and always keep a copy or two of what you send out, for your own records just in case they deny you the first time.
Now, knowing what's going on in our world, there are whisper's of insurance companies who are starting to align themselves with on line purchasing, but it isn't there quite yet. All in all, know matter what you have been diagnosed with, investigate investigate investigate Wigs salons who are within your area who will help guild you through this process. In closing, here are some questions to ask wig salons in your area.
How long have you been in business's?
How many wig's do you have in stock for me to look at?
What is the procedure for collecting from my insurance company (If they dont know, move on)?
Will you help me with my insurance?(if not, move on)
Do you have a wig master on staff?
Are you full service?(repair, refurbish, custom)
How many companies do you work with?
Do you have private rooms for me to try the Wigs on?(if not, move on as this is a private personal journey)
Do you charge for consultations? (If so, move on)
We, at Ajs Wigs hopes this information helps