Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Maryland all currently have legislation that mandates wigs (for medical reasons) be covered by health insurance.  BRAVO! But what if you don’t live in one of these six states?

In April 2008, I met with New York State Senator Healthcare Chair Senator Kemp Hannon’s staff attorney to get New York State follow suit. I presented the laws from the other states and asked what we could do to adapt similar legislation in New York.  Senator Hannon got on board right away. No one had presented legislation like this before and he jumped on it seeing its importance. (Thank you Senator Hannon!) He recently introduced a new bill into New York State Senate, S7823.

If you live in New York please call your local state representative and ask that she/he support this legislation.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, you are next! I am not going to stop until all states pass this important legislation. Everyone can help take the first steps by signing the Girl on the Go! petition. Just click on Legislation tab on the main navigation bar to your right and fill out the short form. (girlonthego.biz/legislation)

Why aren’t wigs generally covered as part of our health insurance policy?

If a side effect of a medication caused me to have a bad headache, my health insurance would cover the cost of my prescription to fight my headache.  If my leg was injured, health insurance would help me get a cane so that during my recovery period I could walk. My policy would also help pay for physical therapy to help the healing.

Why then do most health care policies EXCLUDE wigs.  Hair loss resulting from medication or a medical illness SHOULD BE covered. Like a cane is needed to help one walk, wigs are needed by most to function at work, and in their lives. They are also a part of the cure – – so women see themselves as women and not patients.

 It seems like a very simple equation. Hair loss is caused by disease or medication. Wigs are part of the cure and the leading Rx to help women feel good. Therefore, they should be covered. (It just makes sense!)

I would like to see the legislation have a “free choice” policy – meaning women could go anywhere they wanted to purchase a wig. The idea of having a closed network seems wrong to me. If the health care benefit is $250, $300, or $500 women should be able to decide where they feel comfortable to purchasing a wig.  In some cases Health Insurance Companies have dictated the wig vendor in order to have administrative efficiency.  In some cases, Health Insurance companies have contracted with vendors who aside from wigs, sell canes, commodes, braces, and oxygen tanks. That is a prime example of a good intention gone bad! NO woman is going to feel good trying on and purchasing a wig in a store like that. We need legislation that gives women the right to choose. Give us the dollar amount of the wig benefit and the choice to shop wherever we want.

We are voters, mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. Lawmakers – Make This Personal! The statistics say:  you too will be touched somehow by this issue at some point in your life. Wouldn’t you want your loved one to have financial help and the freedom to choose.