If a new bill should pass the House in Michigan, it will mean health plans will be required to provide cover.
New legislation that has been introduced in the Michigan House could soon mean that there will be health insurance coverage for wigs for children who have lost their hair as a result of an illness.
This bill would classify the children’s wigs as being prosthetics and would require them to be covered.
This way, the insurance coverage would be the same for the wigs as they would be for any other kind of prosthetic. According to Michigan Rep. Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores), there it can be emotionally, psychologically, and socially traumatizing for a child to lose his or her hair. This can cause them to become the victims of bullying, they can be ostracized and it can lead to low self-esteem.
There are a number of nonprofit organizations that supply wigs for children, but insurance coverage would offer much needed opportunity.
Among them is Wigs for Kids, which uses donated real hair to create cut, and style the wigs for free for children who need them. However, the demand for these prosthetics is far greater than the available resources. Rep. Roberts’s figures show that each one typically costs between $1,500 and $2,500 and these wigs are not easy to find.
It was that nonprofit that inspired Rep. Roberts to create and sponsor the bill in the first place. She pointed out that if the bill should pass, Michigan will not be alone. “We know of at least 13 other states across the nation that require their insurance companies to offer some type of coverage for wigs for children.”
Rep. Roberts also drew attention to the fact that the insurance coverage that is received by the lawmakers, themselves, includes some coverage for children’s wigs, “so I believe what’s good for us as politicians should be good for any other family or child in the state of Michigan.” Though insurance companies traditionally put up resistance against additional required forms of coverage, saying that it forces them to pass on the cost to their customers, Roberts has said that the cost of paying for the wigs is nominal when compared to the expenses that are incurred as a result of major and chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.