One of the most personal side effects of chemotherapy is hair loss. While many people are content to sport the bald look, many others find it troubling on many levels. Many people cover their heads with scarves, hats, turbans, or wraps. Many others choose to wear a wig because having hair restores their dignity and creates a sense of normalcy, as well as offers them a chance to assert their power with self-care through a difficult time.
Gabi’s Wigs in Toronto offers a variety of different types of wigs, including those for cancer patients. Some insurance providers will cover at least a portion of the cost of a wig, while others cover the entire cost. Unfortunately, there are others, such as Medicare, that do not classify a wig as medically necessary and will not cover any portion of the cost.
In this article, we’ll explain more about the cost of wigs for cancer patients.
While some insurance plans may cover all or part of the cost of a wig during cancer treatments, you may have to pay for the wig upfront and file with your insurance provider for reimbursement.
The cost of a wig depends on the type of wig that you choose. There are lots of options when it comes to wigs. The primary options are natural human hair or synthetic fibers. In addition, you can choose the color, length, and texture that you prefer. The cost of wigs ranges from around $30 to $3,000+ depending on your options. In order to find the best price and to get the perfect wig, you should work with a professional stylist at a brick-and-mortar wig salon like Gabi’s Wigs.
In some cases, cancer patients qualify for free wigs through local charitable organizations or cancer-support groups. Some wigs are loaned, while others are gifted to you to keep even after your treatment.
If there are no organizations nearby that are offering free wigs for cancer patients, there are some things that you can do to increase the chances of your insurance provider paying for the wig:
Start early: chemotherapy regimens vary depending on the type of cancer being treated- but almost always cause patients to lose their hair. The average time between the first treatment and hair loss is 18 days. In most cases, hair will start growing back approximately 3 months after chemotherapy treatments are completed. Therefore, it’s a good idea to start as early as possible since it can be such a long process.
Call your provider: many times, there are certain criteria that must be met in order for the insurance provider to cover the cost of the wig. In some cases, a synthetic wig may be covered 100%, while a human hair wig may only be partially covered due to the higher cost.
Use the right terms: usually, a prescription from your oncologist is required for the insurance provider to cover a wig. However, the terms used are important. The most commonly accepted terms for medical wigs include hair prosthesis, cranial hair prosthesis, cranial prosthesis, or extra-cranial prosthesis.
In addition, you may need to pay for the wig out-of-pocket and file for reimbursement. In this case, you would file a claim for “durable medical goods/equipment”.
Keep copies of your paperwork: You can save a lot of time and money by keeping a file with all expenses related to your cancer treatment. If your claim is delayed or there is something missing, you can easily resubmit it with the appropriate information. Keep copies of:
Ask for help: when you start shopping for a wig, ask the salon if they are able to help with your insurance claim. Many times, there is a person on staff that can help with insurance claim paperwork. If the salon is unable to help, you can speak with a social worker at the hospital or local cancer support groups.
Once you have gotten your wig, it’s important to properly care for and maintain it. This will ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Specific care depends on the type of wig that you have. However, there are a few general care tips:
The stylists at Gabi’s Wigs are trained to handle a wide variety of wig requests. We can help you find the perfect wig for you to wear during your cancer treatments- and even after if you fall in love with it. We will work with you to determine the type of wig you want, as well as the style, texture, color, and length. We can help you choose one that looks natural or choose a bold look.
Schedule your consultation with us today. We are located at 3561 Bathurst Street in Toronto. We are open 6 days a week, Sunday through Friday. Our Sunday hours are 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.