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Legislation to require Medicare coverage of wigs re-introduced

Legislation to require Medicare coverage of wigs re-introduced

WASHINGTON – A bill that would require Medicare to cover wigs as durable medical equipment has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives. 

Led by Reps. James McGovern and Ayanna Pressley, both Democrats from Massachusetts, the Wigs as Durable Medical Equipment Act (H.R. 5430), would help individuals affected by alopecia and patients with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy. 

“For people impacted by alopecia or undergoing cancer treatment, a wig can make all the difference in the world,” said McGovern. “It can provide them with the confidence and courage they need to get back to normal during a challenging time. But wigs can cost thousands of dollars, and despite the enormous and clear benefits they provide, they are not currently covered by programs like Medicare.” 

Many private insurance plans cover wigs for those undergoing treatments that cause hair loss or who are affected by alopecia areata. 

Pressley has been public about her own experience with alopecia. 

“Since I first revealed my alopecia diagnosis, I’ve been intentional about creating space and creating community for those of us who have medical conditions that impact our hair - and this bill is a continuation of those efforts,” she said. “Every person living with alopecia, battling cancer, or facing another medical condition that leads to hair loss, should be able to access wigs and other head coverings.” 

McGovern introduced similar legislation in 2017.


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