In October Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut introduced a companion bill to HR 3332 (formerly HR 2925) calling for changes to Medicare such that wigs are covered as Durable Medical Equipment due to medically related hair loss. This is the first time such legislation has been developed. If HR 3332 were to pass (and this companion legislation is designed to help in that regard), it would significantly change the conversations the majority of us have with our insurance companies around getting our cranial prosthetics covered.
The text of the bill reads as follows:
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
OCTOBER 17, 2019
Mr. BLUMENTHAL introduced the following bill, which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance:
A BILL to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide coverage for wigs as durable medical equipment under the Medicare program, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. PROVIDING COVERAGE FOR WIGS AS DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT UNDER THE MEDICARE PROGRAM.
Section 1861(n) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.7 1395x(n)) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: ‘‘Such term also includes cranial prostheses furnished to an individual, but only where the dermatologist, oncologist, or attending physician of the individual certifies in writing the medical necessity of such prostheses as part of a proposed course of rehabilitative treatment.’’
As a Legislative Liaison with NAAF I’ve been to Capitol Hill advocating that such companion legislation be supported. Now is a perfect (and critical) time to become involved to help get this important legislation passed. If you, too, would like to volunteer as a Legislative Liaison contact NAAF’s communications director, Gary Sherwood, at firstname.lastname@example.org.