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Does Medicare Cover Hair Loss Treatment?

"Does Medicare Cover Hair Loss Treatment?" text over image of person holding handful of lost hair

Will a Medicare plan cover hair loss treatment? Usually not, but it will cover many of the conditions that cause hair loss. Give us a call today at (800) 950-0608 to speak with one of our licensed agents to find Medicare coverage in your area.

Just the Essentials:

  • Hair loss treatment is considered by Medicare to be cosmetic in nature.

  • As hair loss treatment isn’t considered to be “medically necessary”, Medicare typically will not cover it.

  • Medicare Part B will cover some hair loss treatments if they are administered by a medical professional in a qualifying healthcare facility.

  • Medicare Part C – Medicare Advantage – may cover wigs for cancer patients who are in the middle of treatment.

Will Medicare Help You Put a Stop to Hair Loss?

Ask anyone what one of the most unfortunate parts of aging may be, and you’ll usually get one answer above most: losing your hair. While not everyone deals with hair loss in their golden years, it’s still an unfortunate side effect of growing older for most individuals. 

Thanks to advancements in medical science, hair loss can either be slowed considerably or stopped in its tracks altogether. The genetic conditions that often cause age-related or premature hair loss, such as alopecia or male pattern baldness, are easily treated with a variety of surgeries and medications. At one point, the only way you could stop or stave off these conditions was with expensive, painful surgery or by wearing a wig. Today, there are more treatments and medications available on the market than ever to help you combat hair loss.

If you’re on any type of Medicare plan, you may be wondering, “Does Medicare cover hair loss treatment?” Today, we’ll help you find the answer to that very question.

Unfortunately, Medicare Does Not Typically Cover Hair Loss Treatment

Medicare plans, from Original Medicare to Part D Prescription Drug Coverage and Medigap supplemental plans, typically do not cover procedures considered to be cosmetic. Unfortunately, hair loss treatment typically falls under the umbrella of what Medicare considers cosmetic, even if you have a genetic condition that causes hair loss, such as:

  • Alopecia areata (patchy hair loss)
  • Alopecia totalis (complete hair loss on the scalp)
  • Alopecia universalis (complete bodily hair loss)
  • Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness)

This means that if you have Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) and/or Medicare Part D Prescription Drug coverage, they will not provide coverage for most of the hair loss treatments that you seek. This includes any prescription medications designed to stimulate hair growth. If you’re seeking hair loss treatment, you’ll have to cover 100 percent of the costs on your own.

If you’re seeking hair loss treatment, but are afraid to get it because you fear it won’t be covered, don’t let that hold you back. In some rare cases, Medicare Part B may cover certain hair loss medications if they are administered by a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse practitioner, in a healthcare facility. In order to have such treatments covered, the medications must be deemed medically necessary by your doctor and by Medicare. The healthcare provider administering the treatment must also accept Medicare assignment.

Does Medicare Cover Dermatology For Hair Loss?

In some cases, you may seek a surgical procedure, such as a hair transplant, as a more “permanent” solution for hair loss. In order to undergo such a surgical procedure, you’ll need to visit a dermatologist. This may have you wondering, “Does Medicare cover dermatology for hair loss?”

Unfortunately, the answer is typically “no”. While there are many excellent dermatological treatments for hair loss, they are still considered to be cosmetic and are not covered by Medicare. Types of dermatological hair loss treatment that are not covered by Medicare include:

  • Hair transplants
  • Laser therapy
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment

Many of the prescription medications that a dermatologist can prescribe you for hair loss, including Propecia and Spironolactone, are not covered by Medicare Part D. However, if your dermatologist prescribes medications to be administered in the office, these may be covered by Medicare Part B in certain rare circumstances.

Medicare and Hair Loss in Cancer Patients

Hair loss is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy for cancer patients. Losing one’s hair as a result of cancer treatment can be devastating to one’s self-esteem, which is why many cancer patients seek dermatological treatments or wigs to stop hair loss or regain what has been lost already.

It’s known that Medicare will not cover most types of hair loss treatment, but what about wigs for cancer patients? Unfortunately, even if your doctor prescribes a wig as a “cranial prosthetic”, Original Medicare still will not cover the cost. However, a Medicare Advantage plan may be able to provide assistance.

In most cases, Medicare Advantage follows along with Medicare guidelines in not covering hair loss treatment. Some plans may make an exception for cancer patients seeking a wig to regain a sense of normalcy. As Medicare Advantage plans are private plans, they may cover certain things that Original Medicare will not, such as wigs.

If you currently have a Medicare Advantage plan, consult your plan or speak with a benefits coordinator to learn whether or not your plan covers the cost of wigs for cancer patients. If you’re thinking of signing up for a Medicare Advantage plan to help cover the cost of a wig, it’s a good idea to make sure the plan you’re interested in offers this benefit. Not all Medicare Advantage plans cover wigs for cancer patients.

If You Need Assistance Paying For Hair Loss Treatment, There Are Solutions

While Medicare may not cover most hair loss treatments, there are solutions out there. Remember, certain Medicare Advantage plans may help you cover the cost of a wig or hairpiece if you’re a cancer patient. If you need help finding such a plan in your area, give our friendly, experienced, licensed agents a call at (800) 950-0608. We’re always happy to help you find a Medicare plan that works for you!

If you suffer from certain genetic conditions that cause hair loss, such as alopecia, organizations such as the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) or the Inside Out Foundation may help you cover certain costs for hair loss treatment. No matter your circumstances, help is always available.

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