harris 030624SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Napoleon Harris, III advanced a new initiative inspired by constituent concerns for individuals fighting cancer who were unable to afford a hair prosthesis.

“Individuals who are experiencing hair loss due to alopecia, chemotherapy or radiation have enough health hurdles to overcome,” said Harris (D-Harvey). “Making wigs and other scalp prostheses available to them can provide hope and help them feel more like themselves, giving them a sense of normalcy.”

Senate Bill 2573 would require insurance plans to provide coverage for wigs or other scalp prostheses for individuals experiencing hair loss due to alopecia, chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer or other conditions.

Currently, 13 other states provide some sort of coverage for hair prostheses. In cases where an individual's insurance does not cover hair prostheses, a medical tax deduction may be available. However, in order to claim it, the individual's total medical expenses must exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income.

“Getting insurance coverage for a cranial prosthesis can vary depending on your insurance plan and company. Some plans cover it, while others don't,” said Harris. “This initiative standardizes medical insurance for hair prosthesis across the board.”

Senate Bill 2573 passed the Senate Insurance Committee Wednesday and heads to the floor for further consideration.