On Nov 18th, I visited California Senators’ office of Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris to ask the senators’ support to co-sponsor a bill to help alopecians get insurance coverage for wigs.
In case you didn’t know, I am a legislative liaison for NAAF (National Alopecia Areata Foundation), which means I help to get our congressman and senators to support and sponsor bills so they can get to the floor of United States House of Representatives and the Senate (and hopefully pass). These bills (H.R.3332 and S.2633) will include wigs (cranial prosthetics) as durable medical equipment and be covered under Medicare. Can you believe that alopecia is a medical condition, yet insurance doesn’t cover the cost of wigs, devices that can help alopecians and cancer patients with their emotional health?
Kate, my mom and I first went to Senator Feinstein’s office and met with Jade Suh , gathering in their conference room in a beautiful high rise building. Jade was not aware of alopecia, so it was an eye-opening piece of information for her and she was very welcoming and eager to learn of the bill. I felt that Jade was empathetic and truly wanted to help. We made one more person aware of alopecia, so one small step was accomplished.
Next, we met with Morgan White, representative at Senator Harris’s office. Danielle and Anamarie was able to join the three of us now. Kate wears a wig, Danielle has some hair growing back, Anamarie lost her hair as an adult fairly recently, my mom was from a parent’s journey and of course me… the kid’s perspective. Together, we represented every corner of the alopecian community. Morgan had a friend in college who had alopecia and she was super enthusiastic to hear our stories. Morgan listened intently and I felt that she truly understood the need of this bill.
I am hopeful that with our efforts and the help of these wonderful females, Jade and Morgan (and of course our California Senators Feinstein and Harris) can help us get one step closer to make a change, not just for alopecians but for all who are bald from a medical condition.