There are some common questions that we get asked by medical professionals about helping their patients. Here are some of them:
My patient has recently completed chemotherapy, are they still eligible to claim the subsidy for headwear?
Absolutely. Providing their hair has not fully regrown and they have not already used their full subsidy entitlement for the last 12 months, they are entitled to use the subsidy.
The Ministry of Health website show the subsidy as a “Wigs and hairpieces subsidy”. Are you sure headwear is covered?
Yes, headwear is absolutely covered. The subsidy name is confusing, but on the MoH website they say the following -
What can I use the service payment for?
The service payment is available to cover the cost of the following items only:
wig or hairpiece
headwear (eg, hats, turbans)
eyebrow wigs and associated products.
Hat Tricks has a sister division that can also help with wigs, hair pieces and eyebrow wigs if these are of interest to you! Check out www.simplywigs.co.nz
My patient had a degree of genetic hair loss before losing all their hair due to treatment. Do they still qualify for the subsidy?
Yes they do. The loss of even a thin covering of hair results in a surprising amount of heat loss and sunburn, so people who began with thinner hair are still entitled to the subsidy.
It’s been 12 months or more since my patient used his/her subsidy, but they still require head protection or have received more treatment of have had their treatment extended. Can they get another subsidy?
The short answer is YES
If hair loss extends beyond 12 months or the patient has further treatment that causes loss of hair 12 months or more later, then they are eligible to claim the same subsidy again. They are required to complete the process again in the same way as before, including getting a medical certificate from you stating the cause of hair loss and if the hair loss is a temporary or permanent condition.
My patient used their subsidy for temporary hair loss, but their diagnosis has now changed and their hair loss will be permanent. Can their subsidy be upgraded?
Yes. This counts as a new claim, and so they will need a new medical certificate stating that their hair loss is a permanent condition. This can be done at any point after the temporary hair loss claim has been made – the patient does not need to wait 12 months for their original temporary grant to expire.
Do I have to categorically state if the hair loss is temporary or permanent?
Unfortunately YES….. rules, rules, rules.
Certificates that say “might be”, “expected to be”, “likely to be” are rejected by the Ministry of Health.