As a Trichologist, some of your clients might try to cover the cost of your services through their insurance policy. But hold on – in most cases insurance doesn’t cover hair restoration services. There are a few exceptions, so make sure to read the rest of this article to find out when you can and when you can’t accept insurance as a form of payment.
When You Can Charge Your Services on Your Client’s Insurance Company
Unfortunately, Trichological services and treatments are not covered under the typical health care insurance. This is due to the fact that health care plans are only meant to be used toward medical providers, which Trichologists are not. Since hair loss is not considered to be an illness, the insurance will usually not cover it.
There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. Some Trichologists are registered as “Medical Wig” providers and can take insurance for prosthetic services. Another example would be if hair loss was caused by a medical condition, for example if a client is being treated for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In this case the client’s insurance might cover the drug called Finasteride which is also used for hormonal hair loss treatment. Patients who lost their hair due to chemotherapy treatment might also get reimbursed for obtaining a wig.
On the other hand, if hair loss is caused by a nutritional deficiency, thyroid problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), etc. insurance should cover the cost of treating the illness, but not hair loss itself.
Payment Options that Offer Benefits to Your Clients
Even though as a Trichologist you won’t be able to accept insurance as a form of payment from your clients, there are other means of payment that offer substantial benefits. Trichologists are able to accept Flex Spending Accounts, Health Savings Plan Accounts, and Care Credits. If you run a hair loss practice, you should do your research on each type of these accounts to ensure that your business meets the criteria required to accept these forms of payment.
A Health Savings Plan or a Flex Spending Account is a savings account where the funds are only meant to be used for medical expenses. To be eligible the client must first enroll in a High Deductible Insurance plan. The account is set up through the client’s employer and the money is free to be spent towards medical treatments of their choosing. The idea behind this account is that if the client’s own money is used it will be spent more responsibly. A Health Savings Plan or Flex Spending Account can be used for deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance, and other approved health care services.
Another alternative is Care Credit. Care credit is a credit card offered by major lenders and health care companies such as Chase, Capital One, and UnitedHealthCare in an effort to help clients get access to medical procedures that otherwise wouldn’t be affordable. These are limited credit cards that can be used for medical procedures not covered by insurance, and for co-payments for covered procedures. The card, however, functions more like a loan. The client is able to use the card without accruing interest as long as it’s paid off before the determined due date.
Payment and Insurance Options for Trichologists: The Bottom Line
When setting up a hair loss practice it is advantageous for Trichologists to consider accepting all methods of payment available to them as a paramedical professional. It’s only ethical to do whatever we can to create opportunities for those who are unable to pay cash to receive consultation and treatment services. Hair loss takes an emotional toll in and of itself, let alone when combined with financial worries. Keeping in mind that getting treated early on is vital, we now know that prolonging treatment because a client can’t afford it only makes the problem worse.
You could help your clients in two ways: first, by offering payment benefits we’ve discussed above. And second, to make hair loss clinics accessible by getting certified yourself. Instead of referring your clients to a bigger salon miles away where they’ll be put on a long waiting list, offering trichology services to your clients gives them an opportunity to address the issue right away, by discussing it with someone they know and trust. As a Certified Trichologist, you will become the go-to hair loss authority in your community, making your services available and accessible. For more information on becoming a Trichologist download our free guide below.