Legislative Actions

Help Pass the Cranial Prosthetic Medicaid Coverage Enhancement Act (H.R. 4989)

YOU CAN BE PART OF THE SOLUTION

  • Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen and Congresswoman Eshoo need their colleagues in the House to cosponsor this important legislation. The only way your Congressperson will consider supporting this effort is if one of their constituents officially asks them to do so. The more legislators that support and cosponsor this bill, the better the chance it has to be passed into law.
  • Please e-mail the Foundation’s Washington Representative, Joe Stewart, at stewart@hmcw.org and let him know that you would like to reach out to your Congressperson in this regard. Please include the zip code you live in in your e-mail as Joe will use this information to identify your Congressperson and their health legislation assistant.
  • Joe will provide you with the e-mail address for your Congressperson’s health legislative assistant (in addition to their name) and a brief message like the one below
  • Please be sure to cc Gary Sherwood at gary@naaf.org.

Dear [HEALTH LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT NAME],

My name is [NAME] and I live in [LOCATION.] I write you today to ask you to cosponsor the Cranial Prosthetic Medicaid Coverage Enhancement Act (H.R. 4989). This legislation is important to me and other individuals and families across the country that are affected by alopecia areata and other medical conditions that cause hair loss.

Many individuals affected by alopecia areata utilize cranial prosthetics as there are currently few other effective treatment options. Cranial prosthetics can represent a significant out-of-pocket burden for low or fixed income Americans that are served by Medicaid. Children who may require a cranial prosthetic for school face particular hardship. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) recently introduced the Cranial Prosthetic Medicaid Coverage Enhancement Act (H.R. 4989) which would provide a modest Medicaid coverage benefit for cranial prosthetics any time a physician finds the treatment to be medically necessary.

This legislation would prevent fraud and abuse in this area by requiring a physician to determine that treatment with a cranial prosthetic is medically necessary for the individual, and not being used for male pattern baldness, ager-related hair loss, or similar situations. H.R. 4989 would also ensure patients impacted by medical conditions, such as autoimmune disease or therapies that cause hair loss, have access to cranial prosthetics at the time when they are in need, and respecting that they may recover and will no longer need to utilize the benefit.

Please consider becoming a cosponsor of H.R. 4989 by contacting Wes Brooks (Wes.Brooks@mail.house.gov) in Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s office or Hannah Murphy (Hannah.Murphy@mail.house.gov) in Congresswoman Eshoo’s office.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ADDRESS]

THE ISSUE

For individuals and families facing financial hardship, the purchase of a cranial prosthetic (that may be required for work or school) can represent a significant cost burden. Medicaid program beneficiaries are hit particularly hard by the out of pocket costs associated with cranial prosthetics, and inadequate assistance with purchasing can create a barrier to access. The lack of adequate coverage for cranial prosthetics stems from a lack of appreciation by policymakers that alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease and cranial prosthetics represent an essential treatment option for healthcare providers.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) recently introduced the Cranial Prosthetic Medicaid Coverage Enhancement Act (H.R. 4989), which would establish a standardized minimum Medicaid coverage benefit for the purchase of a cranial prosthetic. This benefit would provide $400 every other year across all state Medicaid programs toward the purchase of a cranial prosthetic for alopecia areata, therapy-related hair loss, and any instance where a healthcare professional finds a cranially prosthetic to be “medically necessary.”

H.R. 4989's original co-sponsors are:

  • Representative Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)
  • Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA)
  • Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA)
  • Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN)
  • Representative Robert Dold (R-IL)

Since the Action Alert began, the following representatives have also signed on as co-sponsors:

  • Representative Brad Ashford (D-NE)
  • Representative Ron Kind (D-WI)
  • Representative James Langevin (D-RI)
  • Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
  • Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA)
  • Representative David N. Cicilline (D-RI) 
  • Representative Mike Honda (D-CA)

ACTION ALERT

Ask your Congressperson in the House of Representatives to cosponsor the Cranial Prosthetic Medicaid Coverage Enhancement Act (H.R. 4989)

What we need is for the whole alopecia areata community across the country to tell their congressional representatives they should support this bill. Please read the Action Alert below and follow the simple instructions. In this alert you’ll also find a message template which you can use when emailing your congressperson’s office (see details below on how Joe Stewart at HMCW can provide you the contact’s name). Of course our Legislative Liaisons are hard at work getting support as well, but we need ALL HANDS ON DECK to ensure passage.

When the alopecia areata community speaks as one, the results are seismic. Let’s make sure this important legislation passes and those needing this benefit will get it.