Financial Assistance – Best Face Forward 2.0
Best Face Forward 2.0 provides services and subsidies for eligible individuals for non-medical services that are critical to a woman’s quality of life and body image, and that are only partly covered by insurance companies, if at all. Best Face Forward 2.0 services include financial subsidies for wigs (cranial hair prosthesis), cold caps (scalp cooling treatment), and tattooing (three-dimensional micropigmentation of the nipple and areola). Additionally there are complementary and holistic offerings such as meditation and yoga.
To be eligible for financial subsidy you must:
- Have a diagnosis or documented need for procedure confirmed by an oncology health care provider
- Meet our financial eligibility guidelines
Best Face Forward 2.0 FAQ
What is Best Face Forward 2.0? Best Face Forward 2.0 is the latest addition to Sharsheret’s services for women facing breast and ovarian cancer. Best Face Forward 2.0 provides subsidies for non-medical services to eligible callers that are critical to a woman’s quality of life and body image and are not traditionally fully covered by most health insurance plans. Best Face Forward 2.0 provides financial assistance for: wigs (cranial prosthesis), cold caps (scalp cooling), and tattooing (three-dimensional micropigmentation of the nipple and areola).
Does Best Face Forward 2.0 provide financial assistance for other services? Presently, Best Face Forward 2.0 provides financial assistance for: wigs (cranial prosthesis), cold caps (scalp cooling), and tattooing (three-dimensional micropigmentation of the nipple and areola). For information about other forms of financial assistance, please contact our clinical team or visit our resource page.
What is the process for applying for financial assistance through Best Face Forward 2.0? To apply for financial assistance through Best Face Forward 2.0, contact Sharsheret via online request or phone at 866.474.2774. You will be connected with a Sharsheret social worker who will assist you in the eligibility process. Sharsheret social workers will also provide information about other Sharsheret services which you might find helpful.
What are the eligibility criteria for Best Face Forward 2.0? In order to qualify for Best Face Forward 2.0, callers must be able to provide:
- Proof of a total household income that does not exceed 600% of the Federal Poverty Level
- A physician letter confirming diagnosis and need for service
- Insurance coverage confirmation
How can I access financial assistance for other needs? Sharsheret social workers can help you connect to additional resources and financial support programs. Order Sharsheret’s Financial Wellness Tool Kit which will empower you to learn how to successfully navigate the often complicated issues of health insurance, disability rights, financial planning, and estate planning.
Where are tattooing (three-dimensional micropigmentation of the nipple and areola) services available? Tattooing (three-dimensional micropigmentation of the nipple and areola) is presently available in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, and California. Please speak with a Sharsheret social worker to learn more about tattooing (three-dimensional micropigmentation of the nipple and areola) and whether it is available within your area.
How many programs can I apply for? You can apply for as many services as you need!
What is the timeline for getting notified? You will usually be notified within one week of submission of a completed application regarding the status of your application. If you have questions during the application phase, speak with your Sharsheret social worker for additional assistance.
Who can I contact with questions? For questions about Best Face Forward 2.0, please contact Support Program Manager Stacey Butler at [email protected] or 866.474.2774.
Getting Started – Wigs (cranial prosthesis)
- Particularly if this is your first time wearing a wig, it is recommended to stick with a style and color most similar to your own. This may be something you can discuss with your wig stylist team and trusted family and friends.
- When speaking with your wig stylist team, you can discuss your ideas and wishes – just like you would with any hair stylist. You may also want to speak with trusted family and friends about your cut choices.
- The cap size of the wig will be discussed with you by the wig stylist team. If you are unclear about how to measure, ask for additional directions. This is another opportunity to have a trusted family member or friend provide assistance if needed.
- The wigs provided through Best Face Forward 2.0 are all composed of human hair. Many professionals feel that human hair has the most natural look and feel, presents the most styling versatility, and is very durable (generally will last over 1 year with proper care).
- Washing your wig
- When washing your wig it is important to use high quality shampoos and conditioners to ensure the longevity of your unit. Before wetting your wig, gently brush out any tangles or knots. Always wash your hair in one direction never rubbing or placing condition on the root of the wig, as this could potentially damage the top. Shampooing and washing your wig should be done as infrequently as possible depending on the type of styling products used.
- Storing your wig
- Always try to store your wig in a heat and humidity free environment. Allowing your wig to breathe and be placed in an area that it is not exposed to excessive elements will keep your wig lasting longer and requiring fewer washes. If you haven’t already, you can purchase a cheap Styrofoam mannequin head with pins to hold your wig. Never place pins directly on the lace hairline or skin top but rather further back so as not to damage the unit.
- Traveling with your wig
- Always make sure that your wig is dry before placing in any container or box for traveling. Never place a damp wig inside a box or carrier as this could damage your unit. You have the option of either using the wig box provided with your unit to travel or you can additionally purchase a wig suitcase which has a spot for a Styrofoam head to place your wig. If you do not wish to carry either of these, wigs can be placed gently inside a bag folded under. If you are traveling and have not prestyled your wig, you can loosely braid your wig and tuck it under the cap to ensure it does not tangle on long trips.
- Styling your wig
- When it comes to styling your wig it is recommended that you always use a heat protectant spray prior to styling. Some wigs can be washed and air dried. If you choose to use a blow dryer, curling iron or flat iron, it is recommended to use no more than 350degrees of heat at any given time. Just like regular hair, your human hair wig is delicate and should be treated as such. You can also style your wig with heat free products such as overnight cool curlers.
Getting Started – Cold Cap (Scalp Cooling)
Hair Care – Each cold cap regimen comes with its own set of recommendations for hair care before, during, and after cold cap use. Unless instructed otherwise by your health care professional, follow the instructions that come with your cold cap regimen. Following are some common instructions that accompany cold cap regimens, but be sure to follow your own personal instructions.
- Do not dye, perm, or peroxide your hair, or put hair extensions in, prior to or during use of cold caps, and for at least 3-6 months afterwards.
- Do not cut your hair prior to or during use of cold caps.
- Wash your hair 3 days before and 3 days after each chemo treatment (not in between these days).
- Your shampoo should be pH neutral with no aluminum. If your shampoo is not pH neutral, add a couple of drops of vinegar to your shampoo each time you use it.
Things to Bring with you to your Chemotherapy Infusion While Using Cold Caps
- A neck pillow or support.
- A light blanket if your facility doesn’t provide one.
- Lunch or snacks.
- Gauze for wrapping ears and bald spots, if necessary, and/or wrapped around moleskin for your forehead if you wish.
- An assistant to help you time your caps and switch them at the appropriate time (for manual cold caps only).
- A timer or stopwatch (for manual cold caps only).
- An infrared thermometer that reads Celsius (for manual cold caps only).
Getting Started – Tattooing (Three-dimensional Micropigmentation of the Nipple and Areola)
- Just as you would do when selecting a health care professional, look for information about the tattoo artist you are considering: reviews and testimonials, social media pages, and websites.
- Ask your tattoo artist about his/her training and certifications, professional affiliations, continued training, licenses and registrations, and insurance.
- All tattoo artists have a portfolio; ask to see it. You should see a wide range of treatments on varying clients so you can get a real feel for his/her work. You can certainly also ask for references.
- Most importantly, you should feel comfortable with your tattoo artist. As you would with any other members of your treatment team, you want to feel confident that he/she is working for your best health and well-being.
- If you have not yet had your mastectomy, it is recommended that you do the following to help with your areola nipple tattooing procedure: take “before” pictures, write down your areola color, and note the size of your breast and areola.
- If you have already had a unilateral mastectomy, you will work together with your tattoo artist to do a “best match.” If you have already had a bilateral mastectomy, you will work with your tattoo artist to determine the overall aesthetic right for you.
- An important step in this process is working with your treatment team – particularly your reconstruction team – and including your thoughts or plans for tattooing in that discussion. Your team will be able to provide you with guidance about your individual procedures and healing needs.
Tips for Navigating Your Health Insurance Coverage
Navigating health insurance coverage can be challenging and confusing. The following tips will help you learn more about your health insurance coverage, and navigate any issues as they arise. For additional personal questions about navigating your health insurance, please contact Support Program Manager Stacey Butler at [email protected] or 866.474.2774.
- Before speaking with anyone about your health insurance coverage, have a pen/pencil and paper ready. Be prepared to take many notes, and ask the representative to repeat items you are unclear about. Make sure to document what phone number you called, and who you spoke with.
- When you call your health insurance company, make sure that you have the right contact phone numbers, mailing addresses, and personal codes (i.e. ID number, group number, Rx) ready.
- When you are facing a health crisis, speak with your health insurance company and learn more about your benefit package. Health insurance companies can send you a copy of your benefit information via email or postal-service. It is important to know what is covered, what is not covered, is you have an out-of-network benefit and what it is, what requires prior authorization, the process for prior authorization, your pharmacy benefit, your reconstruction benefit, your deductibles, policy limits, etc. (Other services to consider inquiring about coverage for include: home health visits, palliative care, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and mental health care and counseling). If the health insurance company uses terms or concepts that are not clear to you – ask. The representative will take the time to answer them, as many times as is necessary. Have them repeat any items you are unclear about.
- Speak with your health care professional’s billing office before any procedures to confirm that they are aware of your insurance and the requirements. If you have questions, ask.
- If you have concerns about having enough coverage, The Cancer Support Community has partnered with other cancer organizations to create The Cancer Insurance Checklist which can help guide you in choosing an additional plan on the Health Insurance Marketplace.
- Many health insurance companies have case managers who can be a regular point of contact and help you navigate your care and questions. Case managers can be referred to in many different ways, including: case manager, nurse case manager, telephonic case manager, or cancer support program. If your health insurance company is not clear what you are asking for, explain how the individual will help you (i.e. being a regular point of contact, assist you in navigating care questions and insurance questions, etc.).
- If you do not presently use your online health insurance account, you can request assistance from customer service in setting up an account, and learn how to access your information through the online website. Health insurance company websites can have a great deal of information, which can be helpful in managing your care and health insurance needs throughout your treatment.
- Always confirm with your health insurance company – and your health care professional’s office – whether providers are in-network or out-of-network prior to making any appointments. Confirm with your health insurance company whether you have any out-of-network benefits, and what those are. Confirm the covered treatment addresses of all providers (for example, procedures completed in the hospital may be in-network, while a breast center affiliated with the hospital may not be in-network).
- Confirm with your health insurance company which in-network radiology and laboratory center you can access. Confirm covered treatment addresses for all providers. Remember, a test completed in a hospital versus in a satellite office may or may not be covered depending on your benefit package.
- Confirm all copayments and co-insurances prior to appointments, with both your insurance company and your health care professional’s billing office.
- Keep copies of all requests, reports, receipts, letters, bills, documents, and notes from calls with your insurance company and health care professional offices.
- Keep a detailed record of your appointments, amounts paid, and claims you submit.
- If a claim is denied, speak with your insurance company (or insurance case manager if you have one) to understand why the claim was denied, and what the appeal process is. You can also speak with the health care professional’s billing office to assist you in appealing the denied claim. Make sure to keep records of all communications in the appeal process.
This program was made possible with generous support from the Bella Chachky Diamond and Sylvia Diamond Geller Fund, Project Accelerate, and Best Face Forward 2.0 Lead Donors.
Thank you to our Best Face Forward 2.0 partners:
The Sharsheret Best Face Forward 2.0 Fund only covers the identified services of cranial prosthesis, scalp cooling, and micropigmentation. Sharsheret does not endorse or promote any specific medication, treatment, product, or service. The information provided herein is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider. Sharsheret is not responsible for any action or inaction taken by any physician, or in connection with any information provided herein, under any theory of liability or indemnity.