Free Breast Pumps for Moms Thanks to New Healthcare Law!

This Just In 59

breast pumpJust under nine years ago, I returned to my full-time job after having a baby. And I brought with me a key piece of equipment that helped me manage my work/parenting balance: A breast pump. I was lucky enough to find a used pump, so I wasn't out hundreds of dollars for the kind of electric pump that helps you express milk quickly enough to make the whole process manageable.

Right now, millions of mothers to babies are returning to work. Many of them are committed to breastfeeding -- and today there's one exciting piece of news that can help them. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, as of January 1, insurance companies are required to cover breast pumps.

Free breast pumps for everyone! Okay, not exactly. Just if you're fortunate enough be covered by health insurance already. But if you are, you're covered not just for breastfeeding support equipment, but also for consultants. Most likely that's just for consultants already part of your insurance network, but hey -- that's still progress. Have you ever priced out a lactation consultant? Yipes. I couldn't afford one.

This coverage could make the difference between breastfeeding for a full year or not breastfeeding at all for some women.

Some might say, "The government shouldn't be paying for breast pumps!" To which I say, YO! I'm talking about private health insurance, not Medicaid. To clarify, in case it wasn't obvious, this isn't about the government paying for breast pumps. Health insurance companies will cover them -- or they should be, anyway. We pay them money. They cover certain equipment and services. And guess what? This is equipment a lot of women want covered. (WIC provides some breastfeeding equipment and services, but that's not part of this legislation.)

And it's a smart investment all around. We all know the health benefits of breastfeeding. Enabling more women to breastfeed is preventative care that can save families and insurance money on health care costs over a lifetime. For both moms and kids.

Here's a helpful guide to how you can get your pump covered. Naturally they make it complicated because that's how most plans roll, but it's not impossible. Note: This went into effect for some back in August.

Would it make a difference to you if your health insurance covered breast pumps and equipment?

 

Image via planet oleary/Flickr

baby health, breastfeeding, in the news

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blunt... bluntcakes

well it makes sense since YOU PAY FOR YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE. some people need different medications/equipment why shouldnt your insurance pay or have low co-pays for things YOU NEED if you are paying your premium at the end of the month? no shit nothing is free YOURE ALREADY PAYING FOR IT

nonmember avatar Riss

As a soon-to-be mom who has paid thousands upon thousands into healthcare insurance through tiny private employment over the last 9 years (since graduating from college and losing my mother's union insurance) I think it's great that insurance companies are finally being forced to provide/cover the services that many women want/need. I used BC (for pregnancy prevention AND to control a very irregular cycle) for years paying between nothing and $50 a month to get generic pills. Other than that, I have a well visit with my GP every few years, and an annual at my OB/GYN. It is a GREAT thing that I will finally get something out of the thousands I pay in annual costs in case of an emergency. Regardless of how "intrusive" you think the ACA is, you should think about how much on top of their base input many people pay for basic care- you'd realize that ACA is finally forcing these companies to do more than cover 15 minutes with your doctor a year.

femal... femaleMIKE

The "free" breast pump wouldn't make a difference.  I would try to bf for at least a year regardless.  It does make things a little bit easier for me because I don't have to worry about paying $200 for an equipment that might not work like it should. 


I am glad you pointed out that its not really free.  My employer and I pay a large amount of money to htem per month. 

Madde... Maddensmom1

I dont understand why anyone wouldn't want breast pumps covered. Insurance regardless of coverage will go up like clock work every year. I will never be upset for more coverage for my buck$.

femal... femaleMIKE

coverage goes up every year anyway. 

lulou lulou

Whats worse is insurance companies will actually make money off this and still have the rates go up!



  • Families who follow optimal breastfeeding practices can save between $1,200–$1,500 in expenditures on infant formula in the first year alone.

  • A study published last year in the journal Pediatrics estimated that if 90% of U.S. families followed guidelines to breastfeed exclusively for six months, the U.S. would annually save $13 billion from reduced medical and other costs.

  • For both employers and employees, better infant health means fewer health insurance claims, less employee time off to care for sick children, and higher productivity.

  • Mutual of Omaha found that health care costs for newborns are three times lower for babies whose mothers participate in the company’s employee maternity and lactation program.


http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/breastfeeding/factsheet.html


I think they should have paid me like they do for safe drivers.   Plus I totally cured my sons pink eye with milk and it stung far less then the Rx drops!


 

nonmember avatar MammaMel

Doomy234, you my dear are delusional. I don't know many people for whom working is a "choice" unless they want to live off of the system. Welcome to 2012, where there are single moms who have to work, and other mothers who are the bread winners in their families. Many choice words come to mind to describe your ignorance. Working IS NOT A CHOICE FOR MANY MANY PEOPLE! Did you know that MANY formula's are covered by insurance? Breastfeeding is only a lifestyle choice because people are ignorant or choose to ignore the benefits-ORGANIC is a lifestyle, breastfeeding is SAVING MONEY FOR EVERYONE. As I stated it makes good health sense in the LONG RUN for companies (insurance included) to support breastfeeding FOR A HEALTHIER AMERICA. I won't judge formula feeders, but how about you don't judge breastfeeding working mothers? And how in the heck does this effect you? That's right honey, it DOESN'T! Employees pay THEIR insurance companies for coverage, insurance companies pay for pumps (and therefore LESS DOCTOR VISITS), and EVERYONE gets a pretty darn good return on investment here. Learn your facts, please. I could EASILY argue that I don't think that many meds that kids are put on that are covered by insurance companies are a nessesity because I think kids are overmedicated, but what is needed by one isn't UNDERSTOOD by another.

jalaz77 jalaz77

I am very excited about this. When I heard this I called my health ins and our home medical supply store and it is FREE!!! Get a script and they hand you the pump of your choice which are all Medela brand ranging in manual to top grade electrical! This is awesome. I have one that is 10yrs old, used it at home as it does not pump as effectivly as the hospital ones so this will be great when I go back to work after this next L&D. For women who say this isn's medically necessary, give me a break, ins is misused so much it is not even funny. I pay out my a$$ for ins, it is hospital ins which is usually horrible so I am very pleased to hear this. Sorry some of you find it wrong, not sure why...

nonmember avatar Jessica

I have Blue Cross Blue Shield FEP (federal employee program). All I had to do to get my 100& free Ameda double electric breast pump was call CVS Caremark Pharmacy (our mail order pharmacy through my insurance) and verify my information for them to send it to me. It took all of 10 minutes. Yay!

femal... femaleMIKE

Medulla, I will memorize this name brand.  I heard finding a good breast pump might be hard.

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