The Pros & Cons of Breastfeeding vs. Pumping
The things you should know to help you make your decision.
You may have heard the rumors about moms getting free breast pumps through their insurance. The fact is that this is absolutely true! On January 1st, 2013, a provision to the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) went into effect, mandating that insurance companies must cover the cost of breastfeeding supplies including breast pumps! This means that all moms can get these machines for free with no out-of-pocket expense through their insurance companies! This is awesome, because breastfeeding is, what most experts agree, the best thing you can do for your baby, and this opens up the possibility for even more moms that might not be able to breastfeed.
The brands and models covered will vary from provider to provider, but the best thing is that sometimes also counts high-end pumps like the Medela Pump-in-Style Advanced (which we consider the best breast pump!) and is nearly $300. You can get it for absolutely free if you qualify!
If you live in the USA and have health insurance, you most likely qualify for this. You’ll have to check with your specific insurance company, but there’s a good chance you at least qualify for supplies if not a breast pump.
You might need to meet with a lactation consultant. Some insurance providers will demand that you meet with a lactation consultant in order to qualify for the free pump. Sometimes they’ll want it to be consultant certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, but according to law, this isn’t mandatory. If it’s a problem, you can bring that up.
Sometimes there are restrictions on where you can buy from. Sometimes your pump is only covered if you buy from a partner of the insurance company. You’ll have to find out exactly where you’re allowed to buy a breast pump and qualify for the rebate.
Unfortunately, grandfathered plans are exempt from this. A grandfathered plan is any plan that has been in effect since before March 23, 2010, and the provider is not required to comply with the new law. However, you may still qualify for some sort of coverage or a co-pay, so call your provider and ask. There’s not much to lose.
When you call your provider to find out what kind of coverage you have, here are some questions to ask.
Please wait to hear from your insurance company before you buy a pump! You most likely qualify for one, but if you buy it before finding out what the rules and restrictions are, you’re probably going to run into trouble. I would recommend contacting them as soon as possible, because the whole process can sometimes take a long time.