Are you planning on breastfeeding? If so, you might want to get really acquainted with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or sometimes commonly referred to as Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010, but one of the most important parts of that law requires commercial and private insurers to cover breastfeeding equipment — including breast pumps — for pregnant and postpartum women.
So before you go ahead and register for a crazy expensive breast pump, take the following steps to see if you can score one for free!
1. Get the right information Breast pump coverage under the ACA doesn't require a co-payment, but your insurance company's pump offering may not be what you want or need. For example, if you're going back to work, you'll want/need a double electric pump (not single electric or manual). Every insurance company is different, so find out what pump yours offers as soon as possible! Be proactive, get a prescription and get on a waiting list. That way, you can be prepared by investigating your options.
2. Don't compromise 60% of all health plans allow an upgrade! Most insurers will allow you to upgrade from their basic pump option to one of your choice — you just pay the difference. However, just not mine. (I kid, I kid). But not all plans proactively communicate this to its members. So if you want a specific pump like the Medela 2-Phase pump, ask for it and get the pump you know is best for your breastfeeding experience.
3. Don't go without — because you don't have to! Most insurance plans require you to get your pump from an in-network provider. But many are also flexible if the covered pump isn't available, letting you choose another pump or even reimbursing your purchase from a retail store. It doesn't hurt to ask!
Being armed with the right information is half the battle. Many states and health plans are different, so be sure to ask all the right questions to ensure you are eligible.
What did you prep for before baby arrived?