No matter whether you’re planning on going back to work or taking on responsibilities that require you to spend time away from your baby, a breast pump will allow you to continue breastfeeding.
The good news is that there are numerous options available to moms, including electric pumps that significantly reduce the amount of time moms spend pumping. But the cost of a new breast pump can sometimes be steep. Take, for example, the electrical pump mentioned above. A double electric pump can cost upwards of $300, which can be a hefty expense for new parents.
Although pumps can be expensive, there may be some relief for parents. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), breast pumps may now be covered by health insurance. This new law went into effect in August of 2012, and is giving new moms greater access to preventative care, lactation support and breast pump insurance coverage.
The ACA now requires most insurance policies to cover the cost of a breast pump. This coverage is a part of the newly implemented women’s preventative health services. These rules not only apply to insurance plans purchased on the Health Insurance Marketplace, but also other private insurance plans as well. However, the cost of a breast pump may not be covered by a grandfathered plan.
In some cases, women have had their claims for a breast pump denied. If you believe that your plan covers the cost of a new breast pump but your claim has been denied, you can submit an external appeal and an internal appeal.
WIC and Medicaid
If you have Medicaid, the cost of your breast pump may be covered. Because each state runs its own Medicaid program, each one will have differing rules. In other words, some states cover it, and others do not. You will need to check with your Medicaid provider to find out whether or not they will cover the cost of a breast pump.
If your Medicaid provider will not cover this cost, you may be eligible for a free pump through the WIC program. If you’re already on the WIC program, you may also be eligible for a free pump. Get in touch with your state’s WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator to find out if you qualify.
Finding the Right Breast Pump
It’s important to note that many insurance plans will require you to obtain a pre-authorization or prescription for your breast pump. So, before you go ahead and purchase or rent your pump, find out what your provider’s rules are for prescriptions and pre-authorizations.
In many cases, insurance companies will give moms the option of choosing from a select few pumps. This means that you may not be able to purchase any breast pump you wish and have your insurance company reimburse you for the cost. Most insurers will give you a small selection of pumps to choose from.
Some insurance providers will only cover manual pumps, while others will cover electric pumps as well. You will need to contact your insurance company to find out what types of pumps are covered under your plan.
There are numerous healthcare providers that can help you find a pump that is covered by your insurance. For example, the Byram Healthcare breast pump service provider will help you find and purchase a breast pump that your insurance provider will cover. They work with numerous manufacturers, including Ameda (the maker of the famous Ameda Purely Yours pump), Freemie, Medela and Hygeia.
If your insurance covers the cost of a breast pump, your options may be limited. However, there are a number of insurance companies that offer a generous selection of pumps and many of them are electric.
Know Where to Buy
Your insurance provider will be able to provide you with a list of approved in-network providers that you can purchase your pump from. Be sure to ask your insurance provider about any paperwork you may need to submit in order to get your pump covered.
You may need to purchase the pump and then submit a few forms to receive reimbursement. Or, the retailer and the store may work together to complete the transaction, which makes the process a bit simpler.
Should You Rent or Purchase Your Pump?
Many new moms consider renting their pump, rather than purchasing it. Whether or not this is the right decision for you will depend on your insurance policy and your personal preference.
There are some plans that will only cover the cost of renting a pump. Others will cover the cost of a new pump, and in some cases, only specific types are covered. Only your insurance provider can tell you what types of pumps are covered, and whether or not you will need to rent one.
Affordable Breast Pump Options
While some electric pumps can cost $300 or more, there are some affordable alternatives, and not all of them are manual pumps.
The Ameda Purely Yours breast pump, for example, runs on batteries and costs less than $200. New moms love that the pump is very portable, comfortable to use and pumping is relatively quick. Because there are only a few parts, the pump is easy to clean and even easier to use. All bottles, pumps and accessories fit nicely into the carry all case, so transporting your pump is simple and easy.
Some moms feel that the Medela pump is the better choice, but the price difference between the two is not justified. Both pumps perform well, but the Ameda pump is the more affordable option.
For some moms, finding a breast pump that is covered by insurance can be a difficult task. It may take several phone calls, paperwork and some time to get your pump, but the end result is well worth the effort. Start out by calling your insurance company to find out what your options are. Remember, insurance companies are allowed to handle this coverage any way they choose, so one provider’s policy may differ greatly from another’s.