Friday, July 25th, 2014
* Guest-edited by Amanda Cole, owner of Yummy Mummy
We’ve all heard the phrase “ask and you shall receive.” When you’re pregnant you’re going to be asking about (and receiving) tips on strollers, car seats, baby monitors and more. While you’re at it, ask the right questions and you could maybe receive a free breast pump.
The Affordable Care Act requires most health insurance plans to cover women’s preventative services, including breast pumps, oftentimes with no cost to the mother. But coverage varies widely, not only from one insurance carrier to the next, but also from one plan to the next. So you have to ask the right questions to find out what you are entitled to.
1. Does your plan cover breast pumps?
Although the Affordable Care Act requires most insurance plans to cover breast pumps, a few plans have been “grandfathered in,” so the first thing to do is make sure your plan covers breast pumps. And despite some rumors out there, the breast pumps you receive through insurance are the same exact breast pumps you would buy at any retail store. They might not have all the fancy extras like tote bags and coolers, but the motor and mechanics are 100% identical. And there is no need to purchase additional accessories to start pumping! Just buy them later if you decide you need them.
2. What types of pumps are covered by your plan?
Some plans offer a double-electric breast pump, others offer only a manual pump, and some plans give members a choice. Some plans also allow you to rent a hospital-grade pump, but most often you or your baby must have a medical condition (such as a cleft palette) as well as a prescription in order to obtain a hospital-grade breast pump. Which leads us to question #3…
3. Do you need a prescription?
Some plans require your doctor to send in a prescription for any type of pump, so ask early to avoid delays later!
4. How and when do I get my pump?
For the most part, your insurance carrier will not let you go to just any store (or web site) to purchase your pump. They will require that you obtain your breast pump from an in-network provider. I am the founder and owner of Yummy Mummy, the largest Durable Medical Equipment supplier in the country specializing in breast pumps, so we may be in your network (we work with more than 25 insurance plans).
Your pump provider should ideally verify benefits on your behalf, offer you different brands of pumps to choose from, and ship the pump straight to your door. Some insurance plans will let you receive your pump at any point during your pregnancy, while others will only allow the pump to ship one month before your delivery or after you’ve delivered.
If you still have more questions, Yummy Mummy is here to help!
Seeking advice on what type of breast pump you should get or how many you should have? Watch this video introduction!
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