If you are a breastfeeding mom, having a breast pump is important for you. By having this item, you can allow someone to fed your baby when you cannot do that like when you are working. However, can we get breast pump through insurance? If we can get breast pump through insurance, how to get it?
Getting a Breast Pump through Insurance
According to the Forbes site, because of ACA or the Affordable Care Act, now moms are able to get a free breast pump and supplies through their insurance. It is explained on Forbes that under the ACA, insurance companies need to cover a breast pump and supplies at no cost to members who are pregnant or members who just gave birth and they are breastfeeding. However, it is important for you to note that the ACA does not mention what kind of breast pump that insurers must cover and its price range. So, the coverage of breast pump can be different depending on the insurance that you have.
Read also: Aetna breast pump providers list..
So, how do we get a breast pump through insurance? Here are what you have to do to get a breast pump through insurance according to the Forbes.
- First, you have to contact your insurance company. A certified nurse midwife and international board-certified lactation consultant in private practice in Staten Island, New York named Lisa Paladino said that she tells her patients to call their insurance company by their third trimester. Based on her experience, most insurance companies have a maternal child specialist who has the ability to explain the process and the coverage to which you are entitled. However, you have to start by calling the member services phone number which is attached on the back of your insurance card.
- When you call the member service representative, you have to ask the right questions. As explained on Forbes site, here are what you have to ask.
- You have to ask the types of breast pumps that your insurance cover.
- You have to ask where you are able to get your pump.
- You have to ask whether you have the option to upgrade your breast pump.
- You have to ask whether you need a prescription.
- You have to ask whether your insurance cover hospital-grade pumps.
- You have to ask whether you need to pay anything toward a hospital grade breast pump.
- You have to consider various breast pump. Let’s say that your insurance company offers several options of breast pumps. If so, you will have to decide what kind of pump which can work best for you. Here are some types of breast pumps.
- Double-electric pumps
Nicole Drury, a certified La Leche League leader in Northampton, Massachusetts says that electric pumps are designed to mimic the way a baby nurses, first with quick, short pulls to create a let down and then a longer pull. Furthermore, she says that the double-electric is the most efficient type of pump because it allows you to pump both breast at once. She also says that some women really do not like this setup and feel like they are hooked up to a machine.
- Double-electric pumps
- Single-electric breast pumps
With this, you are only able to pump one breast at a time so that it can take longer. However, some women like having the option of pumping one breast and allowing the baby nurse on the other breast at the same time.
- Battery-operated breast pumps
When you are travelling, these pumps are good to have. Drury says that if you are travelling and you do not have guaranteed access to an electrical outlet, you are able to pump in the car if you have to. She also says that this pump may be right for you if portability is more important than speed.
- Manual pump
Drury says that some women love this low-tech option. She also says that they are super portable and she knows a lot of moms who swear they get a lot of milk pumping manually, saying they are able to get really good suction and a long pull.
When your pump will be obtained varies. It is because every insurance company has different guidelines about when they send your breast pump. Let’s say that you do not get it while you are pregnant. If so, you are able to get it after you give birth. However, Paladino suggests that if possible you have to get it in your third trimester. So, it is also important to ask to your insurance company where you are able to get it.
Aetna Breast Pump Coverage
Aetna is one of the insurance companies which cover breast pump. According to the Aetna site, you are able to buy a breast pump and supplies from one of their medical equipment suppliers at no charge or at a discounted rate and the covered items may include these things.
- A manual or standard electric pump which is non-hospital grade while you are pregnant or for the duration of breastfeeding.
- Another set of breast pump supplies in case you are pregnant again before you are eligible for a new pump.
The Reason Why Aetna Covers Breast Pump
Aetna covers breast pump because they realize that breastfeeding is important for babies and also for moms. For babies, here are the benefits.
- It can help the immune system of the baby mature. It can protect the baby from infections and increases the effectiveness of immunizations.
- It can give babies greater emotional security and enhances bonding with mom.
And here are the benefits for moms.
- It can increase the rate of weight loss in most nursing mothers.
- It costs less than baby formula, when combined with getting milk with a breast pump.
At Aetna, there are a lot of Aetna plans which cover up to six visits with a lactation consultant if you need support with breastfeeding. These services may be offered by your in-network ob/gyn or pediatrician through his or her office.
What To Do If Our Insurance Company Refuse to Cover a Free Breast Pump?
As explained on the Forbes site, if you find that your insurance company says that your coverage does not include a free breast pump, the reason can be because your plan is considered a ‘grandfathered’ plan where these are plans which existed before March 2010 and have not changed since then.
However, if you think your plan is not a grandfather plan, but you are refused to have a breast pump, you have the right to appeal.