Thursday, December 10, 2015

Get a Breast Pump with no Copay!

Doctors, early childhood specialists, and public health professionals have shown that there are many benefits to breastfeeding for moms and babies who are able to do so. And a breast pump can help a mom continue providing milk for a baby even when she cannot feed him or her directly. For example, many working moms use breast pumps during the work day to express milk for day care the following day.

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare - many insurance plans now cover breast pumps at $0 copay. The law requires it! Since I have not seen this new benefit widely publicized, I thought I should share with others. (It is important to note that some plans may be grandfathered, meaning they do not have to comply with all of the new rules yet, and some public plans may not be required to offer this benefit at all. But there is a good chance that your insurance does cover it, so why not check?) If you are pregnant and wanting to use a breast pump, even occasionally, I definitely recommend at least looking into it - all it takes to verify is a quick phone call or email!

And the great part is many stores that sell breast pumps will do the work for you to find out what your insurance covers.

For example, Target has a breast pump program. You can either call the phone number listed on their program website or email them at with the following information:

- full name
- date of birth
- expected due date or delivery date
- address
- phone number
- insurance name
- insurance member ID (including any letters)
- insurance group ID
- insurance phone number
- first and last name of your OBGYN or midwife
- doctor's phone number

They will then contact your insurance company on your behalf and email you back with information about which breast pumps are covered in full by your plan. They will also let you know how much it would cost to purchase an upgrade, for example, to get a bag that can hold all of the parts. Then you email back about which breast pump you want, they handle the insurance transaction behind the scenes, and you simply go pick it up at the location they tell you (a Target store near you).

I was amazed at how simple it was to acquire my breast pump. Now it is hard to imagine life without it! I was able to leave enough breast milk in the freezer for my husband to feed our eight-week-old son when I left them alone together for a long weekend. And I was able to enjoy participating in a friend's wedding across the country knowing that our baby would be well fed back at home!

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