The list of breastfeeding benefits for both you and your baby is practically never ending. And now that the Affordable Care Act is making breastfeeding insurance coverage more comprehensive, getting the support and tools you need to nourish your baby is easier than ever. Here’s what you need to know about changes that may have recently affected your healthcare plan, and what they could mean for you as a new mom.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, private insurance carriers are now required to provide breastfeeding insurance coverage without cost sharing for all new moms. That means every time you give birth, your insurance plan must now offer the following:
Whether you’re having trouble getting your baby to latch on or want to learn more about breastfeeding before your baby arrives, there’s help. Under the new guidelines, healthcare providers must cover comprehensive lactation support and counseling by a trained professional, either during pregnancy or postpartum. As with all breastfeeding insurance coverage, no co-pay is required.
Now, healthcare providers are required to cover the cost for breastfeeding equipment—specifically, breast pumps. You won’t have to make a co-payment, but depending on your plan, you may only be entitled to a single manual pump. If you’re going back to work, you’ll likely need a more efficient double electric pump, so it’s important to find out ahead of time what types of breast pumps your insurance provider offers. Find the best breast pump for you.
Understanding your breastfeeding insurance coverage
Every healthcare plan is different, so to find out what type of breastfeeding insurance coverage yours offers, it’s essential to do your research before your baby arrives. Call your insurance provider’s customer service line or visit their website to find out the breastfeeding products and services you’re entitled to, as well as answers to the following questions:
- Do I have to get my breast pump or lactation visits approved beforehand?
- What type of pump can I get, and are there specific brand requirements?
- Am I required to get a “recommended” pump, or can I choose to purchase an out-of-network pump and submit the receipt for reimbursement?
- If I’ve already obtained a breast pump, can I still submit the receipt for reimbursement?
- How many lactation consultant visits am I entitled to?
This article is sponsored by Medela