According to Healthcare.gov "Health insurance plans must provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment for the duration of breastfeeding. These services may be provided before and after you have your baby." These new services under the Affordable Care Act went into effect for most insurance plans on January 1st of 2013.
I want to be clear, there are some slight exceptions to this rule (grandfathered plans as one example), however under theses new acts ALMOST every mother has the ability to request a breast pump free of charge from their insurance provider. This does not apply exclusively to ObamaCare or any specific type of insurance. ALL insurances fall under this act.
Good news for moms! Because this is a new development, it is hard to find advice on how to receive your free breast pump. After spending HOURS trying to figure this out, I want to share the steps that I followed (sans the wrong steps that I tried) and some tips that I figured out along the way!
My insurance was able to reassure me with in a few minutes. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't wasting my time!
Step #2. Find a medical provider that carries breast pumps AND is in your insurance's network.
This was the hardest part for me! I barked up a TON of dead ends before I figured out how to do this! I started off just calling any medical supplier in Alabama I could find and asking if they carried breast pumps. That was a disaster because the few that I found didn't ended up being in my provider's network. I wasted a ton of time this way.
It is also important to know that you can't just go to Babies R Us and buy a breast pump and expect to be reimbursed. Some insurances might work that way, but mine did not.
I finally landed on Aeroflow BreastPumps. I highly suggest starting there and then trying other avenues if they are not apart of your insurance's network. They are so user friendly and easy to use!
Aeroflow has you submit an easy online application and will be in contact within a week to talk about next steps. Because I did my paperwork more than 1 month prior to my due date, they told me that they would keep my information and contact me once I hit 36 weeks.
Step #4. Review the options that are offered to you.
Aeroflow emailed me at 36 weeks with the following list of breast pumps that were covered under my insurance plan. I could choose a pump for free or upgrade to a fancier pump if I wanted to for an additional price.
Spend some time researching your different options and decide which pump is best for you. I used mostly Amazon reviews to help make my decision.
Step #6: Pick your Pump
I narrowed it down to the Medela or Ameda pumps and decided on the Medela PNSA Starter Set for my own personal reasons.
Step #7: Receive it in the mail!
The best part!!!
My insurance would either pay for the price of a new one or the price to rent on depending on which was cheaper. If you decide that you might only want to pump for 2 months, it might be cheaper to rent a hospital grade/expensive one for a short period of time rather than to buy a more simplistic one. You just need to decide that for yourself.