Did you know that under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance policies must pay for a free breast pump? If this is news to you, take a look at the why's, how's, and what's of free pumps and breastfeeding.
Why Should You Get a Free Pump?
The obvious answer is—because it's free. But just because something is free doesn't mean you need it or will use it. To fully answer this question, you need to look at both parts of the free pump equation: The cost and the actual act of pumping/breastfeeding.
There isn't one universal price for a breast pump. The overall cost of the pump depends on the type (manual versus electric or hospital-grade), whether the pump is new or used, and the included accessories. While a pump isn't on the same level as a major investment, such as a new family minivan, it is one more expense you don't need right now. Whether you prefer not to pay for a pump or you don't have the baby budget for it, a free device is a major financial bonus of this insurance option.
Along with the price, the ability to feed your baby is another reason to get a free pump. You can't always bring your baby with you. This makes breastfeeding a challenge. A pump allows you to provide fresh, nourishing breast milk to your baby when you're at work or away. It can also help parents who have difficulty nursing, can't nurse, or have babies who just won't latch to use their own milk.
How Do You Get a Free Pump?
Now that you know why you should get a free pump, it's time to take the next step and get one. If you're a first-time parent or it's your first time nursing, you may not know where to start.
Before you buy a pump or assume your insurer will reimburse you for one that was purchased for you, talk to your insurance company. Ask your insurer what the process includes, what pumps they cover, and what type of documentation you need. Some policies require a doctor's prescription or a pre-authorization.
What Type of Pump Can You Get?
Again, talk to your insurer to answer this question. Even though the Affordable Care Act requires most insurance plans to cover the cost of a pump, the law doesn't specify the type. Different insurers and plans pay for different types of pumps. Some plans only cover rentals, while others may pay for the full cost of a brand-new pump that you can keep.
For more information about obtaining a free breast pump, contact a local insurance company.