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Breastfeeding is natural but it isn’t always easy. Luckily, as long as you are insured, you can receive a breast pump without having to pay the bill. A pump always comes in handy, whether you deal with breast engorgement or you must go back to work. Below, I have detailed a few steps any mom should follow if she wants to get a breast pump through insurance.
- 1 How to Get a Free Breast Pump through Insurance – 5 Steps
- 2 1. Do Your Research
- 3 2. Contact Your Insurance Company
- 4 3. Ask a Lot of Questions – the Right Kind
- 5 5. Order and Purchase the Pump
- 6 The Best Breast Pumps Covered by Insurance
- 7 1. Aeroflow Breastpumps
- 8 2. Lucina – a New Dimension in Breastfeeding
- 9 3. Edgepark Medical Supplies
- 10 4. Byram Healthcare
- 11 How to Get a Breast Pump through Insurance – Bottom Line
How to Get a Free Breast Pump through Insurance – 5 Steps
1. Do Your Research
First and foremost, you should use the Internet for quick online research to see what the market offers. This way, you will be able to choose a pump that fits your needs and matches your lifestyle. Another way to inform yourself is by asking friends or family members who have recently gone through the process of breastfeeding. They will surely recommend you certain products. Besides these two methods, you could also ask the advice if your lactation consultant, if you have one.
Each type of pump comes with its own advantages and drawbacks. So, consider all these factors and research as many options as possible. Don’t forget to think about the following features:
- Noise level – a pump that has a louder motor might become an issue if you use the product to express milk at work or other places besides your home;
- Portability – is the pump lightweight? Will you be required to sit near an outlet to be able to use the pump? If the pump works on batteries, find out how long they last;
- Suction power – think whether or not you need the pump to come with a more powerful suction or a higher suction speed to collect the right milk supply that you need during the day;
- Hands-free models – manual breast pumps must be held and you also have to express milk by squeezing the product’s handle. If you want to complete other chores while also pumping milk, then you will need to get a hands-free alternative.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
Before calling the insurance company, make sure you have the necessary details on hand such as your insurance card or member ID. The company’s representative will definitely ask you this particular piece of information in order to properly verify your identity. Also, I strongly suggest you ask the employer’s name and/or their ID number. If you write these details down, you will be able to use them later, in case you deal with any issue whatsoever.
Fortunately, due to the Affordable Care Act, you can get a breast pump for free. All the costs will be covered by your insurance company. On the other hand, there are some exceptions represented by those of you who have signed their healthcare plan before the ACA was created (March 23rd, 2010). If the plan was issued after that date, a breast pump should definitely be considered as part of a person’s covered healthcare.
One of the most important things to ask yourself is whether or not your insurance covers any type of pump. Based on the company’s policy, you might be entitled to receive a brand new pump which will be owned by you. The second alternative is for you to opt for a rental and get reimbursed by your insurance company.
3. Ask a Lot of Questions – the Right Kind
Think of all the questions that are very important to you which are also relevant to your current situation. Below are some of the main things you should ask yourself and your customer support representative.
a. Do I Really Need a Pump?
As a new mom, having a pump on hand is a wise thing to do because you never know when you’ll need it. Despite the fact that these products are usually linked to working moms, pumps can be useful for all nursing mothers. Here are some of the benefits of purchasing a breast pump:
- Storing your milk in the freezer in case of emergencies;
- Being able to go out, away from your baby, for a couple of hours;
- Solving the issue of engorged breasts by emptying them from excess milk;
- Being able to rest more during the night while delegating your partner the task of feeding your little one;
- Resolving clogged milk ducts;
- Increasing your milk supply.
b. Why Is It Free?
Due to the ACA which is also known as the Affordable Care Act or, simply the Obamacare, all moms are entitled to receive breastfeeding equipment for the entire duration of their lactation, totally free of charge. Unlike previous policies, Obamacare requires insurance companies to provide cost coverage of 100%.
c. Are There Any Limitations or Exceptions that You Should Be Aware of?
I’m afraid there are some limitations and exceptions. Although most health insurance plans fall under this legislation act and the majority of the insurance companies must comply with it, grandfathered plans which are those who were bought before the aforementioned date (March 23rd, 2010), don’t represent a subject to this specific requirement.
Furthermore, another issue is represented by a legislation breach which doesn’t really specify the things comprised by “breastfeeding supplies.” Therefore, some insurance companies might decide to cover only a rented hospital-grade breast pump that you can only use for a short period while other companies are willing to reimburse the full cost of a modern and more expensive electric pump that comes with a complete set of accessories. Either way, you need to check these facts with your insurer.
d. Is It True that Is Easier to Simply Buy a Pump?
Unfortunately, to get a pump that’s covered by the insurance company requires you to go through an entire tedious process which lengthens and complicates all the phases of the purchase. Also, most insurers ask you to choose a medical supply company in order for them to reimburse the cost of the pump. This makes things even more difficult because some medical supply companies don’t carry breast pumps.
e. Additional Questions You Should Ask
- What type of pump does the policy covers: rental, new product, hospital-grade?
- How long will a rental be covered?
- Does the insurance cover more complex type of pumps such as electric ones?
- What’s the maximum price limit that your insurer will reimburse?
- Are you required to go through a specialized medical supply company?
- Are there certain brands or pump models that the policy covers?
- What documents will you need to provide in order to become eligible?
- How fast will you receive the pump?
4. Ask the Insurance Representative for a Store
If you also prefer getting the pump through a medical supply company instead of ordering it online, it can be pretty challenging to find such a company that also offers breast pumps. This is why you should find out exactly the places you can go to by asking the insurer to locate a few medical supply companies that carry breast pumps.
5. Order and Purchase the Pump
Once you’ve gathered all the information you need and talked with your insurer, you can go ahead and order the breast pump. When ordering a pump through your insurance provider, there are three possibilities that you can choose from:
- Order the product from a company that’s specialized on medical supplies, by filling an online form;
- Buy the pump from a medical supply store but a physical or “brick-and-mortar” one;
- Purchase the pump yourself and then apply for reimbursement to the insurance provider.
Receiving a pump through insurance immediately after giving birth is not likely. For that reason, some clinics offer new moms a hospital-grade pump that can be rented for a pre-determined period of time.
The Best Breast Pumps Covered by Insurance
|Provider||How Many Brands Do They Offer?||Processing and Delivery Time||Upgrades|
|Aeroflow Breastpumps||8 brands||2 days||Yes – Paid|
|Edgepark Medical Supplies||8 brands||8 to 10 days||Yes – Paid|
|Byram Healthcare||6 brands||4 to 7 days||No|
1. Aeroflow Breastpumps
Below, I’ve listed all the breast pump brands offered by this particular supplier:
Once you fill out the supplier’s online form, Aeroflow will coordinate with your insurance provider which means you will receive the pump to your doorstep. It takes them a couple of days (usually, not more than two) to verify the information you provide them with plus the product’s shipment. The shipping, like the pump itself, is free of charge. However, if you’re not pleased with the standard products that they offer, you can apply for an upgrade. Unfortunately, most upgrades aren’t free and you will have to pay the difference out of your own pocket.
2. Lucina – a New Dimension in Breastfeeding
Unlike Aeroflow Breastpumps, Lucina offers a selection of 10 breast pump brands that new moms who have healthcare insurance can select from:
- Ameda Finesse;
- Ramble Tuff.
Besides pumps, Lucina also offers breast pump accessories, grouped into three main categories:
- For new moms – personal care and apparel such as pads to prevent leakage, postpartum underwear, carrying bags, nursing scarfs, soothing creams, etc.;
- For the babies – cotton onesies, Swaddlers, newborn wraps, hats, anti-colic bottles, travel or plush blankets, etc.;
- Breastfeeding accessories – freezer trays, collection cups, replacement parts, cooler tote, breast shields, air hose connectors, BPA-free bottles, barrier filters, milk valves, etc.
All you have to do is fill out their order form and they will further contact your insurer in order to ship the pump to you, once they receive the approval of the insurance company. If you order the pump while being pregnant, you will receive the product one month prior to your due date. On the other hand, the shipping costs (if any) are not listed anywhere on the supplier’s website.
3. Edgepark Medical Supplies
Edgepark represents a simple solution if you want to receive a breast pump through insurance. There are only three simple steps you must take in order to get the pump you desire without paying the cost of the product:
- Fill out their online form;
- Select the pump brand and model from a list of options that are covered by your insurance;
- Edgepark will then verify the coverage and also process your request while also asking a pump prescription that you can obtain from your doctor;
- Finally, they will deliver the product to your home and the shipping won’t cost a thing. You will have to wait between 8 to 12 days until your order is processed and the pump arrives at your door.
On their website, you will be able to browse through no less than 8 popular and trusted breast pump brands such as Lansinoh, Spectra, Ardo, Ameda, Tomy, Freemie, Medela, and Evenflo feeding. You can even use their “Compare Breast Pumps” button which enables you to see exactly what features each model has and what sets it apart from the rest of the brands. There are several key considerations listed there like effectiveness, durability, comfort, portability, and easy to clean.
No costs are involved as long as the brand or model you want to order falls within your insurance guidelines. As I mentioned previously, the shipping is also free but in case you want the pump to be delivered in only days or even overnight, you will have to pay a fee.
4. Byram Healthcare
Like most other suppliers, Byram Healthcare also provides a breast pump comparison chart that shows the main features of all the pump models they offer: Ameda Finesse (that includes a Dottie tote), Evenflo Deluxe Advanced, Lansinoh Smartpump, Medela Pump in Style, Ameda Finesse (which comes with a Minnie tote), Freemie Independence, Spectra S2 Plus, and Lansinoh Signature Pro.
You must go through only a couple of easy-to-follow steps to get your desired pump:
- Select your desired pump brand and version, according to your insurance guidelines and availability;
- Order your favorite option as well as its accessories by filling out the online form published on Byram’s website;
- Insert both your insurance and contact details. Once the coverage is approved and processed, you will receive the pump within 4 to 7 working days.
How to Get a Breast Pump through Insurance – Bottom Line
Getting a pump through insurance isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Still, if you do all the required things in a proper way and you gather all the necessary documents, you will be happy with the result which helps you save a lot of bucks. Most new moms truly benefit from using a breast pump and, with the Affordable Care Act, the majority of insurers must fully cover this type of product. It’s true, however, that the insurance world can be a tad confusing and complex which makes you feel overwhelmed at times. That’s why I honestly hope that all the tips, steps, and guidelines written above will help you get a pump without too much effort or hustle.