The Affordable Care Act & The Pumping Working Mom

Ameda Purely Yours Breast PumpWhen I was a pumping-working mama my first time around, the one thing that made it easy to keep going was a quality pump. I used that thing every single day for nearly a year. It traveled across the country with me on more than one occasion. It was like I was reconnecting with an old friend when I took it out of storage after giving birth to Reese. {a bit dramatic, maybe, but you get my point}

I’d tweeted and posted before about how I thought my pump was on its last leg. It would skip gears, I’d have to crank it way up to get it to even start working. I was getting frustrated, but the last thing I wanted to do was drop a couple hundred dollars on something I was only going to be using for another 6-ish months. My last pump, that I got when my oldest was born nearly 5 years ago, was completely covered by my health insurance and since my health coverage now is way worse than not as awesome as it was 5 years ago, I figured there’s no way that a new pump would be covered. After replacing a few parts on it, hoping that was all it needed, I decided to check into my insurance coverage.

I checked with our office manager and she gave me our benefits outline. I looked for the “durable medical goods”…it said it’d cover 80% of the cost. “Well, crap, better than nothing!” I thought. I quickly called my OB’s office to see if they could put a pump on hold for me only to find out they don’t sell them anymore. So I figured I’d just bite the bullet and call my insurance company to find out where I had to get my pump in order for it to be 80% covered.

Then I sat on hold for way too long…

But it was worth it because come to find out? Thanks the the Afordable Care Act (a health insurance reform legislation that requires all health plans to cover preventative services at no cost), a new pump would be 100% covered!! All I had to do was buy one, from where ever I wanted, and turn in the receipt for reimbursement. You better believe I ordered myself a brand new pump as soon as I hung up the phone.

I was so stoked I wanted to shout it from the rooftops! Or you know, twitter.

The point of my little story is this, friends…the cost of a breast pump may be covered by your insurance! If you’re already a pumping mom and need a new pump or are pregnant and thinking about pumping when you return to work, you need to call your health insurance company and find out what they cover!

At minimum, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration, when it comes to breastfeeding support, supplies & counseling…“Comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment,” will be covered for each pregnancy/birth.

The coverage is not subject to co-pays or deductibles and this is a federal thing…while some insurance companies will choose to go above and beyond the minimum requirements, every insurance provider across the country is required to do at least the above mentioned.

This is huge for peace of mind for me considering I have another work trip planned in the next week. I was dreading taking a failing pump.

I can be “committed to pumping” all day long, but if I don’t have the tools to make it work, there’s no way I’d keep it up. Like I said above, having a good pump is what made it possible for me to be a pumping-working mom for 11 months the first time around and 6 months and counting this time around.

And in case you’re wondering, I ended up just buying the newer version of the same pump I already had (Purely Yours by Ameda). I like it, it works well for me, I’ve already got a lot of extra parts and it travels well.

So did you know about the Affordable Care Act? How will this knowledge empower you in the future?

Photo Source Ameda Direct

About the author

Katherine is a full time working mama in Marketing. She’s married to a handsome, hardworking man that she’s known her whole life. Together they balance two demanding careers, a three year old red-headed country girl, a lovey wolf-dog and 12 acres. She blogs through her lunch hour over at Somewhere in the Middle and tweets between meetings at @LilMissRysMama.

14 Comments

  1. Valerie says:

    I am so glad that we are hooked up on Twitter because I called my insurance after you mentioned this and they said that they cover it 100% too! Mine still works but it is starting to make rather sick noises. Plus, when I opened it a few weeks ago to do a minor repair it had a manufacturing date of 1997. I had to go through a durable medical good supplier but I should still be getting a new one in a few days. Yay!! This means I can get one now before my old one craps out. Woot!

    Reply
  2. OT and ET says:

    As someone who has sat in a room pumping with you while yours switched gears on both boobs and mine failed over and over one boob at a time I am shooting off confetti rainbows at this post!
    OT and ET recently posted..a group giveaway!My Profile
    Twitter: OTandET

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  3. Mary Beth says:

    ACA rocks for working moms. And all moms. And all people, IMO. GREAT! Wish mine had been covered back in 2008. This will also cut down on the number of moms seeking out *used* ones. Kind of ick…. although mine was used and all was o.k.
    Mary Beth recently posted..In Defense of Government WorkersMy Profile
    Twitter: bloombing

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  4. Oooh. Maybe I could get a new pump instead of having to buy new parts for the existing one. Brilliant idea! Less hauling of the thing around!
    Ms. Future PharmD recently posted..Life with one carMy Profile
    Twitter: MomPharmD

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  5. Jamie says:

    Thanks for sharing! I don’t have to pump all the time, but I have been using a manual pump for my now 8 month old. I would love to have an electric one so I can increase my supply!

    Reply
  6. KRISTYN says:

    This would be nice. I have Cigna but they will only allow you to rent a pump (manual or electric) with a ‘script. I have to go back to work afterwards and through past experience know a manual pump sucks and I cant carry around a hospital grade pump. I just hope I can save up enough to buy my own electric since money is tight nowadays due to changes at my company.

    Reply
  7. buckiddo says:

    I just wrote a post about the process for getting your pump through insurance under the ACA! Check it out if you’re curious:

    http://buckiddo.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/how-to-get-your-free-breast-pump-us/
    buckiddo recently posted..How to Get Your Free Breast Pump (US)My Profile

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