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

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