In most cases, pregnant and breastfeeding moms are eligible for a free breast pump through health insurance. Learn the answers to common breast pump insurance questions.
Getting A Free Breast Pump Through Insurance: 11 FAQs Answered
If you’re breastfeeding and planning on returning to work outside the home, or planning to be away from your baby for any extended period of time, a breast pump is essential. Breast pumps also open up the freedom to have someone else (such as your partner) feed baby.
Most health insurance policies actually cover breast pumps under the Affordable Care Act, so it’s likely that your breast pump will be free. But how to take advantage of this benefit? We cover everything you need to know in this FAQ.
Q. How can I easily verify that my insurance covers a breast pump?Websites like Aeroflow make this easy --- they’re designed to quickly check exactly which breast pumps your insurance will cover. With Aeroflow, just enter your email, due date, and insurance card information. Aeroflow will submit the paperwork for you. Then, once your coverage is verified, Aeroflow will share a curated list of any and all breast pump models (plus other maternity items) that your insurance covers. You’ll be able to choose the pump you want through Aeroflow, and they’ll ship it for free.
Other options for easily finding a breast pump through your insurance are Edgepark and Yummy Mummy, which use a similar verification process. All three work directly with most major insurance providers, so there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to order an insurance-covered pump through Aeroflow, Yummy Mummy, or Edgepark.
Momma Alia shares more on the process of getting a breast pump through insurance, based on her experience:
Q. Can I order an insurance-covered breast pump anywhere?No. You can’t just pick up a free breast pump from a baby supply store, or order one anywhere online for free, through insurance. Instead, you’ll need to order the pump through the insurance company, or through an equipment provider that works directly with the insurance company (like Aeroflow, Edgepark, or Yummy Mummy.)
Q. Can I only order a breast pump under insurance after baby is born? Or can I plan ahead?Although you won’t be able to receive your breast pump until a date set by your insurance, Aeroflow, Edgepark and Yummy Mummy all let you order a pump at any time during your pregnancy, so you can plan ahead. You can also order a pump through insurance up to one year after baby is born.
The websites will let you reserve the pump of your choice, then ship it once you’re eligible to receive it. Eligibility dates for shipping vary. Some insurance plans will allow you to get the pump at any point in pregnancy, others require you to wait until 30 days before baby is due, and still others only let you receive it once baby is born.
Q. How often can I apply for a breast pump through insurance?
Your insurance provider will cover one pump per pregnancy. Even if this isn’t your first child and you already have a breast pump, it’s still recommended to apply for a breast pump for every pregnancy, for the best pump performance.
Q. Do I need a prescription to order a pump through insurance?
You don’t need a prescription in hand to order a pump through Aeroflow, Edgepark, or Yummy Mummy. Simply provide your doctor’s information, and these supply providers will contact your doctor and obtain a prescription for you.
Q. Will I be able to choose one of the latest pumps?More than likely. Many insurance companies cover the latest pumps from popular brands, including Medela, Lansinoh, Ameda, Motif, and Spectra. These pumps are exactly like the ones you could buy in a baby supply store. But the exact covered pumps vary based on insurance.
Q. What kind of pumps do insurance plans cover?It varies. Many insurance providers cover most types of breast pump, including single electric, double electric, and manual. A few will even cover rentals of hospital grade pumps, but this is much less common. Keep in mind that most insurance companies only cover one pump per pregnancy, so it’s best to choose some type of electric pump (not a manual one) that best fits your needs.
Q. What if I need a hospital-grade pump?
A hospital-grade breast pump is designed for multiple users in a hospital setting. It is the highest-quality, but most expensive, type of breast pump. Some moms need hospital-grade pumps, but most moms only need standard electric pumps when outside the hospital.
If your doctor does determine that you need a hospital-grade pump, they will write you a prescription. But not all insurance companies will cover hospital-grade pumps. Those that do will require a specific prescription for a hospital-grade pump, and will only cover rentals.
Q. What are “insurance upgrade” pumps?
Insurance providers usually only cover a standard electric breast pump --- what they believe is medically necessary to express milk.
Some more expensive pumps, with added features and extra parts (not deemed “medically necessary” by insurance), can be obtained at a discount through insurance. But they will require an additional payment out-of-pocket --- that’s why they’re called “upgrade” pumps.
The good news is that many supply providers, including Aeroflow and Yummy Mummy, accept FSA (flexible spending account) and HSA (health savings account) dollars towards insurance upgrade pumps.
Q. Does insurance cover extra breast pump parts, in case I’d need replacements?Sometimes; it depends on the provider. If insurance doesn’t cover breast pump parts, though, you may be able to use FSA or HSA dollars to purchase extra pump parts.
Q. I didn’t know I qualified for a free pump through insurance, and I already bought a breast pump. What should I do now?
Even if you already bought a pump out of pocket, you’re still eligible for a free breast pump through insurance! You probably won’t be able to return the pump you purchased yourself (most retailers won’t let you return breast pumps). Still, it can be beneficial to have two pumps. You could keep a pump at work, select a second pump for travel, or select a backup pump in case something goes wrong with your first.
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