In the United States, the Affordable Care Act (2010) mandates that most insurers cover the cost of a breast pump for their employees who are nursing. This means that if you stay in-network to get a breast pump, you won’t need to pay anything for your breast pump.
Why use a breast pump?
The biggest perk to pumping is the greater flexibility you get when you’ve stocked up on milk, because instead of having to feed your baby every few hours like clockwork, you can pass bottle duties on to a partner or family. You can feed your baby breast milk in public without worrying about finding a comfortable space or privacy.
Pumping also helps to maintain your milk supply, relieve uncomfortable pressure in engorged breasts (but be careful; over-pumping can make things worse), and help out your baby if she can’t quite latch on yet.
Just remember that most pediatricians recommend waiting 2-3 weeks after birth to introduce a bottle if you plan on breastfeeding, as it can interfere with successful nursing. Some employers offer out-of-network breast pump benefits, too, so if you want to get a breast pump outside of your network, you may be eligible to purchase one at a discounted rate.
How to get a breast pump
It varies depending on your coverage, but in general, you can follow these steps to get your pump.
- Find out the details: Call your insurance to learn more about your breast pump benefits. Find out if you’re covered to rent or purchase a pump, if the pump needs to be manual, or electric, if you need to provide a prescription or pre-authorization for the pump, and when you can get the pump (before or after delivery).
- Start looking for a pump: Once you have the info, you’re ready to start looking for a pump that works for you. Many breast pump manufacturers have a website where you can check to see if your insurance covers their pump. Your insurance might also direct you to a website where you can browse pumps that are covered under your plan, or your OB/GYN might be able to help you find one.
- Order your pump: When you find one that your insurance covers and that works for you, you can take the (well-informed) leap and order a pump by phone or online from a durable medical equipment provider.
To get your breast pump equipment, call or visit the following websites, depending on your individual coverage.
- Anthem: anthem.com, or call: 844-274-9561
- HMSA: hmsa.com, or call: 808-948-6372
- UHC: myUHC.com, or call: 866-249-7571
You might also be eligible to get a breast pump through your EAP, Resolve 365. Tap the button below to learn more about your EAP.