Obamacare makes breast pumps free for nursing moms?
As part of a provision under the Affordable Care Act known as SEC. 2713, Health care plans must now cover the cost of breast pumps in addition to visits to lactation specialist for all nursing mothers with no co-pay, co-insurance, or increase premium. This is one of the many rules that went into effect starting January 1, 2013. This provision of the law is part of the Women’s Preventative services provision which covers other items such as “Well Women visits, Support for nursing, including breast feeding equipment, contraception and domestic violence screening. Read below for the full list.
Currently insurance companies are trying to establish around the rules they will put in place, however because this law is so new, there is no news yet on what limits will be put in paced by the health insurance company yet. If you are or know of a nursing mother please let them know they can contact their insurance company to start the process of obtaining their covered breast pump under the Affordable Care Act Plan.
Obamacare Provision: Women Preventative Services
SEC. 2713 [42 U.S.C. 300gg–13]. COVERAGE OF PREVENTIVE HEALTH SERVICES.
‘‘(a) IN GENERAL.—A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall, at a minimum provide coverage for and shall not impose any cost sharing requirements for—
‘‘(1) evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of ‘A’ or ‘B’ in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force;
‘‘(2) immunizations that have in effect a recommendation from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with respect to the individual involved; and
‘‘(3) with respect to infants, children, and adolescents, evidence-informed preventive care and screenings provided for in the comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Re- sources and Services Administration.
‘‘(4) with respect to women, such additional preventive care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Re- sources and Services Administration for purposes of this paragraph.
‘‘(5) for the purposes of this Act, and for the purposes of any other provision of law, the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Service Task Force regarding breast cancer screening, mammography, and prevention shall be considered the most current other than those issued in or around November 2009.
BREAST PUMP OVERVIEW
A breast pump can be a manual or automatic device that is used by nursing women extract breast milk from the breasts when direct breast feeding of an infant is not possible. Many nursing mothers will choose to use this device to allow them to continue breast-feeding their infant while working or if their infant is hospitalized. Breast pump prices vary from as low as $20 dollars to as much as several hundred dollars for hospital grade automatic pumps.
According to the Natural Resource Defense council, studies have demonstrated a number of important health benefits to breastfeeding. Among them:
- Breast-fed children are more resistant to disease and infection early in life than formula-fed children
- Breast-fed children are less likely to contract a number of diseases later in life, including juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer before the age of 15
- Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop osteoporosis later in life, are able to lose weight gained during pregnancy more easily and have a lower risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer
Breastfeeding also has economic advantages: it’s cheaper than buying formula and helps avoid medical bills later because it helps equip the baby to fight off disease and infection. New parents are well advised to learn all they can about the pros and cons of breast milk and formula.