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As the 2016 election campaigns are well underway, it makes it appropriate to revisit a positive change that was made under President Obama’s administration. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on when it comes to Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare”, if you’re an expectant mother, then there’s good news for you.

Health plans are required to cover the cost of a breast pump for expectant mothers across the country. That’s right…a breast pump is 100% free of cost to you thanks to this revision in our healthcare system a few years ago.

When my older son was born in 2011, I borrowed a Medela Dual-Electric Pump in Style breast pump from my sister-in-law (bought my own parts of course). Now that I was prego again and planning to breastfeed my newest little man, I was on the hunt to buy a breast pump. Some research lead me to scoring a brand new dual-electric breast pump completely free of charge. This is how…

In an effort to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies (breast milk has several health benefits to both baby and mother) and remove the barrier of expensive supplies, health plans are required to either cover the cost of a rental or a brand new one for you to keep, upon request. The key is “upon request”…this benefit is not widely advertised.  Like me, my guess is most women who have perfectly great insurance (that they already pay for) do not even know they have this benefit.

Your plan will dictate if you’re eligible to rent or own either a manual or electric pump. Duration of a rental and timing of when you may receive your pump will also depend on your specific health plan.

If you are insured by a national health plan, for example, United Healthcare, you will likely be eligible to own a brand new dual-electric breast pump from the options listed below:

a. Medela PNSA Starter Set* (model 57081)
b. Ameda Purely Yours (model 17070PMW)
c. Ameda Purely Yours Ultra (model 17085MT)
d. Tomy The First Years Breastflow Memory (model Y4613)
e. Hygeia Q (model 10-0056)

Upon calling my health plan, I received a few different 1-800 phone numbers of “preferred vendors” that I could call to order my pump. I personally called Aero Flow and it was easy to order. The agent emailed me a list of pumps to choose from, which I’ve listed above. I provided my insurance information and home address to her and about a week later, my new pump and basic parts arrived at my doorstep.

I personally chose the Medela PNSA Starter Set, which is the Medela Pump In Style breast pump that I was already familiar with. This included:
• Double Electric Breastpump
• Double pumping kit with 24 mm PersonalFit™ breastshields, includes connectors,
valves, membranes and tubing
• Two breast milk collection containers with lids
• 9 volt AC adaptor

You may be offered an opportunity to upgrade your package to receive additional breast pump accessories (i.e. tote, cooler set, battery pack, etc.) with some out of pocket cost.

Call your health plan before you spend heaps of money on a breast pump; you might just score a brand new one completely free of charge.

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