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  • aconsmith Jan 25, 2013

    As a board certified lactation consultant in private practice in Raleigh, this has been a frustrating development for customers and for me. I have over 60 medical grade breast pumps available for rent and many personal use breast pumps for sale at reasonable prices. I know how to help a mom choose the most appropriate pump (if one is needed) and to make sure it is fitting her properly and comfortably. This new situation created by the ignorance of either government or insurance companies, forcing moms to go to Durable Medical Equipment suppliers for a breast pump is causing chaos and confusion, not to mention frustration. Patients are customers of insurance companies and they need to be the ones to pressure the insurers to facilitate getting a breast pump from an expert knowledgeable about what is best for mom and baby, not from someone who sells hospital beds and walkers! Perhaps, we need a followup story on this issue. Ann Conlon-Smith, Triangle Lactation Consultants

  • RU4Real Jan 22, 2013

    Morrigan-- apparently you are a man or either know nothing about babies nor breast feeding Moms. I breast fed my baby for 1 year. I "pumped" the milk exclusively and put it in a bottle and fed her. Although you "breast feed", you don't have to feed directly from the breast. The use of a pump saves time as well as other being able to help with feeding the baby since the breast milk is stored in a bottle. It made no difference whether I was at home or not. Great idea that they are now covered by insurance! Breast milk is healthier and promotes antibodies in the baby's system-- building immunities, thus theoretically decreasing the odd of getting ill, thus decreasing medical costs.

    People shouldn't speak on what they know nothing about

  • beef Jan 22, 2013

    People who buy insurance to cover something that cost $200 deserve the hassel they. Stuff like this should not be covered by insurance. Insurance is for calamities. $200 is not a calamity. If you cannot afford that, then you have no business having a baby. What's next? Insurance coverage for asprin? Toothpaste? Soap?

  • Terkel Jan 22, 2013

    katie, I wouldn't let my teeth rot out while I fought the insurance company, but that's what these women are doing.

    Scuba, I didn't know flex spending accounts were still allowed under the 0bamacare mandate. Look for them to be outlawed soon because as you pointed out, they allow consumers the freedom to spend their health care dollars as they see fit.

  • eitakydennek1987 Jan 21, 2013

    Entitlement? Yes when they pay for the services.

  • eitakydennek1987 Jan 21, 2013

    Scubagirl try reading the article. It's covered in her plan. No need for flex spending!!

  • eitakydennek1987 Jan 21, 2013

    morrigan why would you fight the insurance company when they are agreeing to pay 100%? If she goes to get the pump at target its not covered.

    covered at 100% or go to target where its not covered...

    Its a no brainer. It's like going to the dentist for a cleaning once a year that's covered and after the visit you pay.. Instead of taking advantage of what you paid for in insurance premiums.

  • georgegray Jan 21, 2013

    Wait ... I have to pay a $15 copay for $6 worth of antibiotics when I have pneumonia - which could kill me, but breast pumps are mandated to be totally free? Come on. At least make them pay a copay so that only people who are really planning to use it will get one. That's basic economics.

  • Terkel Jan 21, 2013

    I say “how dare you question the needs of new Moms seeking to provide the best food available for infants.”

    And there you have it. The tyrannical face of Entitlement.

  • NiceNSmooth Jan 21, 2013

    I cannot believe we are paying for breast pumps. What next?

    WE? who is WE? you have the same ins. as the woman in the story?

  • lost in translation Jan 21, 2013

    I cannot believe we are paying for breast pumps. What next?

  • CrazyLucky Jan 21, 2013

    I can't believe some of the arguments here. Milk-pumping is not a medical issue? In fact, it is. Mother's milk is the healthiest option for an infant. Being able to get their mother's milk even when mom goes back to work, or training, is a medical issue.
    Can manual pumps be used? Yes, but they are much less efficient. If you have a poor woman who must work and who is losing pay every time she stops to pump, minutes are of the essence.
    And the women in the 30's rarely had the opportunity to do much other than be a mom. So, whether or not pumps were available then, they weren't needed. Now, we women can do things like work (even be the main breadwinner!!) and we need pumps to keep our baby as healthy as possible.
    My kids were born before this legislation, so I paid for my own pump. But I have no problem at all with my insurance premiums being incrmentally higher to help make it easier for a woman to breastfeed her child.

  • NiceNSmooth Jan 21, 2013

    Want a breast pump???? Here's a novel idea......BUY IT YOURSELF!

    wow.. .good idea... but wait she already paid for it when she paid her insurance premium!!! So why should she not receive services/products she has already paid for?

  • Scubagirl Jan 21, 2013

    Also, I would think that this would be considered something a medical flex account would cover....add it in

  • Scubagirl Jan 21, 2013

    Want a breast pump???? Here's a novel idea......BUY IT YOURSELF!

  • MarvinsWife12 Jan 18, 2013

    SMH that insurance is forced to pay for pumps but not acupuncture which really does treat medical conditions. Pumping breast milk is not a medical condition. Women are killing us. And I'm a woman.

  • SKYz the limit Jan 18, 2013

    Did anyone actually listen to the story? The issue is an individual pays her insurance premiums, and one of the benefits of the insurance is the free breast pump. The problem is that the insurance company restricts access to the pumps by refusing to pay unless they are purchased through their vendors. The vendors claim they have no breast pumps to issue. The frustration is that retail stores carry the pump, indicating no shortage. Blue Cross Blue shield pleads ignorance, and gives their customers the run around instead of answers. The problem here is the insurance company not providing the benefit that has been promised and paid for.

  • Wiser_now Jan 18, 2013

    @Morrigan- the self-sufficient women and men of the past didn't expect someone to take care of them. They took pride in being able to stand on their own two feet.

  • Wiser_now Jan 18, 2013

    Why does it have to be free? Why can't they at least pay a co-pay. WHat's next? Teething rings?

  • Terkel Jan 18, 2013

    "It's not the fact that's its a covered expense it's the fact it's the law and they are living up to their half."

    I assume you meant "they are not living up to."

    What is unlawful here? The insurers told these women - these smart, educated, EMPOWERED women - that there were networks and they'd pay different amounts depending on whether they were in-network or outside. Then these smart, empowered women signed on the dotted line.

    Again, tell us which law has been broken.

  • Terkel Jan 18, 2013

    "The Affordable Care Act and its provisions regarding birth control and breastfeeding force insurers to recognize the needs of women as important..." k kennedy1987

    I disagree. It doesn't force insurers to recognize anything. It forces them to hand out free stuff. And don't lump all women in the same category. Nursing pumps isn't a "women's issue" any more than free day care is. The only reason it matters to me is I'm now forced to help buy them because I must buy insurance "for myself". Free nursing pumps is an issue that belongs to women who want one for free.

  • Terkel Jan 18, 2013

    What did our grandmothers use? Oops, let me rephrase that. What did the self-sufficient women of the 30's, 40's and 50's do without pumps, free or otherwise?

  • Terkel Jan 18, 2013

    Let me get this straight, Donna Gilbert. Are you saying that the insured makes the rules and the insurer has no say? When you sign a contract it helps to read it. This is reminiscent of the mid 90s when mommies bought policies that allowed a 24 hr stay after delivery, then shrilled that they were entitled to something more than they agreed to!

    How do you like being forced to pay for insurance AND having to buy a pump from a non-preferred vendor? 0care sure saved your bacon, didn't it? LMAO!

    How obscene that ins companies are required by law to provide this. Is there any hint of a requirement that these mommies prove they actually need one, or will they be sold for cash? Hint: if mommy isn't working, mommy doesn't need a pump.

  • eitakydennek1987 Jan 18, 2013

    This article isn't talking about WIC the lady pays each month for her health converge...

    It's concerning Blue Cross and Blue Sheild of NC

    It's not the fact that's its a covered expense it's the fact it's the law and they are living up to their half.

  • mhdeland Jan 18, 2013

    I agree JoCo50!

    I brought mines. A whopping $200. I don't qualify for WIC or any other government programs, even though I add, subtract, and count my pennies, dimes, and nickels!

  • JoCo50 at MXR Jan 18, 2013

    "I'm not mad,” she said. “I just would like answers."

    Yeah........the answer is to go to the store and buy one just like expectant mothers have always done.

    Just because something is not free doesn't mean that you are forbidden from having it.

    Gov't freebies for the middle class.......a trap nobody wants to see.

  • eitakydennek1987 Jan 18, 2013

    Further, premiums go up every year. Recently, such increases have been substantial on a yearly basis with very little to show for it. Chiefly, it’s mainly to cover marketing cost and profit, not actual care. Breast pump coverage or not, I have a sneaky feeling my premiums will go up next year! Why? It’s because I can’t think of a year when they did not go up in price in a new year. I will not be bullied and shamed by these arguments.
    Nonetheless for persons that bemoan new moms for choosing to receive pumps and supplies now covered by insurers, I say “how dare you question the needs of new Moms seeking to provide the best food available for infants.” How dare you bemoan working mothers needing supplies to pump at work? How dare you bemoan stay-at-home Moms that want to store milk? Whether they need to get out the house for a while, coverage by a sitter, or simply need a break from nursing and a night off from night-time feedings, it’s all justifiable, reasonable, and medic

  • eitakydennek1987 Jan 18, 2013

    Sometimes, we as women are our worse enemies. The debate and bogus arguments against health insurers covering breast pumps for new moms is ridiculous.
    The Affordable Care Act and its provisions regarding birth control and breastfeeding force insurers to recognize the needs of women as important; Sadly, we dismiss it as unnecessary. Maybe it’s just our way as women of continuing to be martyrs in everything. “No worries, Mom can go without! No worries, Mom’s needs can wait. No worries, I’ll figure it out on my own.” Maybe it’s a form of hazing or our mean-girls complex rearing its head. Nonetheless, we can now add opinions on breast pump coverage as another divisive issue for women and our bodies. Funny, men rarely say such things and are rarely forced to do so when it comes to their health care. Women, please stop seeing yourself as a second class as citizen and our needs as substandard or unworthy.

  • donnagilbert Jan 18, 2013

    The problem is that the insurance company is telling people where to get their pump. A mother should be able to go to the store, get a pump and send in her receipt. Of course, they have to make things more complex and probably more costly. I appreciate that they are covering pumps for nursing mothers, but I agree that not every nursing mother needs a pump and I think this will encourage a lot of people to buy a pump that they don't need. Seems like a waste. Lactation becomes a medical condition if a lactating mother is required or desires to work or go to school, or is separated from her baby for an extended period of time. If she is not able to pump her milk or nurse, she likely will get plugged ducts, possibly mastitis, become very ill (flu-like symptoms), will lose work time and possibly lose her milk supply. Pregnancy isn't really a medical condition either, but it is covered by insurance.

  • rachel Jan 18, 2013

    this is where the costs are-having an insurance company tell you you must use a specific vendor to get something that is paid for-don't always assume its a good contract or the least expensive product-one hand washes the other and its still the case with insurance companies and businesses as well-someone, somewhere will figure out a way to make a profit off of Obamacare and you can be sure it won't be the insured who makes it.

  • Wheelman Jan 18, 2013

    This is not a medical condition. It is completely ridiculous that insurance is being required to pay for these. They are not medical devices such as crutches or neck braces. I guess before long they'll be expected to pay for diapers as well. These types of things are a large part of why insurance premiums continue to grow so quickly. It's meant to pay for things when you get sick or hurt. Not to help you feed your baby.

  • eitakydennek1987 Jan 17, 2013


    Yes I understand some people don't ever get around to using it, but you never know if you will encounter a problem with feeding until its too late. Use it or not, its something the law requires insurance companies to provide to their customers.

    better safe than sorry.

  • a420a240 Jan 17, 2013

    I guess the cheaper manual pumps are unacceptable for people to go buy.

  • snowl Jan 17, 2013

    In my experience, which was very successful, a pump was never purchased and not needed. Don't assume that all mother's use it or need it for that matter.

  • anvandusen Jan 17, 2013

    it is hard to get a breast pump. I was on WIC and it was even hard to get a loaner pump from them due to a shortage. most hospitals can lease them out though I know when I had my son the hospital loaned one out to me for a couple of weeks until i could get another one. but you can get some affordable ones at walmart I purchased an evenflo double pump that can also be used for travel for $75 and it did the job.

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