How Moms on Medicaid Can Get a Free Breast Pump
The ability to breastfeed a child is considered a public health issue. It is known to provide significant health benefits for the child and is generally supported by the United States government. For example, breastfeeding supports optimal neural development as well as physical growth. It can also lower the risk of an infant becoming ill and is considered a lower cost option overall. Breastfed infants may also be at less of a risk of obesity and other health conditions, and breastfeeding moms may have lower risks of developing breast or cervical cancer in the future.
With those facts in mind, it was decided that Medicaid would offer breast pump coverage to qualified new moms to help them breastfeed with greater ease, especially if they have to return to work or school before the traditional breastfeeding period of a child’s life is complete.
To help you see how you can get a free breast pump through Medicaid, here are some details about how the program works.
It Starts with a Prescription
New moms need to get a prescription to qualify for a free breast pump. This is used in conjunction with lactation services so that it can be determined which type of breast pump will best fit their needs.
Breast pumps come in three different types: manual, electric, and hospital grade. Manual pumps are designed for daily or occasional use, allowing them to be used when the new mother needs to based on their unique schedule. Electric pumps are often ideal for moms that have to return to work or school, especially when a long-term need is expected. Hospital grade breast pumps are only approved under specific circumstances, generally in response to a specific medical need on the part of the mother or infant.
Acquiring a Pump
For most manual or electric pumps, new moms can choose from a selection of models and manufacturers that are available through a retail store or pharmacy. Hospital grade pumps are often not available through retail sales and could require a trip to an appropriate pharmacy for acquisition. Regardless of the type, all breast pumps must meet minimum standards as set by Medicaid. Otherwise, the breast pump benefit may not apply.
Once a suitable breast pump is chosen based on the prescription, it may need to be paid for upfront depending on the retailer or pharmacies relationship with Medicaid. In these cases, the new mom pays the cost initially and then files for reimbursement through Medicaid. Aside from a reimbursement or claim form, a copy of the prescription, as well as an itemized receipt for the pump, will be required.
Medicaid then receives and processes the reimbursement request and compares the information to the supporting documents. Once reimbursement is approved, the funds are sent to the new mom to offset the initial cost. Ultimately, this means the breast pump is free, though there is a delay as things are processed through the Medicaid system.
Additionally breastfeeding supplies may also be covered based on Medicaid standards. If you need additional information about coverage, contact Medicaid directly for more details.
Breast Pump Consideration
Whilst breast-feeding or using a pumps is a personal choice, in always comes down to a mothers wants and needs. For new moms it can be a difficult decision based on a range of different factors. Learn more about getting free breast pumps but also on frequently asked questions for moms considering a breast pump.