Breast Pumps and Insurance

For the first time ever, I can say that I am very pleased with my insurance.

I will probably never, ever say that ever again. I’m sure I will be cursing their existence as I pay my deductible in the very near future.

I called them a couple of months ago about coverage on breast pumps. The lady I spoke with was very helpful and she mailed the proper forms to me to order the pump and informed me that I can’t order until I am 30 days away from my due date.

My insurance company further impressed me by sending me updated information without prompting when their policy changed. The updated policy meant I could order my breast pump online without having to mail in a single item or press 1 for English on a single menu.

The new policy allowed me to order the electric breast pump of my choice (I had six different options) from Edgepark at the 36 week mark. I placed my order on Tuesday evening. The order acknowledgement email reminded me that it could take up to 10 business days to receive my order because first my physician would need to be contacted and then the insurance would have to grant approval.

I got my breast pump via FedEx today! Talk about fast! In the box with my pump is a piece of paper showing how much my insurance will cover (100%) and how much is my responsibility (0%).

I was a little dismayed to see, though, that Edgepark charged my insurance $450.90 for my breast pump that I could purchase from WalMart or Target for about $250.00. Another contributing factor to inflated premiums, I suppose.

So, now I have a Medela Pump In Style Advanced free of charge (if you don’t count my insurance premiums, of course)! I haven’t broken the seal yet just to make sure that everything has been covered. I will be calling my insurance company tomorrow to verify that they are covering it completely. I don’t want to end up stuck with a $450 pump that I can purchase for $250 locally.

Pump-experienced moms, which parts exactly do I need to sterilize when I do finally open this baby up? Will the instructions tell me? I would like to be ready to go once my baby gets here because I’m sure I will have a fatigue-fogged brain the first time I use that pump. 

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21 Replies to “Breast Pumps and Insurance”

  1. I can’t honestly tell you about sterilizing or anything like that. In fact I’m looking forward to your post to tell me what to do lol. I am wondering though if you don’t mind who is your insurance provider? I go through unitedhealth, who also told me about the 30 day rule.

    1. Well, I will remember to post on it once I open it up! There should be a guest post soon from an experienced breastfeeding mom, too, by the way. I have Anthem Blue cross and Blue Shield.

    2. Have you seen the steam bags for sterilizing? I purchased some and so far I love them! Made sterilizing everything (which I only do upon first getting an item) so much quicker and easier.

      1. Look up Medela Micro-Steam bag. There is an off-brand version, too. 2 oz of water with nipples or breast pump parts or pacificiers or whatever and like 3 minutes in the microwave and voila! Everything is sterilized!

    3. I have united health care. You can order 30 days prior to your due date or your nurse can give you a script at the hospital to get your pump there. That’s what I did, just got it after delivery.

      1. My insurance will not pay for it except through the medical supply place Edgepark (or another mail order type of place I believe). So, I definitely wanted to do it ahead of time.

      2. Oh I totally get that. I was replying to the other lady who said she had uhc about what I learned. Both my coworker and I who have uhc got our pumps at the hospital. Definitely not a bad idea to get it beforehand though! 🙂

      3. I wish insurances would do things uniformly. Except I’m sure they would do things uniformly awful. Ha! My insurance won’t pay for any vaccinations for me that aren’t administered in my doctor’s office. I better stop before I jump on a soap box!

      4. Oh goodness. We could have quite the insurance discussion. My husband’s sucks. Thankfully I love mine and that’s what Mackenzie’s on as well. The infertility and IVF coverage I had was phenomenal. I’m sorry yours is such a pain. It’s so frustrating sometimes!

  2. I second the steam bags– so much easier than boiling, meaning I was more likely to do it! To start off I would sterilize everything except the tubing (it doesn’t touch the milk so it’s not necessary, plus it’s easy to melt and get water stuck inside.) When I started pumping I was diligent about steaming every night, but it is very time consuming. So, I settled on this routine: I had 2 sets of pumping stuff to get through the work day. At night I would soak in soapy water and hand wash. I sterilized once a week. Again, I didn’t worry about the tubing…I just bought replacements after a few months. Feel free to ask any questions!

  3. I got the Medela “starter kit” pump. I did it sooner than 30 days, which was nice. Not sure about sterilizing, but honestly what about the dishwasher? That’s what I’ve used in the past, but maybe not for tubing. XOXO

    1. I like to do a hardcore sterilize on everything when I first get it. After that the dishwasher is my friend! I will probably throw everything in the dishwasher at the end of each day once I’m using it I guess. The dishwasher is what I plan to use for bottles and the accompanying parts for sure!

  4. So, first of all, that’s awesome that your insurance will cover a pump like that! Mine would only cover a “hospital grade” pump, which are those huge clunky things that are completely not portable at all! And when I had my first daughter no insurance covered any breast pumps whatsoever; it wasn’t required. But I’m old, which means that my friends were already done having babies and therefore done with pumps so I got two just given to me! The manufacturer says not to use someone else’s pump, but I honestly don’t see the big deal as long as everything is thoroughly cleaned. I did replace most of the accessories/parts just to be safe. These were also from very close friends of mine, one of whom is a family practice doctor.

    Anyway, you may think I’m off my rocker, but I’m against boiling and other extreme heat methods of sterilization on this sort of stuff. I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to BPA and all things plastic. I know now they don’t put BPA in things anymore, but that begs the question, what did they replace it with? BPA or not, it’s been proven that plastics break down and leech chemicals when exposed to high temperatures, and there are plenty of studies tying exposure to those chemicals at a young age to hormonal and infertility issues later in life. My poor mother is convinced that the reason I suffered with infertility is at least partly because she fed me food as a child that was heated in plastic tupperware containers.

    Anyway, so I’m uber paranoid about exposing my daughters to the chemicals in plastics. I just wash everything thoroughly in hot soapy water. (I also use only glass bottles, baby food in glass jars not plastic, etc.) So I just washed all my breast pump parts in hot soapy water before my youngest was born. I never put anything plastic in the dishwasher (which is known to break down plastics over time), microwave anything in plastic, boil anything plastic, etc. It’s my way of feeling like I”m doing everything I can to minimize my daughters’ chances of struggling with infertility…at least to the point that I have control. Obviously I cannot control genetics.

    Sorry, stepping down off my soapbox. This is just a choice I’ve made for myself and my family. And maybe I’m completely overreacting. I hope I am.

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