The Affordable Health Care Act now requires all but a small minority of health insurance plans to cover lactation support for as long as you choose to breastfeed. And that minority is growing smaller and smaller each day as the only way for a health plan to qualify as a "grandfathered plan" that can opt out of lactation coverage is to keep their rates and benefits the same as they were back in 2010. And, let's be honest, how many health plans do you know that have frozen their rates for the last five years?
Fortunately, for many of my patients the reimbursement process is as easy as putting my bill in an envelope to their insurance company and licking the stamp.
But there still remain far too many companies that are either unaware of the changes in the law -- or are intentionally playing dumb and hoping that you'll play along with them.
Case in point. One of my patients covered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield recently submitted my bill to her company for reimbursement and was denied. I challenged it. And by "challenge" I mean I simply called the company and politely but firmly reminded the representative of the changes to the law. The representative said, "you know what, I think you're right."
And we were. And -- as you can see below -- my patient's check soon arrived at her mailbox.
So please -- for the sake of your baby and families everywhere -- help me in "nudging" the insurance industry to play by the rules. And let me know of your successes and battles so I can share your experience with others.
We'll get there! We owe it to our kids -- but especially to ourselves -- to be the change we want to see in the world.
(For more information about the law, including tips on talking with your insurance company provided by the National Womens' Law Center -- all of it carefully sourced -- please check out my Insurance Information Page.