We talk a lot here about the “booby traps” that prevent moms from meeting their breastfeeding goals, and lack of insurance coverage for lactation services is a big one. While most hospitals provide some degree of in-patient breastfeeding support, many insurance companies don’t cover lactation support after discharge, forcing new moms to pay out-of-pocket to get breastfeeding help. The cost of LC visits can be a considerable expense, which can deter moms from getting the support they need.
We were very happy to see a new independent report commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommending preventative health services, including breastfeeding support, be covered by insurers. If HHS approves the recommendations, insurance companies would be required to cover breastfeeding services for new moms.
An excerpt from the report:
Recommendation 5.6: Comprehensive lactation support and counseling and costs of renting breastfeeding equipment. A trained provider should provide counseling services to all pregnant women and to those in the postpartum period to ensure the successful initiation and duration of breastfeeding.
The Department of Health and Human Services could make a decision on these recommendations as soon as August 1, and coverage could start at the beginning of next year when new insurance plans take effect. We’ll make sure to keep you updated as more details are announced.
What do you think of these new recommendations? Did your insurance company offer coverage for breastfeeding support?