Breast pumps help new mothers feed their newborns and infants. Pumping breastmilk can help mothers increase their milk supply, collect breast milk when mothers are separated from their babies or provide breast milk to babies when direct breastfeeding is difficult. There are many different types of breast pumps from electric to manual. They are considered durable medical equipment – which means many health insurance companies will help cover the cost of a breast pump, or provide one on a loan. Most Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan plans cover breast pumps, along with breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling.
Check your health plan coverage
Individuals should check their health insurance benefits to see if their plan covers breast pumps. Blue Cross and Blue Care Network members can check their benefits online:
- Log in to bcbsm.com or use the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan mobile app
- Go to your plan benefits
- Search for "durable medical equipment"
- Check to see if you're covered
Meet with your doctor
If a breast pump is included in your health plan’s benefits, you may need a prescription from your doctor to obtain one. Blue Cross and Blue Care Network members with breast pumps covered in their benefits need a prescription from a doctor.
- To find a supplier, look for one on bcbsm.com or go to Find a Doctor on the Blue Cross mobile app, and search for durable medical equipment.
Consider using your Health Savings Account
If you have a high-deductible health plan, chances are you may have chosen to open a health savings account. A health savings account, or HSA, is your very own personal savings account to set aside money for health care expenses. You can use money in your HSA to pay for health expenses for yourself and eligible dependents. You can pay onsite with an HSA debit card, which pulls directly from funds saved in your HSA, or pay out-of-pocket and submit a receipt to be reimbursed from your HSA. Eligible expenses include breast pumps and lactation support supplies.
Benefits of breastfeeding
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusively breastfeeding infants for the first six months of their life. The AAP recently updated their guidelines in 2022 to recommend supporting parents who choose to breastfeed their children up until two years of age. There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding an infant for both mom and baby – but breastfeeding can be more complicated than just offering a breast to a hungry infant. The more expecting mothers can educate themselves about breastfeeding challenges – and have a plan to address them – the better prepared they will be to handle the unexpected moments. While breastfeeding has many proven benefits, it is just one way to feed a baby. Talk to the baby’s pediatrician to determine a strategy of feeding the baby that works for both mom and baby. Want more information or tips for a healthy pregnancy? Use your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled devices, withMIBlue (pronounced “My Blue”) from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. More from MIBluesPerspectives:
- Hospital Checklist for First-Time Parents
- Health Insurance Coverage for Pregnant and Postpartum Individuals
- Busting the Myths About Smoking and Vaping During Pregnancy
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