Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Thanks for the Pump

It's not everyday you are pleasantly surprised by an insurance company.  But yesterday, I was!

I have been wrapping up lots of loose ends for this impending baby.  That means packing my hospital bag, folding clothes, cleaning out drawers, organizing documents, and otherwise nesting like crazy.  Yesterday, as I was organizing some insurance documents, I remembered that I had heard something a few months back.  Wasn't there some legislation whereby breast pumps are now covered by health insurance?  

Why, yes, yes there was!

In 2010, President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act.  Otherwise known as Obamacare. Heard about it in the news recently?  

Under this act, women are entitled to free breast pumps and breastfeeding services.  I had read about this, but in some ways, it sounded too good to be true.  I mean, it's the opposite of any experience I've ever had with my insurance company.  Something free, that's not absolutely medically necessary?  No co-pays?  No co-insurance?  Just FREE?  

I called my insurance company yesterday.  They put me in touch with two medical supply companies.  And in 5-7 business days, this pump will be delivered to me, absolutely free of charge. I get to keep it.  Forever and always.  

Over the years, I have read things about what other countries do for mothers.  Things that would be unheard of here.  Free (or highly subsidized) childcare, for example.  Six months (or more) of paid maternity leave, guaranteed.  That box of baby supplies and clothes that Finland provides to every new mother.  

I'm not trying to knock our country, but here, when we have a baby, we pretty much go it on our own. We navigate childcare ourselves, in the backdrop of no guaranteed leave whatsoever.  Many women simply cannot afford to go back to work, and then are out of the workforce for the short, and sometimes long, term, impacting their lifelong earning potential.  Other women do go back to work, almost immediately, but do so out of absolute necessity, missing their children desperately and leaving them with substandard childcare.  The fact is, my story is the easy one - I had choices. Most women don't, and it's tough out there.  

We certainly don't get baby clothes from the government.  

But.... we do now get breast pumps from our insurance companies.  And that's a small step.  And it makes me feel all grateful and fuzzy and warm inside.  

I try not to get all political on this blog too often, so I'm going to refrain from debating the Government shutdown and debt ceiling and all of the rest of it.  But I will say this...

Lets leave Obamacare alone.  For a thousand reasons.  Breast pumps being just one of them.  

Thanks for my breast pump, America.  


  1. I read your blog often and I like it. But I do have to point out in response to your entry above, there is nothing free. Maybe you did not pay for the pump at the moment you received it. But someone (maybe even you) paid for that pump. It was not free.

  2. I agree with anonymous. I love your blog, this post not as much. We are all paying for pumps and all the other "free" things that may come with obamacare. The reason that a lot of these countries can give away "free" things is because they have astronimically high taxes. For example, people in Finland pay on average 10-15% more in income taxes than do people in the US (http://www.kpmg.com/global/en/services/tax/tax-tools-and-resources/pages/individual-income-tax-rates-table.aspx). Personally, I would rather keep my money and buy my own baby things.

  3. Great entry.
    I see some points to the previous comments, but they are not all-encompassing of the situation.
    But in reply to the more taxes paid in the other countries, do they really? Add together your Federal income taxes, Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes and State and Local taxes as they apply. Then compare that to other countries. Then compare our minimum wage to the minimum wage in other countries. Then compare the cost of basic foods such as bread, milk, etc. Are things really that much different? True, it's not fully representative on a sliding scale, but not all countries are as far apart as 10-15%. I prepare US income taxes, and I am married to a man in another country, this only gives me in depth view for 1 country, but I was astonished to see the difference my in-laws get... for less than 3% more in taxes paid than my "10% federal tax bracket".

  4. Read your blog and agree with you! I did not have this option way back when I had babies. But I do cover my son on my insurance now till he is 26 so I too am taking advantage of some Obama care laws.

    1. I am also able to cover my son through this healthcare reform and I'm chuffed to bits about it.
      Europe has healthcare. Period. you're sick, you get care.
      Here? Not so much. But it is getting where it needs being now, thanks to Obamacare.
      Thanks America!!

  5. really she was only passing on some nice and helpful info please stop making her feel bad

  6. I like the access to the pump but what does Obama Care do for those who medically cannot or choose not to breast feed?

  7. 460,000 people in CA and FL alone lost their coverage or had huge jumps in premiums due to Obamacare regulations, but hey, free breast pumps! You are seriously deluded and misinformed.

  8. Don't mind people who comment against Obama care. They cannot think for themselves, they are either full of "hate" themselves due to personal frustrations, or simply indoctrinated by paid radio hosts or extremist politicians who are too delusional to even come up with a single rational argument. The logic "let people who are poor to die so rich people can live lavishly" does not hold water and it blows my mind when I hear it from "regular" people.... It's true, most of those who comment have always had insurance.... Thank you for this great info! God bless you and your family!


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