Do you ever see those things on Facebook from bloggers that are free giveaways for some pretty sweet stuff? All you have to do is share it on Facebook, follow them on Instagram/Pinterest/all social media sites ever, and you could be the one person in a hundred thousand entries to win! Yeah, I don’t like those odds. I like just getting things for free without the hassle.
A great thing about being employed is having insurance. One thing I love about insurance is learning how it works. As big of a pain as it is to navigate, it’s pretty cool when you find out a new perk you weren’t aware of.
For instance, free breast pumps.
Never in my life did I think I’d care about breast pumps. Then again, I never really thought about what it would be like to go back to work after having a baby. Really I just never put much thought into having kids, even though I knew I’d have them. For all the things in my life that I liked planning, I never really had a plan or time frame of when I thought I’d be married or have kids.
(FYI, after spending only two weeks with my beautiful baby so far, I can confidently say that going back to work will be dreadful.)
For the last nine months I thought about it pretty frequently. Breastfeeding is going to be great. It’s going to be weird. Bodies are amazing to be able to create and then feed another human. Cool, but please don’t let me leak while I’m out in public. How the heck will we afford formula if for some reason I can’t breastfeed? How the heck do you even breastfeed? How do I know if the baby is getting enough? How do I store breast milk when I go back to work? Which breast pump do I buy? Holy cow, those things are expensive!
Lots of thoughts involved with breastfeeding, but those last two became more prominent the last few weeks of pregnancy. Here comes my big thank-you to Pinterest. It never fails me. I remembered that awhile ago I came across a pin that said something like “How I got my insurance to pay for my breast pump,” so I did a quick search on there and found a bunch of articles.
Apparently part of the Affordable Care Act requires that insurance plans cover the cost of a breast pump for each pregnancy in their maternity coverage. It doesn’t specify what kind or the quality, but they do have to provide one. So I followed the advice I found on Pinterest and called my insurance company to verify. They said of course it’s covered, gave me a list of 3 vendors to contact, said to pick one of the ones they offered and it would be mailed to me and they’d foot the bill. That’s all there was to it! I was surprised by the selection–much nicer than I anticipated. I ordered a really nice model that would have cost a couple hundred dollars at the store, got it for free, and within a week it was at my house!
After two weeks of nursing my adorable baby, I still have a lot of questions about breastfeeding, but I am glad to have an expensive part of it figured out.Some take-aways from this:
- Pinterest is always a win. Though, be warned that when you search for breastfeeding info on there, you’re going to find some weird stuff. Like how to make your own breast pumping bra, complete with pictures. They’re just weird. I’m sure they’re great, but I won’t be wearing those at work.
- LOOK for benefits available to you! I also found out that there are breastfeeding rooms at my office. They’re locked and only the nursing women get the code to get in. There’s also a fridge to store your milk in during the day. You can go in as frequently as you need during the day. That’s pretty cool.
- ASK your insurance company questions about your maternity coverage. Call their benefits number and speak to someone on the phone, it’s what they are there for and paid to do. I’ve never felt like I was bothering anyone while speaking with any of the carriers I have used.
- There is a window of opportunity as well, so if you’ve already had the baby, you can still get it up to a certain point, but you’ll need to check with your insurance company for the exact dates.
- Whether you go back to work or not, if you’re planning on breastfeeding then having a breast pump will most likely come in handy, so take advantage of your insurance premiums and call them up! No social media following necessary.