They tell you the nights are long but the years are short. The first part certainly rings true.
It’s hard enough being a new mom. The last thing new parents should have to worry about is fighting with their insurance companies — to get them to stop breaking the law.
But, the National Women’s Law Center found many insurance companies are refusing to provide new moms with no-cost breastfeeding support and supplies, a clear violation of the health care law.
Thanks to the health care law, women are able to get breastfeeding support and supplies — including breast pumps and lactation support and counseling — without co-pays and deductibles. This groundbreaking new insurance benefit provides moms with the support and tools to breastfeed successfully and reduces cost barriers for women who want to breastfeed.
But after looking at hundreds of health plans and talking to mothers across the country on their Cover Her hotline, they’ve found that a lot of insurance companies make this benefit difficult, if not impossible, to get. One violation is covering a breast pump for only 48 days after delivery — even though many women may need or want to breastfeed for many months. Another example of a violation is prohibiting women from obtaining no-cost breastfeeding services out-of-network but at the same time failing to establish a network of providers for lactation service. As a result, many parents pay hundreds of dollars to get help with breastfeeding that should be available at no-cost.
Insurance companies are breaking the law and hurting moms and babies.
Breastfeeding benefits both moms and children, reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in adults as well as asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and leukemia in children. Women who breastfeed have also reported psychological benefits such as close bonding with their infants. And with the health care law, cost is no longer a barrier to getting the breastfeeding help new moms need.