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Pregnant? Maybe You Can Get a Free Breast Pump Too…

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This would be a HUGE savings for my family, we are expecting right now and the cost of raising a baby is so high. Having a free breast pump would tick off one of the most expensive infant items, without having to get one as a gift from friends or family. I'm going to follow these steps and look at my insurance right away. What a great frugal life hack for our budget.

The following is from my younger sister and occasional guest poster, Teresa Ward.  She thought she could share after she was happily surprised!

As Crystal announced, my husband and I are expecting our first child this year!  While we couldn’t be more excited, I am daunted at the LONG list of items we need to purchase before our son’s birth.  One of the biggest ticket items – although not a strict necessity for all mothers – was a breast pump as I plan to breastfeed for several months and would like my husband to be involved.

Baby

Research Works

After realizing on Amazon that breast pumps vary widely in price all the way up to $300, I heavily researched them before making a purchase.

Happily, I discovered my medical insurance covered mine 100%!!!  Yes – I actually ended up ordering TWO FREE breast pumps that my insurance will cover (totaling $400 retail, a little less than $300 discounted or online).  The best part – delivery to my front door before my son is even born!

The Steps I Followed

I wanted to share the process to make sure any parent who qualifies for the same benefit didn’t pay out of pocket for this very expensive baby product!  Not all insurance companies and plans are as generous, but it never hurts to ask.  (And my understanding is that certain new US healthcare laws have required insurance companies to cover breast pumps to some degree, but that’s a completely different post.)

Steps to Use Insurance Benefits to Purchase Breast Pump(s):

  1. Contact your medical insurance company and inquire about what your plan does or doesn’t include.  Ask for any exceptions (like only purchasing from the insurance company’s durable medical supply store) or limitations (like only being able to rent a pump versus buy one or a maximum amount the insurance company will cover).  TIP FOR THE BUSY – If you cannot call the insurance company during business hours, just send them an email requesting the same information, including your name, policy number, and date of birth!

  2. If your insurance does cover a breast pump(s), ask them about the steps to obtain one.  You will mostly likely need to contact the associated medical durable supply stores and see which pumps, if any, are available (again, you can call, email, or even just check their website).

  3. Read reviews of the various breast pumps offered and make a selection.  Amazon is a great source of reviews, as are your medical providers, online articles, recent breast feeding mothers, and nursing books.

  4. Order your choice in breast pump from the medical supply store, giving the company your medical insurance and doctor’s information.  At this point, they will NOT ask for your credit card information.

  5. Wait for the durable medical supply store to contact your insurance to have your pump approved.  Often, the insurance company will require a doctor’s note/prescription for the pump, which the medical store will obtain from your doctor.  You might be able to speed this process up by requesting a prescription yourself from the doctor and submitting it to the medical supply store, but I figured that was part of the beauty of ordering one thru a medical supply store – less work for me!

  6. The durable medical supply store will contact you to discuss your insurance’s coverage.  If your insurance covers your pump 100%, they will let you know they are shipping it to you at no charge.  If your insurance covers part of the pump or had other questions, they will also let you know at this time.  Be sure to ask questions, as the durable medical supply store reps are typically very helpful.

  7. Hopefully – wait for your pump to show up at your doorstep.  Storks don’t bring babies, but I like to imagine storks dropping off free pumps to expectant mothers!

My Process

How my process went:

First, I called up my medical insurance provider (which is Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas on an employer PPO Plan); typically insurance companies list a customer service phone number on the back of insurance cards.  Keep this card handy, as both the insurance and durable supply equipment companies will need your policy number.  After a short wait, a service representative informed me that my plan actually covered TWO breast pumps under the amount of $150 each per calendar year, to be purchased from one of their durable equipment medical suppliers (which is just a fancy term for medical stores that my insurance companies work with).  I was a bit concerned that those companies might not have the brands of pumps I was interested in, much less any pumps at all, but the service rep let me know both Edgepark Medical Supply (https://www.edgepark.com) and Byram Healthcare (https://www.byramhealthcare.com) carried breast pumps and were covered by my network.

I checked both websites, and ended up placing an order from Edgepark from both a FREEMIE Hands-free Deluxe and a MEDELA Pump In Style Advanced breast pump.  Edgepark has very generous hours if you need to call them (they even answer the phone on Saturdays) and has quite a selection of pumps.  I ordered both at the same time, as both were highly reviewed online and in my baby book research.  Not only do I have a back-up in case one breaks, but inevitably I will prefer one over the other so I figured I would give myself options!  I will try to post later my reviews of each if Crystal will let me 😉 .  (From Crystal – Of course!)

Two days after I placed my order, Edgepark contacted me via email, asking me to call them.  Nervous that I was not covered somehow afterall, I called and to my excitement, they confirmed all my information and informed me that my insurance should cover them 100%.  They were going to process my order and send the pumps to me, unless anything else came up with the insurance company.  They did NOT ask for any billing information and won’t unless the insurance company denies the order for any reason.

I am now waiting on my much anticipated order to arrive.  For the little effort I put into this process (2 short phone calls and 1 easy online order form), I will call this insurance benefit a HUGE WIN!

So to get the message out loud and clear – please, please contact your medical insurance BEFORE you purchase a breast pump if you live in the US.  It’s worth the short phone call to save a lot of money on a product you may only use for a year or less.  Do NOT purchase your pump from any store until you contact your insurance company – they will NOT reimburse purchases from non-medical supply stores or those they don’t work with.  I would recommend contacting the insurance company a few months before your due date, as shipping, obtaining prescriptions, and even just ordering takes time!  Best of luck in your thrifty endeavors!

Hope this helps some of you too!



FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $70,000-$90,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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9 thoughts on “Pregnant? Maybe You Can Get a Free Breast Pump Too…

  1. It’s been a few years but we did look at these options when my wife was pregnant, but we did not meet the qualifications. As you mention, it’s important to at least look because it could be a big money saver.




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  2. I just had my daughter 5 weeks ago. I found out about the free pump on a random Pinterest post. I got the Medela, and it has already came in so handy. Now if only all the accessories were free too!




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  3. Good to know. Back when I used a pump, t
    Amazon did not exist. Sounds like a good deal as breastfeeding should be encouraged.




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  4. Great information Teresa. I will not be needing these products, but I think the young Mothers of today can greatly appreciate, and benefit from your research. Budgeting has been around a long time, but it’s good to know there are people like you, and Crystal, who are willing to take the extra time to help others.




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  5. @Sandra, awwwww. Thanks.

    @Grace, I don’t know of any but maybe some moms or experts will see this and mention some. If you connect the pump wrong, I know it can bruise you…




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  6. Great News for New Mom’s
    It has passed in the Affordable Care Act 2012 & it’s free of charge.
    I found in New York a DME provider that is partner with Medela & they bill most insurance, they give only medela brand name pump.
    A Medical Supply 845-783-6678 they give great service.




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  7. Thank you all for all the awesome comments! I am so glad that many readers were either already aware of the ability to have a pump covered by insurance, or were excited to hear it’s an option!

    Just an update – both pumps came last week (so the entire process took about three weeks for me)! They are exactly what I ordered, and retail well over $300-400 depending on store, so I am very happy with both my insurance company as well as Edgepark!

    @Grace – I haven’t heard of any long-term side effects of pumping, although a few of my friends and baby books discuss using various creams to avoid nipple pain when/after pumping or breastfeeding. I have also heard a lot of mothers rave about how nice it was to be able to pump even if the baby wasn’t hungry so that they could feel a bit of relief from being “full”. I will comment in a few weeks once my baby gets here and I start pumping to let you know if I notice any side effects! Thank you for commenting!




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