Today’s bonus post is a letter I just wrote to my HR Director. I recently found out that Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Anthem plan cut funding for breast pumps.
Ever since having my son, I’ve learned more and more that if you want to see change, you need to speak up for yourself and not stop speaking. So, I drafted the letter below.
Please, please feel free to steal it and edit it for your own use if you also have BCBS Anthem plan and would like to make your employer aware of what they are doing.
I’m not necessarily sure that making my employer aware will do anything, but I figured they are the insurance company’s customer, so if they express disapproval at a higher level, perhaps BCBS will be forced to listen.
Dear [HR Director]:
I was excited to hear the new benefits and plans during our benefits meeting. For the most part, it looks like the BCBS Anthem plan will continue to provide us with affordable options for quality care.
However, I was recently made aware of something that directly affects me, as well as other expectant mothers in the company. On April 1, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield cut breastfeeding support for the purchase of breast pumps for its customers by 45%, reducing the cost of support from $169.15 to $95. They claim this decision will not affect users, but the cost of most quality single-user double pumps is over $100 (Spectra S2 and Medela Pump in Style, two of the most popular choices for pumps, retail for $159 and $169, respectively). Additionally, under the Affordable Care Act, mothers are entitled to receive a pump through insurance at no cost-sharing.
Those of us who plan to return to work after having our babies depend on being provided a quality pump to help sustain our feeding regimens while we continue to support [Company Name] and all the work we do here. I worry that this decision will affect my plans for feeding my child, and I know I am not even the only one in the company affected by this decision.
I know there may be very little we can do on a company level about this, but I wanted to make you aware in case it wasn’t common knowledge. If [Company Name] does have any power to address this, the advocacy and support would be appreciated. While BCBS Anthem does have many quality benefits for its customers, it is currently selling working mothers short.