In the continuing saga of breast pump coverage, let’s have a recap of what happened since last week.
I sent my letter to HR. HR actually acted on it and forwarded it to the appropriate people. (Yay, HR – I actually work for a pretty awesome company.)
HR received a reply from BCBS Anthem. I won’t directly quote them here, but essentially they reassured us that they contract with Durable Medical Equipment (DME) suppliers at discounted rates, and that consumers would see no change in availability of high quality pumps. They even mentioned most of the major players by name: Ameda Finesse, Spectra S2 Plus, Evenflo Advanced, Lansinoh Signature Pro, and Medela Pump in Style.
Today, I saw a statement released by Spectra Baby USA (my current favorite brand), stating that due BCBS Anthem’s decision to reduce compensation to DMEs, they would no longer be able to provide their pumps to BCBS Anthem customers through insurance. You can read the full press release here.
Stop the presses – what? My insurance company, who reassured me that I would see no change in access to quality pumps, potentially sugar-coated the truth?
Luckily, they will only be my insurance company come July. I just squeaked in and ordered my Spectra S2 through my current insurance. (Yay!)
But even that was no picnic. Observe:
ME: Hi, I’d like to know what my breast pump eligibility is and where I need to order from.
INSURANCE GUY: Here are three providers you must order from. Here is a list of 9 pumps you can get.
ME: Thanks. And you can get one pump per pregnancy?
INSURANCE GUY: Usually, if it’s the same plan as last time, you can only get new parts.
ME: Ok. Thanks. [Immediately startS searching most user-friendly Website, giving thanks that there was a gap in coverage when I switched jobs. Yay, loophole!]
ME: WTF. Half the pumps listed on here are different. [Asks video chat lady on Website, who says these are the pumps that are covered, and that I can order any time. Okay.]
ME: Hello, Insurance. I’m confused because the pumps listed on the provider Website that you sent me to are different. I want to make sure they’re covered.
INSURANCE LADY: Let’s make sure this provider is covered in your area.
ME: ??? [Isn’t that what Insurance Guy did earlier?]
INSURANCE LADY: I’m having a hard time finding your local distribution office.
ME: *facepalm* [Practicing patience.] I ordered from them last pregnancy. I sort of just want to know if these are the pumps I can choose from.
INSURANCE LADY: Oh yes, I see your order from two years ago.
ME: [Shit.] So…I’m still eligible for a new pump.
INSURANCE LADY: Oh yes, it’s one per pregnancy.
ME: Thank you. [Hangs up.] OH MY GOD I HATE INSURANCE!!!!! [Orders pump.]