How to Get a Free Breast Pump with Insurance

How to Get a Free Breast Pump with Insurance

One thing's for sure: breast pumps are really expensive.

But, if you have insurance, you’re in luck.

Did you know that you have a pretty good chance of getting a breast pump for (drum roll please..) free?

But you're probably wondering, how do you go about it?

What if you’re currently unsure if you’re going to breastfeed or pump your milk for that matter?

And, do you really need one regardless?

The answer is definitely!

So, for now, leave that pump off of your registry.

And read on to learn all about scoring a complimentary pump and the reasons why you may need one once your baby is born.

How Can a Breast Pump Be Free?

Well, back in 2010, the Affordable Care Act passed, and it included a lot of support for preventative medicine.

It also rallied for reform in regard to breastfeeding and lactation counseling.

Because most doctors recommend mothers breastfeed or serve breastmilk for a year, there has been a push for breast pump break time from work in order to make this happen.

So, a pump is available from insurance companies during the entire first year your child has been born.

While this is fine and dandy, keep in mind that the company will not just show up at your door and provide you with a pump.

Some effort and legwork is required on your part.

You need to call your company and learn how to start the process. Sometimes, they will issue you a pump with no problem, while other times they require consent in the form of a prescription from a ob/gyn or pediatrician.

From there, you have to learn about which pumps you qualify for.

Many insurance companies offer you a choice of a manual pump, or double electric pump, while others are more cut and dry (“We offer you only this..”)

Here is an overview of the breast pumps you may be offered:

Manual Pumps

Manual pumps are meant to be used without a battery or electricity. They're designed to be used on one breast at at time, and require some effort and muscle.

The pump itself is generally small, doesn’t have multiple parts, and is easy to transport and use anywhere.

How to Choose the Best Breast Pump

Trying to pick the best breast pump can be a confusing process, but it doesn't have to be! Check out our guide to choosing the best one.

Electric Pumps

Electric pumps are powered by a battery or can be plugged into an electrical outlet.

They can be used on a single breast, or both at once. Many of these devices can be used hands-free, which is preferred by moms who pump at work.

These devices can also be used in conjunction with a supportive pumping bra, which is easy to keep on when you’re at work to pump with ease.

You Know What You’re Approved For—Now What?

Some insurance companies will allow you to pick up a pump on your own (and other supplies) by physically going to a store, or ordering it online from a medical site or vendor, and submit a receipt to them.

But, in most cases, you can’t go just anywhere.

A list of approved vendors will be supplied to you so you know where to go, if permitted at all.

Possible Exemptions

Pumps are generally covered under insurance. But, things can become a bit hairy when you’re requesting “breastfeeding supplies.”

Items that fall under the supply category are carrying bags, pump cleaning supplies, extra parts, batteries, compatible bras, cooling accessories, bottles, and storage bags.

You will need to call your company to get clarification, so you know what you’ll get complimentary, and what you’ll need to register for and/or pick up yourself.

Also, some insurance companies were grandfathered into a clause back in March of 2010. This means that they are not subject to the Affordable Care Act, so they do not have to abide by the current rules and regulations.

I can’t stress again how important it is to touch base with your company prior to doing any shopping of your own!

Also, your insurance company may provide you with a rental pump, and not a new pump. They may also only cover it for a certain period of time.

Many moms have mixed feelings about using another woman’s pump.

While all parts have been cleaned, sanitized, and probably replaced, they may not wish to take advantage of this offer. It all comes down to personal preference.

Also, it can be common practice by some insurance companies to not offer a breast pump to moms who are not returning to work.

Based on the information you are required to fill out and return to the company, they can approve or reject your request for a complimentary or rental pump.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Make a list. Before you call your insurance company, it’s wise to generate a list of questions to be answered so you don’t forget anything while you have a representative on the line.
  • Familiarize yourself with pump providers. If you can pick up your own pump, start to check out some of the pump suppliers so you know what kind of brands that are offered, how long it takes to get a pump, and if upgrades are an option.
  • Get all information squared away by your third trimester. This way, you won’t be waiting for a pump when your little one arrives and you’ll be fully prepared!
  • Have a backup handy. If you’re all set and ready to get a free double electric pump, you may have to wait until your baby is officially born. Also, your pump can break or malfunction over time, and you’ll need something to hold you over until you get a replacement (if this is even permitted by your insurance company). So, it’s smart to have a small, manual pump on standby in case anything goes awry.
  • Consider hiring a company to inquire for you. There are actually a few companies on the market that will do the calling and running around for you in regard to finding out if you qualify for a pump, and how to order it. Many expecting or new moms get overwhelmed at the thought of this, so it may be worth it for some to pass the hassle onto the pros!

What if You Don’t Have Insurance?

You can still attempt to get a free pump if you don’t have insurance.

Many programs, like WIC, will lend out free pumps.

While there are some safety concerns, this has become common practice for those in need.

Parts can easily be swapped, and you’ll have to return the pump when finished (or by a designated time and date), but you can access one if you can provide documentation of your income and status, as well as when you are going back to work (since the pumps are lent out only under this circumstance).

If you think you would fall into this category, it’s important to bring up this issue when under prenatal care from your physician or clinic.

Why Put All This Effort In?

The effort to get a free breast pump is important.

First of all, it’s every woman’s right to breastfeed. And, not all moms stay home—many work for a living.

Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for an entire year.

Obviously, if you plan on returning back to work (and many do after just a few short weeks), you’re going to need to keep your supply strong by pumping.

You can pump privately at work, save up your supply by putting it on ice or in the fridge, and bringing it home for your baby to enjoy.

This helps many moms feel connected with their baby, even though they are away from them, and it also helps give them peace of mind that they are able to nourish their child the way they want to, regardless of being home or not.

Overall, pumping while at work just helps mom achieve their breastfeeding goals.

Wrapping Up

It’s important to get on the ball when it comes to picking out a breast pump, especially if you plan on going back to work.

This way, you won’t be stuck with an irritating (and large) bill, and you can take advantage of all the items and opportunities presented to you!

Happy pumping!​


Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

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