Monday, March 23, 2009

Flexible Spending Accounts

I know a lot of people have health care flexible spending accounts. You know the kind where you put money in pre-tax and then you send in receipts for co-pays and such and get reimbursed. I know some doulas have clients who have had luck getting reimbursed for doula services. I had a client that is waiting to hear back from hers. She sent in her receipt from me so we'll see if they cover it. I am hoping they do because I would love for my clients to have this option.

I have a friend who had a baby last week and she asked me if insurance would cover a breast pump and of course they don't. Out of curiosity my husband called her FSA people today and they don't reimburse for a breast pump unless you have a script from a doctor that says it is a medical necessity but not if you just need it to continue breastfeeding when you return to work.

I think if you are returning to work and want to continue to breastfeed there are any number of reasons why having a pump is a medical necessity. Here's my list:

If you go 8 hours without pumping you will at the least be very uncomfortable and at the worst get mastitis.

If your baby is in daycare he/she needs the antibodies in your milk to keep him/her healthy.

Going back to work is hard enough. I really had no symptoms of Post-partum depression until I went back to work and breastfeeding was the only thing that made it bearable for me. I at least felt connected to my baby while I was pumping and knowing that she was getting that from me while I was at work. It also relaxed me and made it better when I sat down to nurse her when I got home. So medically it kept me off anti-depressants.

I am sure I will come up with more after I have time to think about it.

The real kicker is they cover things like lasik but not breastpumps. I wanted to call and ask them about whether they will cover formula.

Has anyone out there ever get a pump covered? I think maybe this warrants some letter writing campaigns.


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