ObamaCare, love it or hate it, there are some new requirements that Health Plans will have to abide by in order to become and stay compliant. First off, effective August 2012, Health Plans have to pay for “the cost of renting breastfeeding equipment”. Other no cost items include Well Woman checks, Gestational Diabetes screening, STD and HIV screening and counseling. The new law also covers FDA approved contraceptives and contraceptive counseling. Also covered at no cost to members, is Domestic Violence screening and counseling.
Some of the Health Insurance companies have embraced this, while others are struggling to comply. United HealthCare will cover the renting AND purchasing of the breastfeeding supplies including breast pumps. Blue Shield of California will only cover the renting of the breastfeeding equipment. Some insurance companies are actually reaching out to lactation consultants to encourage them to join their network. Some of the consultants have declined those requests because the insurance reimbursement to them is less than half of what they charge to customers.
Another issue that has popped up is the availability of the new mommy equipment itself. The manufacturers and suppliers are having trouble keeping up with the demand for warehouses and supply houses. Many times you can contact your insurance company for guidance about where to obtain the equipment and how to go it. Your insurance broker, if they are versed in ObamaCare compliance they should have much of that info already for you.
Remember, these coverage items are on a no copay or FREE basis. If they attempt to charge you or you get a bill from either the supplier or the insurance company you should be able to mitigate that fairly easily.
ObamaCare requirements in San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland are all the same. There will be some wrinkles with any new laws and requirements, so if you have questions even if we are not your broker, give us a call!
Steve Brauer-President, Brauer Insurance Services LLC…(408) 421-5555