Anthem Shifts Some of the Cost for Breast Pumps to Consumers

Insurer’s Decision Results From Loosening of ACA Rules

Well, somebody has to pay.

In April, Anthem began paying the manufacturers of breast pumps less for the devices, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The newspaper cites one of the manufacturers as saying that the insurer decided to pay 36% less, from $150 to $95 per device. The move represents one more example of the weakening effects of the ACA. Under the ACA, insurers had to cover the full cost of the every breast pump available to new mothers.

Sierra Cortazzo, who owns a store that sells the devices, tells the newspaper that the ACA rule “was very exciting, and I think it definitely helped a lot of women who couldn’t afford a breast pump to continue to nurse so they could return to work.”

Now there’s no guarantee that every device will be covered by Anthem and that even devices that are covered, may not be fully covered, the Post-Dispatch reports. That means that consumers will have to pay at least part of the bill.

Anthem spokesman Scott Golden tells the newspaper that “Anthem recognizes the positive health benefits that breastfeeding can have on mothers and their newborns, and we are committed to ensuring new mothers have the information, tools and support they need to successfully breastfeed their newborns.”