Jun 15, 2014

Free pumps

As part of the ACA insurance companies are now required to cover the cost of a breast pump, either a rental or a new one for you to keep.  The FDA considers a breast pump a medical device. A breast pump and basic accessories will run you $150 to $300 with Medela seemingly the current most popular brand.

As a consequence to the new law, if you check eBay or Craigslist you will find many breast pumps sealed in their boxes, available for sale below list price.  Why?  Because people are claiming the benefit with no intention of breast feeding then turning around and selling the devices to those without the benefit (such as those without insurance, on Medicaid, or in other countries).  Now obviously some people intend to breast feed, but it doesn't work out and they don't need a pump, establishing breast feeding can be a struggle and you generally know in the first week if you're going to stick with it or not.  There is nothing wrong with this.  However, the whole situation is generating a lot of waste, in this case it seems like a copay may be appropriate.  If something is "free", you're likely to take it, regardless of if you're going to use it or not.

Just out of curiosity I looked at breast pump MDRs to see what they were reporting, it was what you would expect, potential electrical issues and some potential allergic reactions to materials.  Evenflo also got a warning letter back in 2009.

The Washington Post covered the booming breast pump industry in: The breast pump industry is booming, thanks to Obamacare.

5 comments:

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Jr. Williams said...

Does Craigslist have a section for durable medical equipment?
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