Third Year of Ranking Healthcare Insurers on Support for Breastfeeding Moms: Neighborhood Health Plan Shoots To The Top, Premera Makes Great Strides

New York, December 8, 2015: Neighborhood Health Plan receives the highest grade out of 117 healthcare insurance plans nationally ranked by the National Breastfeeding Center (NBfC) on the provision of breastfeeding benefits to those insurers’ members.

Initial research was conducted in 2013 to see how the insurance industry was responding to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (PPACA), which went into effect on August 1, 2012. This marks the third year that NBfC has scored these policies.

“I wish we could say that coverage is steadily improving every year, but it isn’t,” says Susanne Madden, COO, of the National Breastfeeding Center. “While gains have been made, the majority of insurers continue to skirt around the intent of the law and many continue to provide the least amount of benefit in order to comply with the law.”

That said, “there are some standouts this year that really should be looked to for emulation by the rest” said Madden. Neighborhood Health Plan zoomed up from a score of D+ last year, mostly due to greater transparency and a revamping of its policy, and Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield lifted its scores from C+ to A- thanks to offering greater choice in pumps and covering counseling.

“As parents become more educated health care consumers, this type of information can help them make more informed decisions about the value they get for their dollar,” says Albert Wolf, Chief Financial Officer of the NBfC.  “Every insurer will tell mothers that they cover breastfeeding services, but most consumers don’t have the ability to see and compare how well those services are actually covered.  Armed with these grades, they can have a better idea about how well breastfeeding services will be supported by various insurers when they’re shopping for insurance companies.”

As with every year, those companies covering home visits, offering a variety of pumps that are able to be dispensed from both providers and medical supply companies, and utilizing trained lactation consultants are the ones that scored the highest.

View the 2015 Scorecard here

Download a pdf of this release here.

Scoring Methodology

NBfC assesses commercial insurance companies’ published policies and guidelines and assigns a grade based on the adequacy of coverage provided, using The Verden Group’s Policy Search tool to locate official Medical Policies, Google to search insurers’ member and public domains for guidelines, and newsletters that contained information about each company’s breastfeeding coverage.

Questions? Please reach us here: / 855-777-NBFC

2 thoughts on “Third Year of Ranking Healthcare Insurers on Support for Breastfeeding Moms: Neighborhood Health Plan Shoots To The Top, Premera Makes Great Strides

  1. Dianna Morales says:

    Kaiser wasn’t on here, but they suck. They would only give a hand pump to me who was exclusively BF and having to pump because no one could tell me why I was in excrusiating pain, their pediatricians and lactation specialists kept telling me it was normal. At 4 days old I bought an electric pump so I could BF my baby instead of formula cause if I couldn’t afford the electric kaiser said too bad it’s formula or hand pump. It took 4 months for a baby cafe to open up at which time I went there and the specialist told me I was having so much pain because the baby was lip and tongue tied… so kaiser sucks, and I’m glad I was smart enough to know something was wrong, not give up BF, and had money to buy and electric pump. I feel sorry for those who are new moms, follow every work the doctors say and don’t question or push then and can’t afford a electric pump, because they give up too soon to formula.. but then I guess that’s what the doctors and stuff are paid to do, push formula. 😦

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