The new Affordable Care Act contains a provision requiring health insurance companies to reimburse for expenses related to lactation support. The intent of the law is for a trained professional to provide lactation support. Unfortunately, the crafters of the law did not specify IBCLCs. The insurance companies have seized on this distinction. Many are refusing to cover lactation services unless the service is provide by an RN or MD, because those professionals are licensed.
Here’s the difference. I’m not licensed, that’s true. In fact, no IBCLCs in the nation are licensed, unless they are also RNs or MDs. But, I am credentialed. Those letters — IBCLC — stand for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. My credential is recognized worldwide. My governing organization is currently working on licensure for IBCLCs but it’s a long road.
What makes me qualified? I studied lactation for 9 years prior to sitting the IBCLC exam. I passed the exam in 2009. Since then, I have received 162.83 continuing education credits specific to lactation. Ask your nurse or doctor how many hours of continuing education they have specific to lactation!
I sound a little defensive, don’t I? That’s because I just read a letter from an insurance company sent to one of my colleagues stating clearly that IBCLCs are not recognized by their insurance company. A big, major insurance company.
YOU DESERVE TO BE REIMBURSED FOR YOUR LACTATION EXPENSES. It should be simple. It’s not. Over the last two years, not one of my clients who sent my official superbill in to their insurance was reimbursed. For that reason, I have contracted with Especially Births, a medical billing company. If you choose, Especially Births will bill your insurance company for you, increasing your likelihood of being reimbursed exponentially. The fee for using her services is $20.
OK, end of rant.