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  • Writer's pictureThe Knapp Clinic

Insurance Coverage of Breastfeeding Care

Medical insurance is a tricky thing for patients and for healthcare providers. There is this process called credentialing. Basically, insurance companies review the provider's entire professional "life story" and decide whether or not that person meets the practice standards and legal requirements to bill insurance. This process takes MONTHS, and sometimes it can take up to a year. It has to be completed for each individual insurance company.

Mom looking at baby

I'm often asked why I spent so many months contracting with insurance companies. The answer is simple for me: I believe everyone deserves access to healthcare, and that parents have a right to receive excellent care. Infant feeding is the foundation of a healthy life and that care should be covered by the insurance that families already pay for.

The other reason I accept insurance is because; I can. By that I mean that I am a licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. I have a Master's degree in Nursing and am licensed by the state of Kentucky (and Tennessee) to practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner. I have a defined scope of practice which is kind of like a fence line that tells everyone where my property line is. Kentucky state Board of Nursing put up this fence to protect the people of Kentucky from untrained and unsafe care, because inappropriate care can cause harm.

You have probably noticed that not all IBCLCs or Lactation Counselors/Supporters take insurance. This may be because they have chosen not to (it's time consuming and billing insurance is not for the faint hearted) or it may be because they do not have the required training, certification, or licensure to get credentialed with insurance. Every insurance company has their own policies and they may not recognize the lactation training and certification that the lactation supporter has. Just because insurance doesn't recognize a lactation credential does not mean it is not a good one! Lactation support comes in many different forms just like families come in many different forms.

Professional support

Finding the person who supports your goals for feeding your baby is the most important thing. I believe that by taking insurance I am making trained & licensed care accessible to families. Access to care is a human right and that includes competent breastfeeding & lactation care.

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