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NBM 2015 Week 2

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Breastfeeding in Health Care Coverage: Mind the Gaps!

The current state of breastfeeding support in health care coverage varies widely, leaving many without access to the supplies or counseling they need to meet their personal breastfeeding goals. While nearly four out of five U.S. mothers initiate breastfeeding, less than half of moms are still breastfeeding at six months postpartum.

The lack of access to breastfeeding support and supplies remains one of the main causes for the drop-off in breastfeeding rates. Help us tell insurers and policymakers that supporting breastfeeding saves serious health care dollars!

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most private plans to cover breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling without cost sharing. This was an important victory for breastfeeding families, but implementation has been inconsistent. A recent review by the National Women’s Law Center found that coverage gaps are widespread: of 15 states analyzed, 20 insurers in six states impose limits on coverage of breastfeeding benefits that are in violation of the ACA.

The National Breastfeeding Center's Payer Scorecard grades private insurers annually on their breastfeeding policies, with the goal to "ensure that the care provided is appropriate to each mother’s concern or issue and that each has access to breast pumps that perform appropriately according to her medical or societal needs." Of the 108 insurers scored in 2014, 43 received a C- grade or below.

Meanwhile, Medicaid coverage is managed at the state level, with the ACA breastfeeding requirements applying to "expansion" plans, while exempting "traditional" plans. A 2012 issue brief from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that, of 44 states responding about traditional Medicaid plans, only 25 covered breastfeeding education services, 15 covered individual lactation consultations, and 31 covered equipment rentals.

The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding; the Institute of Medicine report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention; and the National Prevention Strategy each call for ensuring access to breastfeeding support in health care.

That's why we need YOUR help to demand that insurers and policymakers provide coverage equity in breastfeeding care, regardless of the type of health plan.

There are FIVE easy ways to take action:

  1. Tell Health & Human Services Secretary Burwell to issue clear federal guidance on implementation of the ACA requirements: With our online petition, you can add your name with just a few clicks of the mouse!
  2. Share stories of experiences with your health plan's breastfeeding coverage: Submissions become part of a bank of real-life stories that we share with legislators to seek co-sponsorship, and quote in action campaigns, blogs, articles, and conversations with policymakers and the media.
  3. Tweet insurers: Public praise or criticism goes a long way toward encouraging insurers to maintain or improve breastfeeding support. Click on the "Tweet Now!" links in the chart below to send a customized Twitter message to insurance companies highlighting their score on the National Breastfeeding Center's Payer Scorecard. Note: If you don't already have a Twitter account, the links will first walk you through easy account setup steps.
  4. Join the NBM15 Week 2 #WellnessWed Twitter chat on August 12 from 2-3 p.m. ET: Follow and contribute to the conversation on hashtag #WellnessWed, and use these other hashtags in your tweets: #ACA #HealthPlan #Medicaid #TRICARE.
  5. Help spread the word: Promote this week's actions to your network using our shareable graphics.

Customized Twitter Message Tool

Directions: Find insurance companies in the chart below and click the "Tweet Now!" links to send messages highlighting their scores on the National Breastfeeding Center's 2014 Payer Scorecard. Make sure to keep the ".@" symbols in front of the handle (no spaces between the symbols and handle)! Note: BCBS stands for Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Insurer Twitter Handle Grade
Aetna @Aetna
Tweet now!
A-
Amerigroup @Amerigroup
Tweet now!
C+
AmeriHealth @AmeriHealthNJ
Tweet now!
C+
Anthem BCBS of CO @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of CT @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of GA @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of IN @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of KY @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of ME @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of MO @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of NV @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of NH @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of OH @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of VA @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BCBS of WI @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Anthem BC of CA @AskAnthem
Tweet now!
A-
Asuris Northwest Health @AsurisNWHealth
Tweet now!
C+
AvMed Health Plans @AvMedHealth
Tweet now!
B-
BCBS NC @BCBSNC
Tweet now!
B
BCBS of AL @BCBSofAlabama
Tweet now!
C-
BCBS of AR @ArkBlueCross
Tweet now!
C-
Highmark BCBS of DE @Highmark
Tweet now!
C-
BCBS of FL @FLBlue
Tweet now!
D+
BCBS of IL @BCBSIL
Tweet now!
C-
BCBS of Kansas City @BlueKC
Tweet now!
F
BCBS of LA @BCBSLA
Tweet now!
F
BCBS of MA @BCBSMA
Tweet now!
C-
BCBS of MI @BCBSM
Tweet now!
C-
BCBS if MN @BlueCrossMN
Tweet now!
C-
BCBS of MS @BCBSAssociation
Tweet now!
C-
BCBS of MT @BCBSMT
Tweet now!
B+
BCBS of NE @BCBSNebraska
Tweet now!
A-
BCBS of NM @BCBSNM
Tweet now!
B-
BCBS of ND @BCBSND
Tweet now!
C
BCBS of OK @BCBSOK
Tweet now!
B+
BCBS of RI @BCBSRI
Tweet now!
B-
BCBS of SC @BCBSSC
Tweet now!
C-
BCBS of TN @BCBSTennessee
Tweet now!
C+
BCBS of TX @BCBSTX
Tweet now!
C-
BCBS of VT @BCBSVT
Tweet now!
B-
BC of ID @BlueCrossIdaho
Tweet now!
C+
Blue Shield CA @BlueShieldCA
Tweet now!
C+
Blue Shield of Northeastern NY @BSNENY
Tweet now!
D-
Insurer Twitter Handle Grade
Capital Blue Cross @CapBlueBross
Tweet now!
C-
CareFirst BCBS @CareFirst
Tweet now!
B-
Cigna @Cigna
Tweet now!
B+
Community Health Plan of WA @myCHPW
Tweet now!
F
ConnectiCare @ConnectiCare
Tweet now!
C-
Dean Health Plan @DeanCare
Tweet now!
D+
EmblemHealth @EmblemHealth
Tweet now!
A+
Empire BCBS @HealthJoinIn
Tweet now!
A-
Excellus BCBS @ExcellusBCBS
Tweet now!
B+
Fallon Community Health @FallonTips
Tweet now!
C-
Group Health Cooperative @GroupHealth
Tweet now!
C-
Harvard Pilgrim Health @HarvardPilgrim
Tweet now!
C+
Health Alliance Medical Plan @Health_Alliance
Tweet now!
D-
Health New England @HNEInc
Tweet now!
C-
Health Partners @_HealthPartners
Tweet now!
A-
HealthNet @HealthNet
Tweet now!
C-
Highmark BCBS @Highmark
Tweet now!
C+
Horizon BCBS of NJ @HorizonBCBSNJ
Tweet now!
C-
Humana @Humana
Tweet now!
D-
Independence BC @IBX
Tweet now!
D+
InterMountain/SelectHealth @InterMountain
Tweet now!
C+
LifeWise Health Plan of WA @LifeWiseWA
Tweet now!
B
Medica Health Plans @Medica4Me
Tweet now!
C+
MedMutual of OH @MedMutual
Tweet now!
D-
MVP @MVPHealthCare
Tweet now!
C+
Neighborhood Health Plan @NHPHealth
Tweet now!
D+
Paramount Health Care @ProMedicaHealth
Tweet now!
D
Peach State Health/Centene @PSHP
Tweet now!
F
PreferredOne @PreferredOne
Tweet now!
F
Premera BCBS of AK & WA @Premera
Tweet now!
C+
PriorityHealth @PriorityHealth
Tweet now!
B-
Regence BCBS of Oregon @RegenceOregon
Tweet now!
C+
Regence BCBS of UT @RegenceUtah
Tweet now!
C+
Regence Blue Shield of ID @RegenceIdaho
Tweet now!
C+
Regence Blue Shield of WA @RegenceWA
Tweet now!
C+
Sanford Health Plan @SanfordHealth
Tweet now!
C-
Select Health @SelectHealth
Tweet now!
B-
Total Health Care USA @TotallyTHC
Tweet now!
F
United Healthcare @myUHC
Tweet now!
D
Univera Healthcare @Univera_WNY
Tweet now!
B-
UPMC Health Plans @UPMCHealthPlan
Tweet now!
D+
Wellcare Health Plans @WellCare_Health
Tweet now!
C-
WellMark BCBS of IA & SD @WellMarkBCBS
Tweet now!
B-


Week 2 Shareable Graphics

Tweet, post, or pin our shareable graphics:

NBM-Week2-Actions.jpg

 

NBM-Week2-Info.jpg

 

NBM-Week2-Twitter-Chat.jpg