Best for Babes resoundingly says “Yes!”
According to Best for Babes, “Last year, the New York Times published an article (by Amber McCann, IBCLC) about lactation consultant Freda Rosenfeld. A reader responded that the fee charged by lactation consultants is outrageous … depending on where you live, it can cost between $120 and $200+ per session. It is wise for parents and parents-to-be to understand and evaluate what IBCLCs do and ask Are IBCLCs worth it? We come back with a resounding YES.”
Marsha Walker, a renowned IBCLC, asks: Why hire an IBCLC?
“While at first glance the services of an IBCLC lactation consultant may seem pricey and out of the range of many families in a tight economy, we should also realize that the return on this investment can be priceless. Most of our health services are reimbursed by insurance companies or employers who are self-insured. An up-front $200 investment for a family can save them $1500-$2000 in formula costs, hundreds of dollars because they do not need to miss time off from work to care for a sick infant, hundreds of dollars because they do not need to pay co-pays for physician visits, and the savings that accrue from the avoidance of big-ticket items like childhood obesity, diabetes, and other acute and chronic diseases. That $200 investment in a child’s health lasts a lifetime.
An insurance carrier can also save millions of dollars by reimbursing families or IBCLCs for lactation care and services. Some have figured this out and reimburse for these services. Others seem content to go right on paying for preventable diseases.
One thing that consumers can do to help fix this problem is to contact their insurance carrier and employer and ask that the services of IBCLC lactation consultants be reimbursed. If lactation services are denied by an insurance carrier, appeal this decision. If that does not work, file a complaint with your state insurance commissioner’s office. These services are often not covered because of a perceived lack of demand. We need to get feisty and ask for what we need. Since when do women sit back and not advocate for their families and themselves? If you want and need these services then demand them!
The US Lactation Consultant Association is working hard every day to improve reimbursement for IBCLC lactation consultant services. But we can’t do it alone. The voices of everyone visiting this website can go a long way to alert insurers and employers that breastfeeding families have an unmet need that is cost effective for everyone.”