According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which became law in 2010, health plans are required to cover breastfeeding services and supplies. Coverage varies from insurance plan to insurance plan. It does not apply to Medicaid or WIC.
As a result of the ACA, many mothers have top of the line commercial grade pumps available to them. Some insurance plans have provisions for commercial grade pumps and hospital grade pumps, some provide for one or the other.
A baby who breastfeeds well is the best stimulus for milk supply. However there may be times when it is advisable or even necessary to use a pump.
The type of pump needed depends on the situation. If a baby is breastfeeding well, and the mother is pumping to stockpile milk a commercial grade pump should work just fine. A hospital grade pump is advisable in any case where there is an absence of a good breastfeeding baby. For example, a baby in the NICU, a premature baby, or a baby that is having trouble at the breast. The frequency with which a mother would have to pump to well-establish her supply without a baby setting /calibrating it is not meant to be accomplished by a lesser pump. A hospital grade pump would also be indicated for a mother who has a low milk supply and is not seeing an increase in production from using a commercial grade pump. If you are having a difficult time deciding which pump is appropriate for your use, contact your lactation consultant for direction.