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Keep Sending the Message: Support HBill 1151

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I’d be glad to update you about house Bill 1151: Licensure for IBCLCS. The message is simple. The Affordable Care Act recognized breastfeeding as an essential to women’s preventative health. It is preventative for children’s health, too. That was a big step forward towards promoting the health of families.

Breastfeeding supplies, support and equipment were to be covered by insurance. But the fact is it is easier for a mother to get a breast pump, equipment, from her insurance plan. It’s more difficult to line up support from IBCLC Lactation Consultants.* Licensure is needed to make IBCLC care accessible to families.

Tell your legislators that this is important.

On November 7th, seven advocates presented testimonies to the Public Health committee in favor of House bill 1151. Representative Marjorie Decker, the sponsor for this bill, was the first to speak. The committee was presented with letters of support from Blue Cross/Blue Shield and March of Dimes, among others. One colleague read comments gathered in our petition, which had collected over 1000 signatures in only a few weeks.

Legislators need to hear from you. Write to your representative.
Contact the chairpersons of the Public Health committee.

• Senator Jason Lewis Jason.Lewis@masenate.gov. 617-722-1206
• Representative Kate Hogan. Kate.Hogan@mahouse.gov. 617-722-2130

This is the message. It’s simple. Support is an effective part of preventative health care.  Licensure of IBCLC means access for all families as mandated in the Affordable Care Act. This is especially important to those with Medicaid plans.

Rhode Island was the first in the nation to license IBCLCs. We could do that here! Licensure of IBCLCs in 2018 is productive, cost effective and would benefit all Massachusetts families.

* “Barriers reported by survey respondents included confusing and inconsistent information provided by insurance companies about coverage, lack of coverage for the time and place they sought IBCLC services, lack of coverage for IBCLCs at all, and restriction to a network that did not include IBCLC providers. These findings suggest that many women are not yet receiving the benefits of insurance coverage for lactation support and point to specific changes that insurance providers should make to provide adequate coverage as mandated under the ACA.

“Massachusetts Parents’ Experiences with Insurance Coverage for Lactation Consultant Services”
Snyder-Drummond, Robin; Bingham, Heather; Lang, Jessica M.
Clinical Lactation, Volume 8, Number 1, 2017, pp. 10-16(7)