An Obamacare rule that entitles moms to free breast pumps and breast-feeding services from their insurers is opening new business opportunities for two breast-feeding supporters—and encouraging healthier babies and mothers at the same time.
The venture's pitch to insurance companies and big firms who self-insure: Use their service to obtain electric breast pumps for new moms, and then to provide those moms with lactation consulting services that will support them in the goal of continuing to feed milk to their babies the old-fashioned way.
"We're talking about serious savings" to insurance plans, said Joy Kosak, who with her sister Debra Abbaszadeh recently co-founded breast-pump provider Pumping Essentials, based in California.
"We can save them money," said Kosak about the insurers being offered the services of her new partnership with Isis Parenting.
Isis Parenting, which offers a range of parenting education, is offering breast-feeding consulting as their side of the partnership, either through "Pump Talk" classes at one of their bricks-and-mortar locations in three states, or via online instruction to new moms.
"We plan to expand our physical footprint nationally," said Heather Coughlin, CEO of Boston-based Isis Parenting, a decade-old company whose venture with Pumping Essentials launches the first week of August during World Breastfeeding Week. She said that Isis intends to build on its model of partnering with hospital and health systems to achieve that goal.
Studies show billions of dollars could be saved from reduced medical expenses for infants and moms if breast-feeding became more prevalent in the U.S., Kosak said. However, she added, of the 75 percent of moms who start out trying to breast feed when their babies are born, only 13 percent of moms are doing so by the time their babies reach six months of age.
"We need to get those numbers up," said Kosak, a 37-year-old mom of two.