Amerigroup Iowa announced its value added benefits portfolio for eligible Medicaid members who participate in the state’s Medicaid programs that began January 1, 2021. Included in the expanded offerings are electric breast pumps for pregnant women or women who recently delivered, and a new Healthy Rewards incentive program. Amerigroup is the first Medicaid health plan in Iowa to provide electric breast pumps to its members.
Besides the Medline Deluxe Electric Breast Pump Kit, the Amerigroup value added benefits for expectant and current mothers also includes family and child care incentives for completing certain milestone check-ups like prenatal visits in the first trimester, postpartum visit, well baby visit (0 to 15 months), well child visit (13 months to 9 years), and recommended childhood vaccines.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) promotes and supports breastfeeding as an important part of the nutrition service benefits that the WIC Program provides to meet its mission of safeguarding the health of low-income women, infants and children.
Low income mothers continue to face more barriers than their other working counterparts as they often work in low-paying jobs that make it even more difficult to breastfeed. Access to electric breast pumps will allow these mothers to have a quick and easy solution that can assist them with expressing breast milk in the limited break time they get. Educating mothers on breastfeeding and providing support during their journey is critical.
The percentage of breastfed infants has increased every year since 2010, reflecting the successful efforts of WIC State and local agencies to continue to provide quality breastfeeding services to WIC participants. Breastfeeding mothers also benefit from having access to WIC staff with extended breastfeeding education which helps provide the much needed support for breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding is so important—we know this. I also want to acknowledge that many new moms may not be able to breastfeed, for many reasons. Access to breast pumps should not be one of those reasons,” said Kelly Garcia, Iowa Department of Human Services Director. “I am thrilled Amerigroup is working to provide this benefit to their Medicaid members. I’m also grateful for Amerigroup’s partnership and look forward to further collaboration to support the maternal health needs of women in Iowa.”
As a leader in women’s health services, Amerigroup is committed to improving maternal and infant health outcomes in Iowa. Each year, on average, a baby is born every hour to an Amerigroup Iowa member with approximately 8,000 babies born per year.