Does OHIP cover lactation consultants?

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Welcoming a new addition to the family is an exciting time, but for many new parents in Ontario, the challenges of breastfeeding can be ​overwhelming. Lactation consultants, or International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC), play a crucial role in providing ​guidance and support during this journey. However, understanding the nuances of coverage for lactation consultant services in Ontario can ​add to these challenges.

Does OHIP cover lactation consultants?

In Ontario, the provincial healthcare plan, OHIP, typically covers medical services provided by physicians and certain healthcare professionals. ​Unfortunately, lactation consultant services, are not commonly covered under OHIP. There may be some exceptions for specialized clinics ​where IBCLC will work under a pediatrician or physician, however, at this time, there are no OHIP lactation consultant clinics in Guelph. If ​you are looking for a referral to an OHIP covered clinic outside of Guelph, please reach out to me!

Extended Benefits to the Rescue:

While the OHIP may not cover lactation consultant services in Ontario, the availability of extended benefits or private insurance plans offers a ​lifeline for parents seeking support during their breastfeeding journey. Many individuals in Ontario have access to extended benefits through ​employer-sponsored plans or private insurance policies. Extended benefits can play a pivotal role in easing the financial burden associated with ​lactation consultant services.

Understanding Extended Benefit Coverage:

Extended benefits vary among insurance providers and individual plans. While some plans explicitly include lactation consultant services ​under a designated category, others may cover them as part of maternity benefits or general health spending account. Notably, common ​insurance providers such as Manulife, Great West Life, and Sunlife are known to approve coverage for IBCLC appointments. Some insurance ​providers may require a note from your physician for approval of the lactation consult. All individual plans will vary - so reach out to your ​provider for more information on coverage. If you require a quote to submit to your insurance provider, please reach out to me.

If you are in need of lactation support and do not have extended benefits

Please reach out to me for options! I can offer sliding scale appointments, provide you with a resources for OHIP clinics, and there is tons of ​support in our community including peer support. Please reach out to me and we can chat more. You are not alone on this breastfeeding ​journey!

Lindsay Scheerle