This question is referring to United States law.

If I get a breast pump from insurance and I don't use it, is it considered insurance fraud to sell it for cash?

  • Did you get the insurance company to pay for it with the express intent to sell it and not use it? – corsiKa Oct 7 '15 at 23:10
  • Let's say I did. I am not in this situation - I see people selling insurance pumps all the time and it upsets me. I'm just wondering if it's actually illegal. – chama Oct 8 '15 at 14:29
  • I seriously doubt that it is illegal to resell the equipment. Getting it from the insurance in the first place may have been illegal if you had no intentions of using it. Also, note that it's possible to use the pump and then resell it once the baby is weaned. My wife doesn't use hers anymore and the pump itself should be completely usable by another mother (I wouldn't sell the flanges or the receptacles, and maybe I could see an argument for replacing the tubes, but the pump? It's fine) – Patrick87 Oct 8 '15 at 14:40
  • @Patrick87 These women are selling brand new, still-in-the-box pumps. They're clearly not using it before selling it. – chama Oct 8 '15 at 15:15

It is not insurance fraud to sell medical equipment which was paid for by an insurance company. Unless it was obtained fraudulently of course.

Two warnings that probably do not apply to breast pumps:

  1. Make sure that you actually own it. Sometimes equipment is leased; the patient does not own it.

  2. Make sure that it is not a prescription item. You can't sell items which require a prescription.

  • "Unless it was obtained fraudulently of course." - In particular, if you told the insurance company you would need the equipment when you knew or should have known that you would not. – Kevin Oct 8 '15 at 3:07
  • So if you know that you have no plans to breastfeed your baby or use this pump but you still get one in order to sell it, that would be fraud? And also, when I got my breast pump, I did need a prescription (or at least a note) from my doctor. Does that mean I can't sell it? – chama Oct 8 '15 at 14:30
  • @chama That is getting more fact specific than I am prepared to answer. Call your insurance company. – jqning Oct 8 '15 at 14:53
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    I was just asking hypothetically. Trying to figure out if I have the right to be upset at women who are selling their brand new in the box pumps. Thanks for your help! – chama Oct 8 '15 at 15:14
  • @chama: Your insurance company may have demanded a prescription before they would give you a breast pump, but that is a commercial decision. They would not have been breaking the law if they had given you a pump without a prescription (which is what "prescription required". – Martin Bonner supports Monica Mar 1 '16 at 21:06

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