Friday, February 4, 2011

Massachusetts Health Insurance Plans Providing Seats

Here is a list of the Mass Health Plans that currently provide their members with free car seats. We ask all Parents to first try to obtain a seat from your Health Insurance Plan. Some of these plans can take 4 to 6 weeks to send you a seat, so please do this before your child has outgrown their current seat.

Boston Medical Center HealthNet: Call the member number on the back of your card or 1-888-566-0010. BMC HealthNet currently supplies parents with a Convertible car seat only.

Fallon Community Health Plan: Contact their Customer Service to put in a request at 1-800-341-4848 (TDD/TTY: 1-877-608-7677) or email for either a carseat OR a breastpump through their “Oh Baby” program – but not both.

Neighborhood Health Plan: Call the Customer Care Center at 1-800-462-5449 or 1-800-655-1761 (TTY) for more information. Receive a free convertible if you are 35 weeks or more pregnant. They also provide a free booster seat. Limit one convertible car seat and one booster seat per member up through age 7.

Network Health: Call 1-888-257-1985 or use their on-line form to request your seat. You can be eligible for a $50 one time gift card to babies r us to use towards an infant or convertible car seat. Once the child has outgrown that seat, you are eligible for an additional $25 gift card to babies r us for a booster seat. .

The American Academy of pediatrics recommends that:

Infants should ride rear-facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. At a minimum, children should ride rear-facing until they have reached at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds. When children reach the highest weight or length allowed by the manufacturer of their infant-only seat, they should continue to ride rear-facing in a convertible seat.

It is best for children to ride rear-facing as long as possible to the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of their convertible seat. When they have outgrown the seat rear-facing, they should use a forward-facing seat with a full harness as long as they fit.

School-aged children
Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats. Children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly (usually when a child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age).

Older children
Children who have outgrown their booster seats should ride in a lap and shoulder seat belt in the back seat until 13 years of age.

Do NOT buy a used seat at a yard sale or thrift store! You cannot verify the history of the seat. It’s ok to use a seat from a friend as long as you trust that the seat has never been in an accident, the seat does is not missing any pieces of have visual damage, the seat harness has never been submerged in water or washed with chemicals, the seat is not recalled, and the seat is not expired. It is far safer to use the convertible car seat provided by the Insurance companies than use an infant bucket with any of the issues above.

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