One of the biggest barriers to birth control is cost. As noted in Women in the World’s article, lack of funds for expensive contraception is often a common obstacle for women. This isn’t surprising given the recent protests to the Trump administration’s limitations on access to birth control in the United States. So, how much does birth control cost, anyway? If you’re unsure, keep reading for answers and to see how you can purchase it for less.
How Much Does Birth Control Cost in the United States?
As noted in an article by CNN, Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) used to require that private health insurance plans provide coverage for contraception with no out-of-pocket costs to consumers. On the whole, according to Vox, this saved women across the United States $1.4 billion!
However, as outlined in another article by CNN, on October 6th, 2018, Trump’s administration made amendments to the coverage. Per the new mandate, employers would no longer be required to cover birth control if it conflicted with religious or moral views.
So, what does this mean for women across the country? Are they still covered under the ACA?
The good news is that birth control is still covered under the ACA. The bad news is that employers can claim religious or moral reasons to opt out of coverage.
Having said this, another piece of good news is that states can also create their own laws and regulations pertaining to birth control. Vox has put together a list of states which guarantee free birth control in some capacity. Be sure to read their article for details as regulations vary from state-to-state. However, to summarize, here’s a list of the states:
- New York
So, how much does birth control cost in the United States? Well, the answer is simply that it could vary. In the list of states above, birth control is free, for the most part. Some may extend this coverage to other services such as insertion/removal and counselling. However, others may only cover the actual product itself.
With that said, how much does birth control cost if paying for it out-of-pocket? More on that below.
How Much Does Birth Control Cost Without Insurance?
Not all women in the United States are covered by insurance. According to KFF, “approximately 11% of women ages 19 to 64 (approximately 10.5 million women) were uninsured in 2016.” As such, uninsured women aren’t able to reap the benefits of the ACA when it comes to birth control coverage.
So, how much does birth control cost without insurance? If you fall into the uninsured category, here’s a breakdown of what you can expect for each birth control method.
How Much do Birth Control Pills Cost?
It should come as no surprise that the pill is one of the most widely used forms of contraception. However, over the course of a year, it can certainly add up when paying for it out-of-pocket.
According to Planned Parenthood, one pack of birth control pills can cost up to $50 without insurance. This doesn’t include the costs associated with a doctor’s visit. With this in mind, at $50 per pack, a year’s supply could cost up to $600. Note that these costs may not always include those associated with visits to the doctor to renew a prescription.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce this cost. Most brands will offer reduced prices or coupons to those who qualify. Furthermore, ask your doctor if there are generic options as those are often cheaper than the brand name versions.
You can also check with your local Planned Parenthood health center. They may be able to assist you in finding a more affordable option.
Finally, it may be worth your while to check out Nurx. Depending on which state you reside in, they offer affordable birth control and will deliver straight to your door!
How Much Does the Birth Control Shot Cost?
Depo Provera or the birth control shot is another option available to women. In order to take this shot, you would require a prescription from your doctor.
Typically, a doctor’s visit will involve a review of your medical history. It may also require a medical exam to ensure that this birth control method is safe for you.
According to HelloFlo, Depending on your level of coverage, the first shot can cost anywhere from $0 to $250. Any subsequent visits for follow-up shots can cost anywhere up to $150.
Again, this cost does add up. Assuming you’re paying full price, you can potentially pay up to $700 for the shot in a year (the shot is taken in three month intervals).
However, just like the pill, you may qualify for an assistance program to reduce the cost of this shot. Check Pfizer Rx Pathways to see if you’re eligible!
How Much Does the Birth Control Implant Cost?
If you’re looking for a longer-term solution, the birth control implant is a good option to consider. The implant can be inserted and will protect you again pregnancy for up to three years. That’s pretty great, if you ask us!
Like the other birth control options, the cost can vary depending on your coverage. The most it could cost you to have it inserted is $800. Removal—again, depending on your coverage—can cost up to $300.
Of course, $800 is a lot of money to pay up front. However, this birth control method is potentially cheaper than the pill and the shot when compared to the price accrued for each over the course of one year.
Currently, there are two brands for the birth control implant: Nexplanon and Implanon.
If you’re opting for Nexplanon Birth Control Implant, check out their insurance coverage for Nexplanon guide to determine the exact amount for which you’d receive coverage.
How Much Does the IUD Cost?
The IUD is another long-term, reversible birth control method that could save you money in the long run. This is because the hormonal IUD (depending on the brand) can be inserted for up to 6 years, while the copper IUD can be inserted for up to 10 years. You pretty much get it and forget about it until it’s time for removal!
There are five IUD brands available: Mirena, Kyleena, Skyla, Liletta, and Paragard. The first four are hormonal, while the last one—Paragard—is a copper IUD which contains no hormones.
According to Bedsider, all of these IUDs are free with Medicaid.
Depending on your coverage or if you have to pay for it out-of-pocket, the Mirena and Kyleena IUDs can cost between $500 and $858.
Skyla can cost between $650 and $714, Liletta between $50 and $684, and ParaGard between$500 and $739.
You can also check with your doctor or the brands’ websites for reduced costs options and assistance. Do check with your local Planned Parenthood health center as well as you could qualify for lower service charges depending on your income.
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