The Many Ways to Pay for Birth Control
If you think a reliable form of birth control is an expense beyond your budget, you might be surprised (and probably delighted) to find out that may not be the case. In fact, there are lots of helpful financial resources are available to you right now – but honestly, we’re not so sure how long they’ll be around, so making your move right now is a good idea! And yes, assistance even applies to those really effective methods that cost a lot up-front, but end up costing less per month.
Here are some ways you can get help covering the cost of your choice contraception method. Then touch base with your health care provider (or find one here) to make sure that method is right for you and to get any unanswered questions checked off the list.
What’s available right now?
- Many health centers in Colorado provide contraception and other reproductive health services on what’s called a sliding fee scale. That means the amount of money you earn sets the amount you’ll pay for health services, starting at $0. It also means that no one is turned away if they can’t pay. Federal, state and county governments help fund these programs to help get contraception to those who need it, and to help reduce health care costs in the long run. Check our health center locator and look for the ones tagged “low-cost” to find a skilled and friendly provider who’s ready to help you with the care you need. What’s more, you can go to any of these health centers for services—it doesn’t matter where you actually live. That’s convenient. One more thing: politicians in Washington are talking about limiting the kind of birth control you can receive at these health centers, making funding available *only* for the rhythm method. This method can work, but requires a lot of attention on your part and still isn’t as effective at preventing pregnancy as many other birth control methods. They’re still talking about this – so while they’re talking, you can act: make an appointment soon to start or change your method so you can use what works best for you.
- Public health insurance programs, such as Health First Colorado/Medicaid, are another valuable options for softening the blow of birth control costs. They may cover the entire expense, depending on eligibility. Visit this website, click the “Am I Eligible?” button and fill out some information to see if this might work for you.
- Are you currently attending a community college or university? If so, you’re in prime position to take advantage of some great services. Health centers on campus provide a range of contraceptive options for their students and can direct you to other trusted locations nearby if they don’t carry your method of your choice.
- Currently the law lets young adults stay on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26 years old—even if they’re married, living away from home, in school, or not being supported by their parents in any other way. This is definitely something to check out if you fall in right age group and your parents have health insurance because it may be a really affordable way to get coverage for birth control and lots more.. If you’re considering this option for contraception, just double check to make sure the plan covers it first.
- Most insurance plans are still required to cover preventive services for women’s health without any additional out-of-pocket costs for you. We can’t quite call it “free” because you or someone else will have to pay the insurance premium in the first place, but once that’s covered there won’t be extra costs for your birth control – any method want. Removing this requirement is one of the things some politicians in Washington are working to do these days. But while this is still the law, we encourage you to out of and use your insurance to get the sexual health services you need – STD tests and/or birth control. If you are insured on a “grandfathered” or old plan, then there may be some copays for your health insurance – but they may still be pretty reasonable. If you’re having any trouble getting your contraception – any method you want- paid for by your insurance with no additional cost to you, contact CoverHer and report your problem to get some assistance.
But wait. There’s more. Contraception isn’t the only service covered under these provisions. Once you have insurance, you have to pay any more for reproductive health support such as well-woman visits, STD screenings, cervical cancer care, anemia and gestational diabetes care, breastfeeding support, and domestic violence screening and counseling just to name a few.
We know this may all seem a little complicated now, but it’s definitely not as tough as life can become with an unintended pregnancy or complications from an untreated STD. So check out all your options. There’s likely an option that will fit your situation and financial needs. All you have to do is find it.
November 7, 2017