Act Now! Insurance May Not Cover Birth Control Much Longer

The new health care bill going through Congress will likely cut birth control from health plan coverage. What are the economic consequences for women?

The House passed the American Health Care Act, the “replacement” of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), in May. At any moment and with little notice, the Senate could move to vote on its own version of the bill. If it passes the Senate and the House then agrees to the new version, it could become the new law of the land with President Trump’s signature.

Among the many changes, one seems very important to me. It seems more than likely that the new health care bill will cut coverage for birth control for women. Presently, the ACA (Obamacare) requires that FDA-approved birth control methods be covered in health insurance plans. The decision of what kind is best for the woman is between the woman and her doctor.

Politics and personal opinions aside, birth control is a necessary part of health care for most women. If you are considering long-term birth control (implants, IUDs, etc.) for yourself or your teen, now is the time to consult with your doctor and make that decision while it is still covered.

What will it cost you if you wait and we lose coverage? Here are some estimates from Planned Parenthood. Remember, prices vary between regions. These estimates do not include the cost of doctor visits to discuss and decide on a birth control method and for costs to insert, remove or check on a device.

Long term birth control, prescription methods, without insurance:

  • IUD’s like Mirena, Kyleena, ParaGuard, Skyla, and Lilitta range between $500 and $800 but last for years. There might be an office fee from your doctor to insert and/or remove the IUD.
  • Nexplanon birth control implant costs about $800 and is expected to last about 4 years.
  • Depo-Provera birth control shot runs about $250 and is needed 4 times a year.
  • Diaphragm is up to $90 but needs a gel spermicide with every use.
  • Cervical cap is $90 but needs gel spermicide every time you use it.
  • Tubal ligation/sterilization will vary widely, but is generally about $6,000.
  • Daily or short-term birth control, prescription, without insurance:
  • Birth control pills cost about $50 each month.
  • The birth control patch costs about $80 per month.
  • Nuvaring is quoted at $80 every month.

Non-prescription methods without insurance :

  • Condoms are $2 each and women with multiple partners or who are not in a long-term relationship should use them in addition to other forms for protection from STDs.
  • The Today Sponge retails for about $15 for a pack of 3.
  • Spermicide is $8 a tube.

There are other methods of birth control that cost nothing, but must be practiced carefully to be effective: Abstinence, withdrawal, breastfeeding as birth control.

Suzanne B. Robotti

Suzanne Robotti founded MedShadow Foundation in 2012. Learn more about Su and her mission.

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