Given the potential repeal of Obamacare it seems fitting to discuss the effects lack of insurance would have on the cost of birth control.
Currently, Obamacare allows over half of women with health insurance to pay zero copays on their birth control, whether they use the Pill, the ring, the shot, or the IUD. Without insurance, these costs could skyrocket. Below, I’ve gathered how much some of the most common forms of birth control cost, with and without health insurance.
As of 2013, the Pill remained one of women’s top contraceptive choices, with a 16% usage among women on birth control. For those covered by health insurance, co-pay on the Pill can range from “$5 to $15” on “generic medication” and “$30 to $40 for non-preferred brands,” each month. However, for those who do not have health insurance, birth control pills can ring in between “$20 to $50 a month,” based on healthcare provider and brand of the Pill.
Another common form of birth control is the intrauterine device, or IUD. In fact, 6.4% of women on birth control between 2011 and 2013 reported using the IUD, making it the most popular form of “long-acting reversible contraception.” With insurance, the IUD can come free or for very low-cost. Without insurance, there are still (limited) opportunities to obtain a free or inexpensive IUD at clinics such as Planned Parenthood. Those who are uninsured and do not qualify for free or low-cost IUDS at clinics, or don’t have access to these clinics, can pay anywhere between $500 to $800+.
Implanon and Nexplanon are two brands of the implant, another method of long-term reversible birth control. Health insurance, and programs like Medicaid, make it so that the implant can be available for free or low-cost. For the uninsured, however, getting an implant inserted can cost up to $800 at Planned Parenthood.
Depo-Provera, or the shot, is a slightly less long-term birth control method than the IUD or the implant (both of which last for several years), but is still more long-lasting than the Pill since it only needs to be injected every three months. Again, those with insurance can qualify for the shot for free or at a low-cost. Those without insurance may have to pay up to $250 for their first injection, and $150 for follow-up injections.
The Vaginal Ring
The vaginal ring, or NuvaRing, is again free of charge or low-cost with health insurance. Without insurance, insertion of the ring can cost up to $250 if an accompanying medical exam is needed, or $80 a month without an exam.