Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH – Written by Renceh Anjelo Flojo. Updated on April 7, 2021
How much does birth control costs?
Prescription birth control can cost anywhere from $15 (most birth control pills) to $1,000/month (IUD, implant). Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, if you have insurance, most insurance plans and government assistance programs cover the cost of birth control with no copay, no deductible = “free”.
Most women begin taking birth control in their teens and continue for decades after. However, universal access to safe, effective, and affordable contraception continues to be a point of contention. Thankfully, there are many third-party and independent birth control options that are affordable and easily accessible despite the lack of widespread legislature.
These methods are especially relevant to low-income groups, marginalized communities, young adults, and anyone without the money or knowledge to protect against unintended pregnancy.
Before exploring ways to save money, it is essential to understand the different types of birth control. There are five primary forms: hormonal, non-hormonal, barrier methods, natural methods, and emergency contraceptives. All of them range in cost from free to thousands of dollars depending on your insurance and coverage rates.
Hormonal Birth Control
Birth Control Pill
The pill is 91% effective with regular use (99% with perfect use), and prices vary depending on insurance. If you are low-income or disabled, you may qualify for government assistance or medical programs that can pay for birth control pills.
One pack of birth control pills lasts for one month, costing between $0 to $50 for name-brand pills without insurance coverage. To save money, buy generic brand birth control pills – they are just as effective as name brands! Plus, doctor’s visits related to birth control are covered under the Affordable Care Act. At Pandia Health, we offer birth control pill packs starting as low as $15/month if you do not have insurance.
The Hormonal IUD is 99.5% effective and can last between three to five years. It costs between $0 and $1300, including the IUD, doctor visits, and the surgery. Insurance must cover IUDs under the Affordable Care Act, but plans will vary based on which brand they cover. You can contact Planned Parenthood for help on getting a free or inexpensive IUD!
With perfect use, the patch is 99% effective. It is switched out weekly for three weeks, followed by one week with nothing on the skin. The patch itself costs between $30 and $35, excluding the cost of office visits, which typically cost between $35 to $250 depending on insurance coverage and provider choice.
At more than 99% effectiveness, the implant is one of the most effective birth control forms. It lasts for up to three years with little to no maintenance and comes in the form of a small rod implanted into your arm. This method is suitable for those who do not want to have to take their birth control periodically and those who cannot take birth control containing estrogen.
It can cost between $0 and $1300, but it’s usually free or inexpensive with most insurance plans or government assistance programs. Getting an implant removed can cost between $0 and $300.
The vaginal ring costs between $30 and $200 per month, although Planned Parenthood and other women’s health clinics may sell it for a lower cost. The ring is usually covered by insurance or government assistance programs under the Affordable Care Act.
Non-Hormonal Birth Control & Barrier Methods
The copper IUD is 99.5% effective and can cost between $0 to $1300. It is usually covered by insurance or government assistance.
Male and female condoms cost around $0.50 to $1 each, are readily available at most convenience stores, and are highly effective with correct use. Barrier methods like condoms also prevent the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and diseases (STIs).
Cervical caps and diaphragms, which last up to two years, can cost several hundred dollars, while spermicides and sponges can cost up to $18 per package.
Long-Lasting Birth Control
Male and female sterilization is over 99% effective and lasts permanently. While prices vary by state, a male vasectomy can cost between $350 to $3000 while female tubal ligation can cost between $0 and $6000. Insurance will usually cover the vasectomy and a portion of the tubal ligation surgery.
Abstinence, fertility awareness, and ‘pulling out’ are all free, but they are typically not as reliable as other methods. Abstinence, or refraining from penetrative intercourse, is a foolproof way to prevent pregnancy; however, this is not a feasible option for most individuals. It is essential for there to be affordable and accessible ways to safely prevent pregnancy while still partaking in consensual activities.
Emergency contraception is available at Planned Parenthood clinics and online. They can cost anywhere between $25 to $50, although a woman must get a doctor’s prescription to have insurance cover part of the cost. Over-the-counter methods are also available in most pharmacies, but they are not covered by insurance and may not be effective for individuals with a high BMI. At Pandia Health, our doctors can prescribe emergency contraception to all patients.
What’s the takeaway?
With so many options and price points for contraceptive care, it is crucial to know how to choose what is best for you and your well-being. At Pandia Health, we ensure that all patients have access to the most affordable and medically fit preference for their needs.
If you live in AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, MI, MN, NV, NY, OH, PA, TN, TX, or WY, you can sign up for an online consultation with one of our expert doctors; they can help you determine which type of birth control might be best for your lifestyle. Already have a prescription you love? No problem! We deliver the pill, patch, and ring to all 50 states.
Don’t forget to check us out on social media (@pandiahealth). We share daily posts related to women’s health and reproductive justice.
At Pandia Health, we believe that all individuals with a uterus deserve affordable, accessible care! Join our community today to get the #PandiaPeaceOfMind and never worry about running out of birth control.
Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/primary care provider before starting or changing treatment.