By Sophia Yen, MD, CEO and Co-Founder of Pandia Health
Doctor, reproductive health advocate and mother of two daughters

On November 10th, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will be reviewing the case California v. Texas which is about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a.k.a. Obamacare.

Key Benefits of the ACA for Young People

  1. For people with uteri, any FDA approved method of birth control is available for “free,” meaning no copay or deductibles.
  2. You can stay on your parents insurance until you are 26 years old.
  3. It covers pre-existing conditions e.g. asthma, thyroid issues, depression, migraines, COVID-related issues, etc.

The appointment of Judge Barrett will most likely result in a reversal of the ACA so anyone who currently receives “free” birth control because of this act could lose this benefit. This is why it is critical to get your birth control now!

If you are considering the IUD or implant, make an appointment as soon as possible. If the ACA is overturned, the cost of either procedure could be $1300 or more and the effects of its reversal may be immediate. With COVID, in-person visits have been reduced, so it may take up to three months to get into a doctor’s office. Don’t wait – make your appointment now! 

If you are on the birth control pill, patch, or ring, know that, in 17 states, you can get a year’s supply of birth control at a time, so consider getting as much birth control as you can now. By law, these states require insurances to provide a year’s supply of birth control pills at a time: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

In New Jersey and New Mexico, women can obtain six months of birth control pills with private health plans, while those in New Mexico on Medicaid can get a year’s supply.
Here is more information on state by state birth control pill access by Power to Decide.

How Do I Get a Year’s Supply of Birth Control at a Time? 

Call your doctor or prescriber and ask her/him to write a prescription for a year’s supply; this should be 13 packs (or 17 if you are skipping the bleeding weeks). Research has shown that providing a year’s supply of birth control versus one or three months at time, leads to a greater adherence to the method as well as a decrease in pregnancies by 30% and the odds of an abortion by 46%.

Be sure that your insurance company gives you what you are due thanks to those laws. If your insurance company won’t give you a year’s supply at a time, contact them as soon as possible to tell them to “follow the law.” Unfortunately, the doctors and staff at Pandia Health cannot do this for you – it must be you, the bearer of the insurance, who calls your insurance. Contact coverher.org, a project of the National Women’s Law Center, to get help if you have any trouble; they have templates of letters or faxes you can send.

We also recommend getting prescription emergency contraception (EC) now. There are four types of EC and the prescription EC type works better than those offered over the counter. Because Ella (a.k.a. Ulipristal acetate) is a prescription, it is covered by the ACA and thus is “free” so no copay or deductible. If the ACA is reversed, it could cost you between $45-$68.

Activism: What Can You Do?

  1. Call your elected officials and write letters to SCOTUS urging them to NOT reverse the ACA.
  2. Tell  the insurance companies that it is fiscally smart and morally right to cover birth control. If the ACA is repealed, this does NOT mean that insurances cannot continue to cover birth control. It costs $180 per year to cover birth control pills versus $800 for an abortion, and $10,000 for a vaginal delivery versus $40,000 for a C-section (not including the pre/post natal care, ultrasounds, blood tests, well baby visits and the cost to society of an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy). 
  3. Lastly, vote for elected officials who support birth control access! 

Remember, Pandia Health is here for you during these tumultuous times. No matter where you live in the United States, we offer FREE delivery of your birth control, tasty goodies, and automatic refills. If you live in AZ, CA, FL, TX, or WY, we can prescribe you the birth control method of your choice. Sign up TODAY to schedule a telemedicine appointment with one of our expert doctors. Experience #PandiaPeaceofMind with the ONLY women-founded, women-led, doctor-led birth control delivery company!