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Birth Control: How to Afford Contraception With or Without Insurance

Written and medically reviewed by Dorcas Morak, Pharm.D

Updated on February 27th, 2023

Save up to 88% on your medications

> Obtaining affordable contraception might be challenging even if you have health insurance. Although most health insurance policies cover birth control completely, it has certain limitations. Affordability is also often a barrier for people without insurance to get contraception. Even though the cost of contraception has gone down markedly since 2012 when the ACA's (Affordable Care Act) coverage provision took effect, about 25% of women still struggle with affordability. This might be because women have fewer covered options available to them. Read on to learn more about birth control insurance coverage and how to obtain contraception affordably, with or without insurance.

Does insurance cover all birth control?

Depending on your birth control method, your plan may or may not cover it. The ACA only mandates that most health insurance plans offer free coverage for one of the FDA-approved birth control categories.

Which birth control categories have FDA approval?

FDA-approved birth control categories include oral contraceptives, cervical caps, intrauterine devices (IUDs), vaginal rings, implantable rods, and sterilization.

Does insurance cover counseling for birth control?

Your insurance plan should cover counseling for birth control and other services related to contraception management.

Does insurance cover male contraception methods?

Insurance plans do not cover male contraception procedures such as vasectomies. They also do not cover over-the-counter contraception methods such as condoms and spermicides.

How do I get free contraception with insurance?

You can check your insurance plan's policy or speak with your healthcare provider to find out if your insurance plan fully covers birth control. For some birth control brands, you might be required to cover some out-of-pocket costs. To get your birth control at no out-of-pocket cost, you can switch to the brand that your insurance company fully covers.

How expensive is birth control without insurance?

Without insurance, birth control can cost over $2,000 each year. However, the actual cost depends on the type you use. A generic form of birth control costs less than a brand name.

What contraception methods are available?

Different categories of female contraception are as follows:

  • Oral contraceptives (often referred to as “the pill”): There are hundreds of oral contraceptives. Examples include azurette, viorele, Yasmin 28, loestrin, norethindrone (Aygestin), and Seasonique.
  • Patch or ring: This method can be very expensive. The ring may cost you up to $2000 each year out-of-pocket. An example of the patch is Xulane; an example of the ring is NuvaRing.
  • Injectables: An example is medroxyprogesterone (Depo-Provera).

Other categories include cervical caps, intrauterine devices (IUDs), implantable rods, and sterilization.

How do I get low-cost contraception without insurance?

You can use an RxLess prescription discount card to save up to 88% off the retail price of your medications. It may even be a better option than your insurance copay; by using RxLess, you guarantee yourself the lowest possible price.

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