Recently, an article from CNN stated that contraceptives should be fully covered under the new health reform law. I fully agree with since it seems absurd to allow Viagra to be covered but birth control pills are considered elective drugs. How does that even make sense? Viagra can also be considered an elective drug since some of the people taking them are doing it for recreational reasons.
If you think about it, covering birth control pills, the patch, the sponge and other contraceptives is actually cheaper for insurance companies than to cover the cost of an entire pregnancy. Doctor’s office appointments, tests, hospital stay and epidurals cost way more than $10 – $30 per month for the pill. Not to mention the cost of raising a child which has been estimated at $226,920 from birth to age 18. I think that number alone is birth control for some people.
So, what are some ways you can save on birth control before this law (hopefully) gets passed?
- Planned Parenthood: This health care provider offers cheap or free reproductive health services to those who can’t afford going to the doctor. Yes, the wait can be excruciating, but if you have 2-3 hours, you can get a Pap exam, pills, tests and even abortions there. I’m not advocating that people get abortions, this is just a statement of what they offer. Planned Parenthood has locations all over the United States so finding one shouldn’t be too hard. Some of them even give out free condoms.
- Three Month Prescriptions: Ask you doctor to write you a prescription for 3 months instead of once per month. Not only will this save you the monthly trip to the pharmacist, but you might even get away with just paying one co-pay instead of three.
- Use Condoms Only: Instead of paying a monthly $25 or so for the pill, just stock up on condoms. If you aren’t in a committed relationship and are having sex less than 10 times a month, you’re better off getting a pack of condoms anyway. A pack of 40 costs $15 on Amazon which comes out to $0.38 each. Plus, they protect against STDs which the pill does not. Bonus.
- Go Generic: I wrote a blog post recently about the huge savings you get from using generic drugs. Instead of paying $40 a month for a certain brand name pill, I got the generic version and only paid $10 a month. That’s $30 saved just from switching to generic. Imagine what you can do with the extra $360. Also, places like Walmart and Target offer some generics for just $4. Definitely check to see if yours is on the list.
- Health Savings Account: This is offered through your employer as part of your health insurance. Basically, you deposit a certain amount into the account pre-tax (which means you won’t get taxed on those earnings) and use them to cover health expenses for the year. If you already know how much you’re going to spend on health costs, this is a great way to save on some taxes.
- Abstinence: This is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re taking a vow of abstinence, kudos. This is a simple way to save on all contraceptives.
What are some ways you save on birth control methods? Do you think birth control should be fully covered by health insurance and why?