The Cost of Birth Control Without Insurance
By on 30 August 2017
If you’re uninsured, you’re not alone! According to the United States Census Bureau, 48 million people were uninsured in the US in 2012. This is 15.4% of the total under 65 population! However, being uninsured doesn’t mean you can’t access affordable birth control.
Birth control pricing can vary dramatically based on numerous factors. In the US, the market for birth control is governed by free market principles, meaning that pharmacies can set their pricing however they choose. Even so, pharmacies are also at the mercy of the manufacturers and distributors of the medication, which is why pricing can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy.
They may run out or are no longer able to obtain a particular brand at the same price, which will cause a price increase when you go to pick up your prescription. You may find that your local CVS may have a different price for the same medication as Walgreens pharmacy down the street! For this reason, it is important to keep a few things in mind when you are trying to keep your costs low.
One of the main factors in determining prices is if you are requesting a brand name or generic. Brand name medications can be in the hundreds of dollars for a one month supply. For many women, this simply does not fit in with their budget. Luckily, doctors will typically write prescriptions in a way that allows the pharmacy to substitute a generic equivalent, unless otherwise specified. This way, the pharmacy can dispense an equivalent medication for a lower cost. If you are unsure if your prescription is written for a brand name or generic, you can always ask your doctor. Don’t be alarmed if you receive a different generic from the pharmacy! In order for a substitution to be made, it must be proven by the FDA as being an equivalent medication, and it is perfectly safe to switch between generic brands.
There are a few birth control medications that do not have generic equivalents available. The cost of these medications are likely to be high no matter what pharmacy you go to. A few examples are Xulane Patch, NuvaRing, and Lo Loestrin Fe. These all average around $100-200 per one month supply.
The good news is that there are affordable brands of birth control also. Generics of Ortho Cyclen, such as Sprintec, MonoNessa, and Previfem and the progestin only pill are affordable at most pharmacies. You can also shop around for the best price for your birth control! If you find that the cost is high at every pharmacy, check to see if there is a generic available.
Nurx has generics available for $15/pack. We also do not charge anything additional for the doctor’s consultation, so it is a good option for women who are uninsured. We have a few options that are at this price point, and our medical team is happy to help find something that will fit both your health and budget!