Last weekend, leading Republicans met in Philadelphia to discuss how best to repeal the Affordable Care Act of 2010. One of the most controversial aspects of the law, as we've heard countless times in the past several years, is that it requires insurers to completely cover (i.e. ensure that any given insuree pays exactly $0.00 for) one method of birth control per person.
Under the ACA, insurers must cover both the cost of the birth control medication itself and the annual visit to the doctor (for prescription initiation and renewal). What will we do when we have restricted access to affordable birth control?
Fortunately, there are a myriad of ways to get birth control without a doctor's visit and even without insurance. Unfortunately, sans the ACA’s stipulations, birth control will have a price tag no matter how you get it. The online services listed below won’t solve every problem created by the act’s repeal, but they can ease the burden: some offer free, at–home consultations, some offer free home delivery and they all, by virtue of their existence, offer you a choice.
NURX (“New Rx”) stocks the pill, the patch and the ring, and delivers emergency contraceptives overnight. Pill packs start at $15/month. Choose your product, fill out a questionnaire, consult a physician (optionally, but at no cost to you) and wait. If approved, your prescription is filled and shipped for free the next day. It gets better: As Mitski tweeted over inauguration weekend, Nurx is offering its users $45 in credit (up to three months of birth control without insurance) through Jan. 31.
PRJKT RUBY stocks six generic pills and the emergency contraceptives EZContra and Ella. The pill packs all cost $20/cycle, and you receive three cycles at a time—so per cycle, it’s slightly cheaper than the $30 you might pay for equivalent pills at pharmacies. No insurance is necessary (or accepted, for that matter), and for every cycle of pills it sells, PRJKT RUBY puts $0.25 towards helping expand access to contraception for women in developing countries.
LEMONAID stocks over 100 different birth control pills. It doesn’t deliver, unlike Nurx and PRJKT RUBY—instead, it sends your prescription to a pharmacy near you, which means that the per–month price of your pill pack depends heavily on which pharmacy you go to. (The popular combination pill Sprintec, for example, costs $9/month at Walmart, but roughly $30/month at CVS.) The selection, as you might imagine, is a bit overwhelming, but the mandatory doctor’s evaluation ($15, unlike Nurx and PRJKT RUBY) will guide you to the right pill for your body.