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Concerned about Cost ?
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Emergency contraceptive pills can cost between $35 and $60 (or more) when purchased at a pharmacy. You can read more about the cost of EC in this 2013 report from the American Society for Emergency Contraception. If you can’t afford the cost of the pills, here are some things to try to find lower-cost pills:
- Contact your local health department
- Contact your local Planned Parenthood
- Use your Medicaid coverage
- Find out if you qualify for a family planning waiver
- Check your insurance coverage
- Order a generic form of Plan B One-Step at www.afterpill.com for $20 + $5 shipping (note that this site does not offer expedited shipping, so it's not meant for emergency use)
- You can also order ella through an online prescription service for $59, including next-day shipping.
Contact your local health department
Many local health departments offer emergency contraceptive pills for free or at reduced cost to women who have lower incomes. If you don’t see a local health department clinic listed in our directory, try:
- Looking in the government listings of your phone book (usually at the front of the phone book). The nearest clinics will be listed under the county you live in under the heading of “Health Department” or “Public Health.” Look for the words “Birth Control” or “Family Planning.”
- Searching the internet for “COUNTY NAME Public Health” or “COUNTY NAME Health Department” or “STATE NAME public health clinics” (for example, “Clark County Public Heath” or “Virginia public health clinics”). You should be able to find information about clinics near you.
Be sure to call ahead to ask about the cost of emergency contraception and whether you qualify for special pricing based on your income (see information below about Medicaid and family planning waivers).
Contact your local Planned Parenthood
Many Planned Parenthood Health Centers offer a “sliding fee scale.” This means that services and prescriptions are less expensive for women who have lower incomes. Planned Parenthood can also help you use your Medicaid or insurance coverage to reduce costs. If you don’t see a Planned Parenthood location listed in our directory, click here to find a Planned Parenthood Health Center near you. Be sure to call ahead to ask about the cost of emergency contraception.
Use your Medicaid coverage
If you have Medicaid coverage, it should cover your emergency contraception services and pills. In a few states, Medicaid covers over-the-counter purchases of emergency contraception. Click here to see a list of these states. If you live in one of these states, you can use your Medicaid card to obtain free emergency contraception without a prescription. In other states, you may be required to get a prescription in order to get Medicaid coverage for the pills. Please note some states limit the number of times you can receive this coverage.
Find out if you qualify for a family planning waiver
Even if you don’t qualify for Medicaid, you may qualify to receive free or discounted services under the family planning waiver service. Click here to see a chart that lists states that participate in the waiver program. If you live in a state that participates, ask your local public health clinic if you qualify.
Check your insurance coverage
If you have health insurance, call your insurance provider to see if emergency contraception is covered. Be sure to ask which brands are covered - ask whether your plan covers ella, or Plan B One-Step and its generic forms, like Take Action, Next Choice One Dose or My Way. Some insurers may require you to have a prescription to receive coverage, even if you are using an over-the-counter pill (such as Plan B One-Step, Take Action, Next Choice One Dose or My Way). If so, you will need to contact a clinic or doctor’s office to get a prescription before going to a pharmacy to get the pills.
To find out if you qualify for free or low-cost health coverage for your future medical needs, contact the Foundation for Health Coverage Education. They have operators on duty 24 hours a day to help you figure out which programs you and your family could qualify for.
Click here to read a report from the American Society for Emergency Contraception about the cost of EC.