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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Reproductive Health > Birth Control Pills

Birth Control Pills Cost


How Much Do Birth Control Pills Cost?

 
low costWith Insurance: $5-$40 a monthaverage costWithout Insurance: $20-$50+ a month
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Combination birth control pills contain a combination of estrogen and progestin, while the "mini pill" contains only progestin. Both are designed to prevent pregnancy; the "mini pill" is slightly less effective but is tolerated better by some women. The pill is one of the most popular methods of birth control, but is sometimes prescribed to help stabilize irregular menstrual cycles, to lessen menstrual cramps, to decrease the risk of anemia associated with heavy periods, and for other medical reasons.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, birth control pills typically cost $20 to $50 a month.
  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of a prescription drug copay. Most insurance plans offer the lowest copays on generic medication -- usually $5 to $15 -- and higher copays of $30 to $40 for non-preferred brands.
  • Birth control pills, the most commonly covered contraceptive, are covered by more than 80 percent of health insurance plans, according to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. And in some states, it's mandatory; the Kaiser Family Foundation[1] lists 33 states that require coverage of birth control.
Related articles: Morning After Pill, IUD, Vasectomy

What should be included:
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers an overview of how birth control pills work.
  • Standard combination birth control pills -- for example, Yasmin and Ortho Tricyclen are taken on a 28-day cycle.
  • Extended-cycle pills are designed to be taken continuously for three months; however, many women experience spotting or breakthrough bleeding while taking extended-cycle pills.
  • There are more than 40 brands of birth control pills available in the United States, each with slightly different doses or forms of hormones. Because women's bodies can react to even slight changes in formulation, sometimes several brands will have to be tried, with the help of a doctor, to get the fewest negative side effects -- such as mood changes or weight gain -- or the desired positive side effects -- such as better skin and less menstrual cramping.
  • Birth control pills are 98 to 99 percent effective when taken exactly as directed -- at the same time every day without missing a day. Vomiting before the hormones get into your system also can lower effectiveness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration[2] offers a chart comparing risks and effectiveness rates of various forms of birth control.
Additional costs:
  • Birth control pills are available only with a prescription; getting one requires visiting a doctor for a pelvic exam and sexually transmitted disease tests. This can cost $35 to $200, or a copay of $10 to $30 for patients covered by health insurance.
Discounts:
  • Clinics such as those operated by Planned Parenthood[3] offer discounted birth control pills to women who qualify. And most college campus health centers do the same for enrolled students.
  • In most states, Wal-Mart[4] , Target[5] and Kroger pharmacies offer a limited selection of generic birth control pills for $9 per month.
Shopping for birth control pills:
  • To get a prescription for birth control pills, make an appointment with your general practitioner, gynecologist or a clinic. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists[6] offers a physician locator by state and Planned Parenthood[7] offers a clinic locator by zip code. Or, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[8] offers a local clinic locator by city or zip code.
  • Birth control pills are not recommended for women who have had blood clots, have serious heart or liver disease, have had breast or uterine cancer, or are over 35 and smoke.
  • According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration[9] , risks include dizziness, nausea, changes in cycle, changes in mood, weight gain, high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attack and stroke.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Ortho tri cyclen lo
Amount: $152.99
Posted by: Steph Huerta in San Leandro, CA.Posted: November 28th, 2014 07:11PM
With or Without Insurance: withoutInsurer::
This is the price at Target. There is no way I can afford this! I am waiting to see if Medical for the state of CA will approve and cover this for me. Otherwise my doctor my change it and I really don't want that ;(
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Ortho tri cyclen lo
Amount: $75.00
Posted by: Ana ana 2 in Queens, NY.Posted: October 23rd, 2014 04:10PM
Policy/Plan:: OxfordDoctor or Clinic: Yes
Currently 150 per month without insurance at cvs. 75 per month with oxford freedom. Never again. Thtese prices are robbery.
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premphase
Amount: $189.00
Posted by: moonstonediva in Stuart, FL.Posted: June 9th, 2014 10:06PM
Policy/Plan:: no coverageDoctor or Clinic: local clinic
Wtf? Why is my birth control suddenly so expensive? Who can afford this monthly?
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Previfem
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Mannnnnnnnndylee in Phoenix, NY.Posted: October 29th, 2013 02:10PM
Policy/Plan:: FidelisDoctor or Clinic: The medicine place
With fidelis I get my birth control free, they just happen to cover it completely.
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Ocella
Amount: $126.00
Posted by: marya in Huntsville, AL.Posted: April 24th, 2013 09:04PM
Policy/Plan:: NoneDoctor or Clinic:
My insurance never covered BC. When I started in 2004 , Yasmin was $36. Then every year it crept up $10-$20 after the first of the year. When it hit $168 at the cheapest place in town my doc switched me to Ocella, which is 'generic' Yaz. I think its the lawsuits that jacks up the price.
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Ortho tri-cyclen Lo
Amount: $131.99
Posted by: Lacey in Dale city, VA.Posted: March 20th, 2013 09:03AM
Policy/Plan:: No insuranceDoctor or Clinic:
I was on ortho tri-cyclen Lo before I lost my dads insurance.. Good ol tri are prime!! With insurance I was paying $17 a month.. Once I lost my insurance Cvs said it was 131.99 a month! I was better off paying 106 a month for insurance! And sams club said $145.00. So I talked to my doctor that gave me the prescription and she called around to find a less expensive one and have me a new rx. Thank goodness cause $132 by 28 pills is 4 almost 5 dollars a pill per day!! I should pick up smoking a pack a day haha geez! Now I'm on mircogestin at a wonderful 11.99 a month.
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Tri-Sprintec / Ortho tri-cyclen
Amount: $9.00
Posted by: E.D. in Hiram, GA.Posted: October 16th, 2012 08:10AM
With or Without Insurance: withoutInsurer::
Policy/Plan:: Doctor or Clinic: Target Pharmacy
I think saying it typically cost $20 to $50 a month is high.

I get generic Ortho tri-cyclen, aka Tri-Sprintec at Target for only $9 a month!

If you don't have insurance, as you doctor for a cheap generic!
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External Resources:
  1.  kff.org/medicaid/report/struggling-with-financing-the-recession-and-national-health-ref...
  2.  www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/default.htm
  3.  www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/findCenter.asp
  4.  www.walmart.com/cp/pharmacy/5431
  5.  www.target.com/pharmacy/generics
  6.  www.acog.org/About_ACOG/Find_an_Ob-Gyn
  7.  www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/findCenter.asp
  8.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  9.  www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/byAudience/ForWomen/default.htm
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