How Much Does Birth Control Cost?

Contraception is important to an individual’s general well being. Based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), greater than 65.3% of all U.S. girls aged 15-44 use some type of contraception.

“The typical value of contraception within the U.S. varies relying on the kind of contraceptive and insurance coverage protection. Out-of-pocket yearly prices can vary from $0 to $2,000,” says Noelle Acosta, co-founder of Noula, a reproductive wellness startup providing at-home testing and assist. Many several types of contraception can be found and a few value greater than others. But, the first think about the price of contraception is whether or not somebody is insured and what their insurance coverage covers.

Key Takeaways

  • The price of contraception is basically decided by your being insured and whether or not your employer is exempt from Inexpensive Care Act protection mandates.
  • Most personal and employer-sponsored plans are required to cowl contraception and household planning counseling at no further value, however every plan might select the strategies it affords, and never all strategies could also be absolutely lined.
  • Though some plans do cowl them, abortion-inducing medicine and male contraception, like vasectomies, should not required to be lined by all medical insurance plans.

Common Start Management Prices within the U.S.

The typical out-of-pocket value of contraception has dropped considerably since 2012, when the Inexpensive Care Act (ACA) mandated that non-public insurance coverage cowl a spread of contraception strategies without charge. “For contraception tablets, particularly, individuals who menstruate spend a median of $226 (with insurance coverage) and $268 (with out insurance coverage) per yr,” Acosta says of the roughly 10% of oral contraceptive customers with out-of-pocket prices.

Nevertheless, the ACA has confronted a number of authorized challenges. Lately, the Trump administration exempted many spiritual and religion-affiliated establishments, like church buildings, colleges, and hospitals, from these guidelines. And whereas well being plans, together with Medicare and Medicaid, are required to cowl 18 FDA-identified contraceptive strategies, states and particular person plans decide which formulation or manufacturers to cowl; not all out there choices shall be absolutely lined by your insurance coverage plan.

Hormonal Start Management

Frequent hormonal contraception strategies embrace tablets, patches, rings, IUDs, photographs, and implants. The bills outlined under solely apply to individuals with out-of-pocket prices.

The Tablet

Tablets are the most typical sort of hormonal contraception. There are lots of differing kinds and types, however all of them comprise hormones. Based on a 2021 GoodRx survey, costs for the 50 hottest capsule manufacturers ranged from $22/month for Sprintec to $303/month for Tri-Lo-Mili.

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Levonorgestrel, or the morning-after capsule, is backup contraception for emergency conditions. For these with insurance coverage, the morning-after capsule is roofed and free, however plans might require a prescription, which may very well be troublesome to get inside the 5-day window wherein the capsule is efficient. Alternatively, the capsule may be bought over-the-counter with no prescription and sometimes prices lower than $50.


Patches adhere to the pores and skin and launch hormones into the physique to assist stop being pregnant. Patch costs are normally round $30 per thirty days, and plenty of suppliers will authorize their sufferers to choose up a yr’s provide at one time, serving to them get monetary savings on physician’s visits.


Rings, inserted into the vaginal canal, launch hormones into the physique to assist stop being pregnant. Based on Deliberate Parenthood, the NuvaRing (which lasts as much as 5 weeks) can value as much as $200 if paying with out insurance coverage. The Annovera ring (which lasts as much as a yr), is just like the NuvaRing in that the majority, if not all, prices could also be lined by insurance coverage, however can value as much as $2,200 for these paying out of pocket.

Hormonal Intrauterine Units

An intrauterine system (IUD) is a small, T-shaped system that is available in hormonal and nonhormonal varieties. Hormonal IUDs work by releasing the hormone progestin into the physique to forestall being pregnant. Based on GoodRx, the price for FDA-approved IUDs ranges from $833 for Skyla, which lasts 3 years, to $1,000 for Mirena, efficient for as much as 7 years.

There are at present 4 FDA-approved hormonal IUDs in the marketplace and no generic, which means non-exempt insurance coverage should cowl a minimum of one model title IUD without charge. IUDs should be inserted and eliminated by a doctor, however ACA-compliant plans should cowl supplier charges related to these procedures. For these with out insurance coverage, the IUD plus insertion and elimination can value between $500 and $1,300, however clinics like Deliberate Parenthood provide applications to assist these with out insurance coverage or whose insurance coverage is ACA-exempt.

The Shot

The shot is a progestin injection that forestalls ovulation and is run each three months. Prices vary from $50-$200 for the preliminary prescription and first shot, with follow-up photographs costing between $20 and $40.

The Implant

The implant is a small, versatile rod inserted beneath the higher arm’s pores and skin. Like an IUD, it releases a low dose of hormones to forestall being pregnant. Since there isn’t any generic various, the one FDA-approved implant, Nexplanon, should be lined by insurance coverage without charge. When paying out of pocket, pricing is on par with the IUD ($982-$1500), and elimination can value as much as $300. The implant is a long-acting type of contraception that ought to final for 3 years.

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Non-Hormonal Start Management

Non-hormonal contraception strategies don’t depend on hormones and embrace barrier strategies like (feminine and male) condoms and diaphragms, in addition to everlasting strategies like sterilization. In contrast to hormonal contraception strategies, most bodily limitations additionally assist shield towards sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Copper IUDs

The non-hormonal IUD comprises copper, which interferes with the sperm’s potential to fertilize an egg. Copper IUDs are long-acting, lasting as much as 10 years.

Copper IUDs can value as much as $1,300, together with as much as $250 for insertion, for these paying out-of-pocket. Attributable to their longevity, copper IUDs may be cheaper than hormonal IUDs in the long term. Insurance coverage firms should cowl the one FDA-approved copper IUD, Paragard, in addition to insertion and elimination.

Feminine and Male Condoms

Male condoms are a standard type of contraception that may be purchased at any pharmacy. Whereas male condoms should not lined by insurance coverage, they’re comparatively cheap and eligible for reimbursement with versatile spending accounts (FSA), well being financial savings accounts (HSA), and well being reimbursement preparations (HRA). 

Feminine (or inner) condoms are a pouch inserted into the vagina previous to sexual activity. Feminine condoms are on the listing of contraception that insurance coverage is required to cowl. With out insurance coverage, these condoms can value round $3 every and are normally bought in packs. A field of three feminine condoms will value $9-10 on common.

Different Barrier Strategies

Different barrier strategies embrace diaphragms, cervical caps, sponges, and spermicides, which both block sperm from getting into the uterus or make the sperm ineffective.

As a result of diaphragm and cervical caps should be an applicable dimension for the consumer, a prescription from a physician or nurse is required to get them from the pharmacy or pharmacy. They work for round two years and price lower than $300 every, together with the spermicide that must be used alongside them. Most medical insurance suppliers cowl them.

Spermicides, which kill sperm or render them motionless, can be utilized together with barrier strategies. They arrive in varied varieties, together with gels, foams, suppositories, and sponges. These sometimes value beneath $15 and every package or package deal normally comprises a number of doses. Though some insurance policy cowl spermicides, others don’t. Like male condoms, they’re accredited for reimbursement by means of a well being reimbursement association (HRA), well being financial savings account (HSA), or versatile spending account (FSA).


Sterilization is a everlasting contraception resolution. There are two sorts of sterilization procedures for individuals who menstruate: tubal ligation and hysterectomy. Tubal ligation is a surgical process to dam, tie, or reduce the fallopian tubes. A hysterectomy includes eradicating the uterus totally. ACA-compliant insurance coverage should cowl a minimum of one technique of sterilization.

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The Reproductive Well being Entry Undertaking estimates the price of tubal ligation with out insurance coverage to be between $1,500 and $6,000. There are several types of hysterectomies (and restoration instances related), however they’re all costly with out insurance coverage. Based on one examine of hysterectomies carried out between 2009 and 2016, the typical value ranged from $25,535 for a vaginal method to $42,816 for a robotic method.

For individuals with penises, a vasectomy cuts and seals the small tubes within the scrotum. The price of these procedures varies from $0 with insurance coverage to about $1,000. Although vasectomies should not required to be lined by insurance coverage, they’re normally considerably cheaper than sterilization for individuals who menstruate. Based on one examine, the typical value of vasectomy in 2015 was $938. The typical out-of-pocket value of an in-office process was simply $173.

The right way to Save Cash on Start Management

There are lots of methods to save lots of on contraception. A few of the most typical strategies embrace getting prescriptions from Deliberate Parenthood, on-line pharmacies, or government-run healthcare facilities.

Although insurance coverage firms should cowl contraceptives inside the 18 FDA-indicated classes, some sufferers might encounter well being plans that solely cowl one choice, comparable to a particular model. If the model or method a affected person wants is not lined by their plan, they’ll have their physician submit a request to waive cost-sharing on that contraceptive. The insurer is required by regulation to have a course of in place to accommodate sufferers’ wants.

Based on the advocacy group Energy to Determine, over 19 million American girls in want of publicly funded contraceptives dwell in “contraceptive deserts,” which means they lack affordable entry to a clinic of their county that gives all FDA-identified contraceptive strategies. And over 1.2 million of those girls dwell in counties with no single well being middle that gives the total vary of strategies. In these circumstances, on-line pharmacies provide accessibility and affordability.

“Getting contraception on-line is a superb technique to improve entry to inexpensive contraception, particularly since many types of contraceptives require prescriptions. Luckily, many firms on this house provide clear pricing with contraception being free with insurance coverage or beneath $20 with out insurance coverage,” says Acosta.

In any other case, affected person help applications may help offset contraception prices for many who qualify, and a prescription from any Deliberate Parenthood Well being Middle can considerably decrease contraception prices.