What Can You Afford to Do, Thanks to Birth Control Coverage? 

bc1The first time I took birth control, it felt like a rite of passage. There I was, a 21-year-old college student, taking her reproductive health care by the ovaries! But then, came the monthly $30 co-pay:

(Actual footage of me opening my wallet back when I had to pay a $30 co-pay for my birth control pills)
(Actual footage of me opening my wallet back when I had to pay a $30 co-pay for my birth control pills)

Back then, even though paying $30 out of pocket was painful, I just grudgingly accepted it – paying out of pocket for birth control was the status quo. But the dangerous thing about accepting that status quo is you may not realize how much of a head start others (read: white cis-men) might get from it.
Women struggle to financially secure their futures, and it’s no wonder why. Birth control expenses, a persistent wage gap, paying more for products geared toward women, taxing tampons – it all adds up. And the outlook is worse if you’re a woman of color.
The Affordable Care Act has done so much to help women get – and afford – health insurance that meets their needs. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, your health insurance is required to cover all FDA-approved forms of birth control, which has helped all people who depend on birth control to become more economically secure. Since this provision went into effect in 2012, over 55 million women now have coverage for birth control and other preventive services and one study found that women saved $1.4 billion on birth control pills alone in 2013. Our staff shared their experience with $0 co-pay birth control and how it’s helped them in more ways than one.
“Thanks to the ACA birth control benefit, my insurance covered my IUD without out-of-pocket costs. This means my spouse and I don’t have to worry about an unexpected pregnancy and associated costs like child care and can put more money toward a college fund for our daughter, securing her economic future.”
“Thanks to the birth control benefit, my insurance covers my birth control pills every month. This means I can put a little more than the minimum payment toward paying off my student loan debts. It’s not a lot, but every bit counts so I can get out of debt faster.”
“Getting coverage for my IUD was such a relief for me, because there is still so much that I want to accomplish in my life, like going to grad school. I can now focus on my education and career without having to worry about the financial consequences of an unintended pregnancy.”
“Thanks to the ACA birth control benefit, my insurance covered the cost of my IUD. Birth control can be expensive, but because of the birth control benefit, I was able to put my money toward an education that will serve me well in the future.”