Will my birth control be free under the Affordable Care Act?
You will not have a copay or other out-of-pocket costs for birth control, if you:
Does every health insurance plan have to pay for birth control?
- These terms of the Affordable Care Act apply only to new health insurance plans offered from your employer or that you buy on your own. Certain religious employers are exempt and do not have to include birth control benefits. Some private employers do not have to provide all forms of birth control if they object on religious grounds (see below).
- Medicaid programs do not have to offer free birth control either, but most state Medicaid programs do cover prescription birth control methods.
Which types of birth control are free?
Birth control methods that are covered by this requirement of the Affordable Care Act include any that are approved by the FDA:
- Birth control patch
- Birth control pills
- Birth control ring (NuvaRing)
- Birth control shot (Depo-Provera)
- Cervical cap
- Contraceptive implant
- Permanent contraception methods, such as tubal ligation, often called "getting your tubes tied"
- Emergency contraception (Plan B, Ella, and Next Choice)
Your plan may also cover over-the-counter birth control, but you will need a prescription from your doctor if you want it to be covered without out-of-pocket costs.
Will my doctor exam also be free if I get a prescription for birth control at that appointment?
Often, yes. Your well-woman visits are covered with no out-of-pocket costs to you under the Affordable Care Act. During this visit, your doctor can tell you about the types of birth control and write you a prescription. However, if you get the prescription during a visit when you also get other services that don’t qualify for coverage with no out-of-pocket costs, you have to pay out-of-pocket costs for the visit.