The Main Reason Why Its Tricky To Keep Health Care Appointments Confidential When You Use Insurance Is A Piece Of Paperwork Called The Explanation Of Benefits
Due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 , insurers are allowed to disclose health information without your permission in order to receive payment. So, whenever you visit a health care provider and use insurance for payment, the insurer will send an EOB in the mail or digitally about that claim and how much of the claim youre responsible for paying. Details included on EOBs can vary by insurance plan, but they often include an itemized list of the services rendered.
If youre worried about what your EOB will look like, some health insurance companies will have a sample one on your online patient portal, Alison Macklin, vice president of education and innovation at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and author of Making Sense of It, tells SELF. If you dont see one there, you can always call your insurer and ask if EOBs are itemized. Theres not a 100 percent guarantee that youll receive valid informationwho hasnt spoken to a company representative and gotten incorrect intel?but its better than nothing.
The Cost Of Birth Control By Type
Start by comparing birth control options. Each one varies in cost, value, effectiveness, and side effects. Both male and female condoms cost $1 or $2, but they can only be used once. Birth control pills can cost as little as $8 per month, but usually cost around $20-$30 every month. Longer-term birth control, such as diaphragms, vaginal rings, IUDs, implants, and hormone shots, can cost from $100 to $1,500.
How Do I Get Birth Control
You can find some methods of birth control, particularly barrier methods such as condoms, at any local pharmacy without a prescription.
However, for birth control methods that require a prescription, you can get one from your general practitioner, from a walk-in health clinic, or from any Planned Parenthood location. Depending on where you live, you can even get a prescription from a doctor online and have it shipped directly to your door.
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Documented Benefits Of Contraception
Contraception has health, social and economic benefits for individuals and their families.
- Contraceptive use helps individuals and couples control the timing, number and spacing of births, thus reducing the likelihood of premature birth or low birth weight.6
- Contraceptive use can prevent preexisting health conditions from worsening and new health problems from arising as a result of unintended pregnancy. Unintended pregnancy can exacerbate existing health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease,7 and is also a risk factor for depression in adults.8,9
- Isolating contraceptive services from broader health insurance coverage can force people to receive their contraceptive care separately from other primary and preventive services. This can disrupt continuity of care, reduce patients ability to see the provider of their choice at the time or place they need, and stigmatize contraceptive services by treating them as different from or less important than other health care.10
Talk To Your Doctor To Help Decide Which Option Is Right For You
Ultimately, the most important thing you should do is speak with your doctor about your goals for preventing pregnancy so that they can help you choose the best birth control option for you. Some things your doctor should take into consideration include your symptoms during menstruation, your level of cardiovascular health, and any other medications you take that could negatively impact the effectiveness of certain birth control options or cause dangerous side-effects.
Deal of the Month
How To Pay For Birth Control Pills
Your health insurance most likely will cover birth control, but as a minor, youll be under your parents plan. So, when the monthly bill comes, they may find out that got a birth control prescription or so a doctor without them knowing. Each insurance company has a different approach to itemizing the monthly statement. Call your insurance company to find out how your birth control would show up in the documents and whether it can be left out or hidden somehow.
If thats not an option and you cant use your family insurance plan, you can still go to the Title X clinics. Aside from giving prescriptions, they also sell birth control pills and the price changes with your economic ability. You may qualify for a discounted rate or a complete cost waiver.
Again, the best strategy will be to get your parents involved and convince them that you should get birth control. It may take some time, but eventually, they may come on board. Only if that doesnt work, Title X clinics are your next option.
How To Get Birth Control With Or Without An Ob
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With supermarkets selling lube, general stores dedicating aisles to vibrators, and fashion retailers advertising arousal oil, its natural to wonder when other sexual wellness products will be thatreadily available.
Welp, you might be surprised to learn that birth control actually is that readily available! Yes, even for people who dont have access to an OB-GYN!
Here is a guide on how to access birth control from pharmacies, apps, and local health centers. Plus, insights on why you might want to meet with an OB-GYN if the option is available to you.
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How Can I Get Birth Control Online
You can use a telehealth service website or app to buy birth control pills online. Some of these services also offer the patch or ring. You can choose from different brand-name and generic versions of contraceptives.
In general, you start by creating an account and filling out a form that asks questions about your health history and recent blood pressure. A doctor then reviews your answers. Depending on where you live, you may need to have a video consultation with them, too. This usually costs extra.
With the doctors OK, you can get a prescription for birth control sent to your home or your local pharmacy.
Options For Getting Birth Control Pills Without Parental Consent
Firstly, there are emergency morning-after pills like Plan B, which are meant to avoid pregnancy after a broken condom, accidental semen discharge, or other emergency. Pills like Plan B are available as over-the-counter drugs and theres no age limit this means you dont need a prescription and can be taken until up to 72 hours after the emergency event. However, as the name says, this pill is intended only for emergencies and not to be used regularly. Using these pills frequently will make your period irregular and unpredictable, which isnt considered to be healthy.
If you are looking for regular birth control pills , youll need to get a prescription. In some U.S. states, minors can get birth control prescriptions from doctors without parental consent. Web apps like Sex in the States allow you to look up what the legal situation in your state is like. For example, in New York state minors can get birth control prescriptions without permission from their parents. There are special clinics, called Title X clinics, which offer confidential consultations and prescriptions. These clinics can be found in many states. However, some states are stricter. In Mississippi, for example, a minor can only get a birth control prescription if she is already married or already a parent herself. So, youll need to carefully check what the regulations in your state are saying.
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How Can I Access Free Or Discounted Birth Control
Birth control is typically free with most health insurance plans, or if you qualify for some government programs. In most states, you can even get birth control pills prescribed and mailed to you using the Planned Parenthood Direct app.
If you don’t have insurance, Mira may be a good option for you to access affordable birth control. For just $45 per month, you can access all of our urgent care clinics across the country, get low copays, and 80% off prescriptions through MiraRx. Mircette, a popular prescribed birth control pill, is as low as $18 through MiraRx . Ortho-try-cyclin, another popular birth control, costs as little as $15 using MiraRx.
Can You Buy Birth Control Over The Counter
In 12 states and Washington D.C., you can get birth control from your pharmacist without a doctors prescription. Pharmacies, such as and others, have facilitated access to pharmacist-prescribed birth control. If your state does not allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control, you will need a prescription from your doctor to obtain birth control products.
To minimize the spread of COVID-19, many doctors offices are opening only for patients with emergencies. If your gynecologist or health care provider is closed, you can choose from several to obtain a new birth control prescription or to refill your existing one.
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Ask Your Provider Or Your Insurance Company If You Live In A State With Any Laws That Would Require Them To Keep Your Eob Confidential
Some states have enacted laws to offer more confidentiality when it comes to sensitive medical matters. For instance, Californias Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, passed in 2013, requires that health insurers send EOBs for sensitive health issues to an alternate address or email address if a patient requests as much. They must also do this if the patient says that the disclosure of this information could endanger them.
What counts as a sensitive health issue? Californias law encompasses mental health treatment or counseling services, pregnancy prevention, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, counseling and treatment for a substance use disorder, and more. This law generally extends to people age 12 and above.
Many other states, including Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, New York, Texas, and Washington have passed similar legislation, according to a 2016 report in the American Medical Associations Journal of Ethics. The details surrounding this kind of legislature vary from state to state.
Some states also have protections in place for young people on Medicaid managed health care plans. For instance, a 2016 New York statute requires that Medicaid managed care plans suppress all EOBs for minors who have consented to their own health care. In Illinois, a 2015 law prevents Medicaid from sending EOBs for services like family planning.
How To Get The Best Prices For Your Birth Control When You Are Uninsured
Losing your job or your health insurance can be devastating, but there are affordable options for buying your birth control without insurance. If you need a new prescription, you can access telehealth services from home.
A telehealth provider can also approve refills, and some states are allowing emergency refills of up to 30-day supplies of medication without a prescription. Remember that you do not have to go without your medicine. Regardless of your financial position, can help you with affordable prices for your medication.
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The Cost Of Birth Control Without Insurance
Most insurance offers discounted or free methods of birth control, but even without health insurance, you may still be able to access low-cost birth control through government programs, such as Medicaid.
However, if you dont have health insurance or dont qualify for government assistance programs, youll have to pay out-of-pocket for prescription birth control.
While the price of birth control varies, you can expect to pay somewhere around $50 per month for birth control pills, which could result in paying close to one thousand dollars per year. If youre looking for a contraceptive implant or an IUD, that could set you back $300 or $1300, respectively. Though the price of these birth control methods also depends on what kind of brand youre prescribed, as generic brands are often less expensive than name-brand equivalents.
When booking an appointment with your doctor to get a prescription, keep in mind that this may also come with an additional cost. Your doctor may want to conduct a physical exam to figure out whether you should be using a hormonal birth control method and to figure out which one is right for you. This exam could cost between $35-$250.
The following is a chart that outlines the cost of some of the most common types of birth control without insurance, including the birth control pill, an IUD, and condoms.
|Birth Control Method|
|Up to $50|
How Can You Get Birth Control
You can buy:
- Condoms, sponges, and spermicides without a prescription at drugstores.
- Some forms of emergency contraception without a prescription at most drugstores.
You need to see a doctor or other health professional to:
- Get a prescription for birth control pills and other methods that use hormones.
- Have an implant or IUD inserted, including the type of IUD used for emergency contraception.
- Get a hormone shot.
- Get a prescription for a diaphragm or cervical cap.
- Get a prescription for certain kinds of emergency contraception.
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If You Work For A Religious Employer
Health plans sponsored by certain exempt religious employers, like churches and other houses of worship, dont have to cover contraceptive methods and counseling.
If you work for an exempt religious employer and use contraceptive services, you may have to pay for them out-of-pocket. Contact your employer or benefits administrator for more information.
You Have Rights As A Patient
When it comes to accessing birth control, you gotta know your rights! Planned Parenthood is here to help everyone get the birth control they need no matter where youre from or what your citizenship status is. The following guidance aims to support patients and their families in being aware of their rights as immigrants.
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Are Birthcontrol Pills Free
Birth control pills arent free on their own however,you can get birth control pills for free or at relatively low cost if youhave ACA-compliant insurance.
According to Planned Parenthood, birth control pillscan cost up to $50 without coveragebut can be $0 with ACA-compliantcoverage. Additionally, you will likely have to front the cost for theappointment to get a prescription for birth control doctors visits can costup to $250 unless you have healthinsurance. However, you can get the pillprescribed online.
Due to a 2012 provision of the ACA, coverage for womens and reproductive health care has been expanded, making these services included as a minimum essential benefit. Beginning on August 1, 2012, all health insurance plans were required to cover a prescription for most birth control methods.
Plans that are sold through the health insurancemarketplace must cover at least one option for each FDA-approved birth controlmethods for women without copays or deductibles.
The FDA-approved methods include
- Breastfeeding counseling and supplies
Are There Any Exceptions To This Coverage
From the start, the mandate accommodated religious nonprofits that objected to contraceptive coverage. In 2014, based on the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, this exception included not only religious nonprofits but religious employers of all kinds as well. Employers with religious affiliations could now opt-out of the birth control mandate citing their religious beliefs. These religious employers would notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of their objection. Then they would no longer have to provide health insurance to their employees that covered birth control.
In October 2017, under the Trump administration, this exemption was expanded. Now it allows almost any organization to opt-out of the birth control mandate,. Not only religious ones. As long as they feel providing contraceptive coverage violates their religious beliefs or moral convictions. The new rule also removes the provision requiring these employers to notify the government they are doing so. Now the only requirement is to notify employees of a change in their health insurance plan.
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If Im On My Parents Insurance Will The Statements Show That I Received Birth Control
For shared family insurance, privacy policies vary by state. To verify whether your insurance documentation will show that you were issued birth control, call your insurance company and ask that your personal health information can only be disclosed to you. Also request that your Explanation of Benefits is only sent to you. Generally, they will be able to let you know if they can guarantee your privacy. You can use this handy guide if youre unsure what to ask the insurance representative.
If you still have any concerns about insurance or billing privacy, you can ensure complete privacy by purchasing your birth control without insurance, meaning youll pay the cost out-of-pocket. We know that might not sound ideal, but at SimpleHealth our team can work with you to find an affordable option. We offer 100+ brands of birth control, starting at just $15 a month. Just let us know if cost is a concern in your consultation or post-checkout, and well be sure to take care of your needs!
Ready to get started? Complete the SimpleHealth online consultation to be prescribed, and set yourself up with automatic refills and free home delivery. You can take our consultation from anywhere, on your schedule .
Easy, affordable options for birth control, shipped to your door. Yes, its possible.
What Can You Do If Your Information Isnt Private
You might find out that any medical services you receive will show up on your parents insurance documentation, including birth control prescriptions and STI treatments. If you prefer to keep this information private, you have three options:
It might take time to figure out how youll receive certain services without your parents knowing, but there are ways if you absolutely cant share this type of information with them. Make your health a priority by using these tips to get birth control and other important services.
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