Weighing The Costs Of Birth Control Options

With the issue of birth control and who should pay for it becoming quite the hot button issue of late, it’s a good a time as any to compare the costs of some of the more popular contraception methods.

Alpha Consumer has stepped up to do just that, going beyond the sticker prices to break down the semi long-term costs of birth control options. Using the rather optimistic figure of two rolls in the hay each week, here are some of the annual costs the writer came up with:

* The pill and the patch — Depending on insurance coverage and the brand you choose, daily pills and patches can each run as much as $600.

* Cervical cap — The cervix-blocking barrier and accompanying spermicide should cost no more than $60.

* Condoms — Couples who get down twice a week should spend no more than $150. Those who have been married for a while can reap some big savings here.

Check out the source link for comparisons of other birth control methods, including injections and implantable devices.

The Real Cost of Birth Control [Alpha Consumer]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. kc2gvx says:

    Pull & Pray… free!

  2. LabanDenter says:

    Paying for stuff was so last year.

    We demand freebies.

    • exconsumer says:

      Asking your insurance to pay for health needs =/= asking for handout.

      The opposite, actually.

      • LabanDenter says:

        Your wrong.

        But you dont even know why, so its almost sad.

        • gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

          his wrong what?
          also, when arguing, it’s best practice to not only use the right words, but also back up your argument. just yelling “You’re Wrong!” really doesn’t educate anyone or help anyone else understand your viewpoint or reasoning.

      • dush says:

        Insurance is based on risk assessment.
        So they should do an assessment on the customer’s risk of needing a certain treatment. If it’s a high probability they will need it then their premium should be higher if they want to include that coverage.
        But no, the option of coverage shouldn’t be flat out denied.

        • somegraphx says:

          “If” a diabetic simply follows a healthy diet, he “probably” won’t go into a diabetic coma–so why should I pay (through my insurance premiums) for him being lazy and wanting a handout of insulin.

          The fact is–covering birth control SAVES insurance companies THOUSANDS of dollars. Quite frankly, if they were smart, they’d charge individuals who were of child-bearing age HIGHER premiums if the WEREN’T taking birth control.

          • dush says:

            So do you want the federal government to mandate that healthy food be covered at no cost share for diabetics to lower health care costs?

        • exconsumer says:

          You seem to be under the impression that insurance companies have somehow decided that birth control isn’t cost effective. That is not at all what’s been happening.

          Most insurers cover BC, multiple forms of it even. Its effective, relatively inexpensive (for an insurer to cover, not for an individual), and medically helpful. The exception here is where the employer has stepped in and on ‘moral grounds’ prevents them from offering the service. This leaves their employee without adequate birth control, or increased costs toward birth control.

          This is not at all a matter of government handouts or forcing an insurer to do something they wouldn’t have otherwise done. Insurers are fine with health care. It is religious employers who are breaking the system; insisting on plans that do not include it to everyone’s determent.

          These are insured individuals that aren’t getting basic coverage.

          • dush says:

            Well I think people just look at it two ways.
            Some people say you are choosing to work at that job that doesn’t provide what you feel you need.
            Some people say the job you have should be required to provide you what you feel you need.

            Either way, the basic question is should the FEDERAL government have the authority to require it. I say the federal government for a reason.

        • Charmander says:

          No, it’s more like visiting the dentist 2x a year to prevent dental problems. It’s preventative care and of course should be covered. It prevents someone from being pregnant (babies = money), so it’s definitely worth it.

          • dush says:

            So you’re saying you want the federal government to mandate two dental visits a year at no cost share?

    • missy070203 says:

      if you want freebies you can always use the condoms in the photo above not sure how effective they would be considering they’ve been used to make ornamental art-like flowers….. hahaha condom art

  3. Cat says:

    There are a few generic options in pills that can cost $10 a month or less. Walmart has some for $9. Discuss costs and brands with your lady-parts doctor.

    Really, there is no reason for the ridiculous price of pills, considering that many of the same brand name pills are available OTC in many countries for MUCH less that we pay in the USA.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Exactly. And expect the name-brand costs to increase in the future.

      Why? Birth control pills will now be free. Oh wait, there’s nothing in that regulation/decree that states that the generics are free. Anything will be free, including the overpriced name-brand versions.

      So if the consumer thinks its free, what does it matter in raising the price? The insurance company cannot say no because the government tells them they must cover it.

      And we wonder why insurance premiums keep going up…

      • Cat says:

        This is why I favor a single payer plan with negotiated prices for drugs.

        You know, like the rest of the civilized world does. And parts of the uncivilized world, too.

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          Or how about mandating that generics are free, but if you want anything else, you pay the difference. Or is that just too simple to work?

          • Bibliovore says:

            It could be problematic for a few reasons. First, it means that if the best drug for you is not yet available as a generic, either you’re screwed on cost or you’re screwed on effectiveness. Second, while generics have the same active ingredients as their name-brand forerunners, they’re formulated differently, and that can make a difference — for instance, there were issues with generic Ritalin not always being as effective as the name brand, perhaps because the pills were compressed differently and thus metabolized differently. Likewise, some people have allergies or sensitivities to some of the inert ingredients in some formulations.

            • TuxthePenguin says:

              And you just mentioned the problem with a one-size fits all system.

              The goal of this is to give you free birth control – but at the lowest cost we can. If you want something else that is more effective, but costs more, well, that is your problem, not societies. If you have an allergy or something, I could see that being a factor, but again, if we’re trying to accommodate everyone, get ready to see costs explode.

              Much like what happened for Medicare and the NHS.

              • crispyduck13 says:

                Or companies could just cover the goddamn pill, just like every other medication, generic or not – the copay is often different for your particular choice. You people are making this shit entirely too complicated.

                • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                  The ACA requires BC to be covered with no-cost share, regardless of deductibles and copays. It’s the only medication with this elevated, special status.

              • Bibliovore says:

                One thing to be clear on is that effectiveness and side effects vary from person to person. A medication that’s generally effective (I’m not just talking about birth control here, but this works for that, too) is not going to work for all people. Let’s say we’re talking blood-pressure medication. A drug that works beautifully for Person A might not control Person B’s blood pressure, or give Person B life-threatening clots (or an energy level so low they just want to sleep all day, or make them throw up all the time, or whatever). To get the same blood-pressure control as Person A without bad side effects, Person B needs a different medication — or possibly multiple medications, which is not at all uncommon for blood-pressure meds.

                High blood pressure is a problem because it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, so getting blood-pressure control can literally be a matter of life and death. Now imagine insurance covers the cheapest blood-pressure med, but not the one(s) Person B needs. What if that makes Person B’s med expenses prohibitively expensive? Should Person B, who has dutifully been paying for insurance coverage, need to choose between healthcare-induced poverty/bankruptcy, horrible side effects, or a very real risk of death?

                Bring this over to birth control, and let’s even ignore for now that birth-control meds are frequently prescribed for reasons other than birth control; see other comments here for some examples. Again, what works for one person might not work for another or have bad (even life-threatening) side effects. If insurance covers only the cheapest option, it’s useless for the (very) many people for whom that cheapest option isn’t viable — that’s not a matter of choice, that’s a matter of individual and unchosen body chemistry.

                And what happens when the kind that’s cheapest changes? Would everyone who’s been stable on the formerly cheapest med need to try to switch to the newly cheapest kind? That’s a nightmare scenario for people who’ve gone through lots of frustrating and sometimes painful attempts to get to a working, stable medication regimen. And what if the cheapest med has bad interactions with another (cheapest) med someone needs? And so on.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            What about letting individuals balance their premiums & deductibles on their own? Provide a common marketplace (the exchange) and let people shop around and find a policy with the coverages, deductibles, and premiums that they’re happy with?

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I really wish the media would stop using the word “free”. No cost-share (aka, “first dollar coverage”) is an entirely different concept than “free”.

      • Tim says:

        Insurers don’t have to provide every brand for free. They can tell a certain pharmaceutical “hey, lower your prices or we won’t cover it anymore.”

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          The ACA is very explicit in requiring insurers to cover all FDA-approved BC at no cost-share.

          When it’s mandated, insurance companies don’t have to care about the cost, since it’s entirely passed onto the consumer. There’s really no incentive to push for lower costs, especially when overhead (MLR) is capped at 20%.

        • Nasty Dan was a Nasty Man says:

          That’ll certainly keep those companies wanting to do business (i.e. provide their products) in the United States. Great strategery.

    • Taylor Rolyat says:

      Yup. Consistently and correctly used, all the pills will work, whether they’ve got a freaky Yazmine ad campaign or not.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        They will work but side effects will vary considerably. Like many drugs, BC pills often require a lot of trial and error to minimize side effects.

        • mobiuschic42 says:

          Agreed – a number of birth controls make me extra crazy, so I can’t be on just any pill. There are a large number of pills that *don’t* bother me, but if we just said, “everyone gets this pill, no other options”, that’s no good either.

    • Lethe says:

      Mandatory insurance coverage would hardly even be necessary if prices were regulated. I just did a quick calculation to see how much I’m paying for my ‘name brand’ birth control. Every 3 months, I pay about $12. My health insurance (through my employer) covers 80%, meaning that the actual cost is $60. The pharmacy’s filling fee is $11 (and could be less if I felt like shopping around), so a three month supply comes to no more than $49.

      • Lethe says:

        Important point left off- I live in Canada.

      • bluline says:

        Why should the prices be regulated? As long as the cost of research, development, testing, and regulatory approvals aren’t regulated, why should the prices be?

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          A significant portion of medical R&D is picked up by the taxpayer, either through large research universities, or through federal grants. Much of this is for pure research or for very specific conditions that only impact smaller populations of people. This funding provides the framework for pharmaceutical companies in the US.

          • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

            It’s all part of that Socialize the Risks / Privatize the Profits mantra.

    • BennieHannah says:

      I agree that too many doctors are pushing the newer pricier pills because there are financial incentives to do so, but side effects vary WIDELY from woman to woman and the cheapest pill isn’t necessarily the best pill. Also keep in mind that some women have medical conditions that prevent them from taking pills with estrogen, and their options are quite limited. I pay — A LOT — for my health insurance, and I deserve access to medications necessary for my health and wellbeing. It’s as simple as that.

    • Jane_the_cynic says:

      Um…. It doesn’t really work like that. Different pills have different levels of hormones. Different pills will have different effects, and may or may not solve the patients complications.

      • theduckay says:

        That’s true, but this article is only talking about the pill as a birth control option, and all birth control pills are effective at that task and generics can be as little as $10 a month. I would say most of the popular pill brands have less expensive generics on the market.

  4. Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

    Except for the part where a lot of the controversy about Birth Control pills are people assuming they are being prescribed for pure pregnancy prevention. If they are being prescribed to someone with a medical condition, such as PCOS, then none of these other options mean a damn thing.

    • frank64 says:

      But then it isn’t the cost of birth control. It is the cost of the malady.

      • Taylor Rolyat says:

        +1. There are many different hormonal methods, be it patch, ring, monthly pill, quarterly pill, etc. There are too many options to make the argument that the medical reason for taking BC is difficult to solve. I’ve got dysmennorhea (exceptionally long and painful cycles), and I’ve taken several different kinds of hormonal methods all of which have worked for me just fine.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Georgetown University (where Fluke is attending law school) has an exception in its no-birth-control policy for that reason exactly.

    • rmorin says:

      Except that is not “Birth Control” that is “managing a health condition”.

      Even the Catholic Church has publicly stated that medications used to treat medical problems are okay: “the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result therefrom ‚Äî provided such impediment is not directly intended.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanae_Vitae

      So yes, this is PURELY about the ability to have sex. The medical argument is a straw-man that proponents of the mandate largely made up.

  5. john says:

    $600 a year is far less than the costs being thrown about on Capitol Hill, via Ms. Fluke.

    • LabanDenter says:

      Ms Fluke is an activist. Portraying herself as this woman that’s been wrong. She went to lawschool to attempt to get ‘free’ sex change operations. there is nothing genuine about her at all.

      • pop top says:

        Would you say that she asked for it?

        • LabanDenter says:

          No. But she also shouldn’t be surprised there’s push back. And she shouldn’t be going around the TV channels acting as if somehow she accidental fell into the spotlight.

          much like when people do dangerous things, ie sky diving, bungee jump etc. I dont wish them harm, but dont act surprised if something bad happened.

          • crispyduck13 says:

            You let her worry about the “push-back”, she’s not asking you to care.

          • pop top says:

            Oh yeah, I mean, if you’re going to be a witness to try and help out you entire gender in the country you live in, you shouldn’t be all offended when some radio blowhard slanders your character. I mean, you should’ve known that going in.

            • TuxthePenguin says:

              “if you’re going to be a witness to try and help out you entire gender in the country you live in, you shouldn’t be all offended… I mean, you should’ve known that going in.”

              What part of politics in America have you missed? Did she sleep through the entire 2008 election with Sarah Palin?

              It also didn’t help that she was being a bit disingenuous; reports had said she was 23 for a while. She’s actually 31. She went to Georgetown for the explicit purpose of getting it changed. She says Georgetown won’t cover BC for other medical reasons… it will.

              She’s asking the federal government to force a religious organization to do something against its beliefs. Would you be supportive of making everyone eat a nice, juicy hamburger once a day to make sure they get the proper amount of protein?

              • bsh0544 says:

                How does hamburger = birth control?

              • LanMan04 says:

                She’s asking the federal government to force a religious organization to do something against its beliefs.
                ———
                Religious “organization”, eh? What IS that, exactly? Churches are already exempt.

                My wife gave birth to our most recent child at a huge Catholic-affiliated hospital. The only thing Catholic about it is a bunch of pictures of nuns by the entrance and some little Catholic shrines or whatever scattered around the building. I assume the majority of people who work there are not Catholic.

                It’s a BUSINESS, plain and simple. And besides, if they want to not offer birth control to employees, all they have to do is stop taking free Federal funds. Simple as that!

                • Snowblind says:

                  They do not take “free” funds, they get reimbursement for services rendered from Medicare and in some cases county funds for the same purpose.

                  I might also point out that the vast majority of Medicare patients are over 65. Somehow the need for birth control seems moot… and the Catholic insurance covers hormone replace/therapy even if that is the same pills as birth control.

                  It is no different than accepting another insurance, so why should the government get special treatment and be able to dictate?

                  And, I might point out that Catholics are 22% of the US population, so that “government” money is theirs too. Should they not have a say how it is spent, or are you now supporting tyranny of the majority now?

                  • LanMan04 says:

                    98% of Catholic women use birth control, so somehow I think this is just a *bit* of a tempest in a teapot, no?

              • crispyduck13 says:

                What part of politics in America have you missed? Did she sleep through the entire 2008 election with Sarah Palin?

                What the hell are you talking about? You really think this sorry excuse for a woman who was dragged into a presidential race as VP because the guy running needed a ratings boost somehow means women have no problems with equality in this country? You think she’s the first woman to do this?

                You sir would be incorrect. Sarah Palin was put on that ticket because the campaign managers thought women would be dumb enough to vote for McCain because he put a vagina beside him on the stage. Nevermind she disagrees with the vast majority of women in the country on basic things and is a complete fucking idiot. In fact, I’d like to pose a motion that the female gender disqualify Mrs. Palin from the team. You guys can have her.

                The shear quantity of bills going through state legislatures that basically treat adult women as children who don’t understand shit is appalling and quite illustrates quite clearly that women are indeed not thought of as equal in the eyes of many politicians.

            • Snowblind says:

              It was more like a Brair Rabbit moment.

              “Oh, please Mr. Limbaugh, don’t throw me into that briar patch!”

              She not only knew, but WANTED someone to say something. That was her point in going to a private Catholic University, so she could argue they should be forced to provide coverage that violates the “wall between Church and State”.

              Hey, if we, the government, were allowed limit free speech, why can’t we limit religion? And next will be the Press, because they are not defending the first two…

      • dush says:

        I guess I’m not up on how insurance works. Do students get insurance coverage from their school now or was Fluke also an employee of the school while pursuing her degree?

        • FatLynn says:

          Most schools provide insurance to full-time students. It is, in many cases, different from what they provide to their employees.

      • Kate says:

        What is not genuine? She was supposed to be an expert in the subject, not an average female law student.

        Why are you upset that an activist is working for her cause?

    • dulcinea47 says:

      The largest figure I heard from her was $3000. I’m guessing that was for an IUD (including the insertion procedure) as that’s the only birth control method I know of that costs that much.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        It was $3000 for 3 years. That’s not very expensive at all when you get down to it. I’m fairly sure an IUD apperatus and insertion would cost the insurance company more.

        • Yomiko says:

          What IUD lasts 3 years? Mirena is 5 and Paragard is 10. They are both around $500 plus installation charge from what I can tell. Doesn’t work for everyone, but I do love my Mirena.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        The chew-able one costs about $90/month.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Hey there John, every take birth control? Yeah I didn’t think so. Guess what though, I have. So you can go ahead and trust me on the following:

      I am on the pill and use a generic, cheap ass brand. It costs $50 for a 28 day pack without my insurance. That is $600 a year. Except I have to take it continuously because of the recurring cyst on my ovary which results in excruciating, debilitating pain every single fucking month if I’m not on the pill.

      Therefore a 28 day supply only lasts me 21 days, so I go through around 17 packs a year instead of 12. It’s not because I have boatloads of sex, it’s because of the dosage which does not change based on how many times you get it on. I can’t believe I had to type that last sentence for the benefit of a fully grown adult (I assume). So that brings my total per year without insurance to $850, which rounds to $2550 for 3 years. Again, this is for a generic, some women cannot use a generic as some formulas are not made as generics yet, name brands can be $80 a pack which would bring the 3 year total to $2880 for normal dosage or $4080 for continuous dosage. You hear that? There are multiple types of pills to accomodate different reactions to hormones.

      Just because some website tells you the average cost for the pill is $50 a pack does not make it so for every woman on the pill, since not every woman can take the same pill. That is average generic price. Everyone here talking about $9 birth control, where the hell are you getting this?? Until someone goes out and takes a picture of this shit I do not believe it.

      So no, her numbers were not far off at all.

      • missy070203 says:

        I used to take the pill continuously prior to having reproductive cancer and becoming sterile and yes it was very expensive as the pill I took did not have a generic and the 8 other (cheaper) pills they tried me on before all made me bleed constantly…. even now it sucks because although I’m sterile I still have enough of my lady parts left to grow polyps and hemmorage twice a year- yeah midnight trips to the ER and Emergency surgery and blood transfusions are awesome- I would have been totally OK having all my lady parts removed in order to avoid more surgery and blood transfusions but my insurance says I am too young for that and they wont pay for it until I’m over 30- looks like I’ll have to wait another 4 years for peace…..

        The entire system pertaining to womens health and insurance is screwed up….. maybe because a man makes the rules???

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          yeah, i am VERY excited to be 35 now and my OBGYN was finally willing to discuss uterine ablation. i have never wanted kids and i have always wanted to stop having horrible periods so it’s been frustrating to have to wait until i was “old enough to make that decision”

          • missy070203 says:

            I really don’t even see it as a choice in my case— I could bleed to death and die or my cancer can return and I could die— but the insurance company doesn’t see the difference – between medically needed or being old enough to make a choice

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              i have a platelet disorder since i was three and have about a 60% chance of living past the first 72 hours of pregnancy if it were to happen. but i wasn’t old enough to decide until this year….
              i’m so thrilled that i get to make my own choices now that i’m a “real person”

              • missy070203 says:

                funny how someone who is not a physician and doesn’t know jack about womens health in some huge office collecting a massive salary at the insurance company has the ability to decide if we are “real people” and “old enough” to make life changing or life saving decisions for ourselves…..

            • Not Given says:

              Do a little research, look for scientific papers that support your position, copy all the records from your ER trips, etc., especially the EOBs, and have your doctor write a letter saying you are already sterile, likely to have a cancer reoccurance and have had life threatening complications several times, already. Write an impassioned letter yourself describing how much pain and fear you live with, really lay it on, make yourself cry if you have to. Send everything in a packet to the insurance company. The thing is to get the doctor’s letter asking for preapproval first, then if or when they turn it down, send your packet in to apeal the decision.
              My doctor tried to get me a vaccine and got turned down, I got it approved. If your doctor writes a better first letter than mine you might not even need to appeal.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Why a 3 year total, I mean beyond trying to make it sound like more? Why not ten, or even 20 years?

        “Evil people want to force women to pay $27,200 just for birth control!”

        See, that that sounds even more impressive and will likely win over more people to the cause. Sure at best it’s disingenuous, but the ends justify the means right?

        • crispyduck13 says:

          You know what man? I stand corrected, here is her testimony transcript.

          She doesn’t say 3 years anywhere. She says “during law school.” Hey lawyers, how long does law school take? So where did all this 3 year business come from? Is that the average time to graduate or something?

      • Bsamm09 says:

        Let’s say it is $1,000 a year. Fine. Mandate that it be free and let insurers raise premiums $1,000 a year. Congratulations, you have just been given $1,000 a year raise if your employer pays all insurance.

        I’m not saying this just for BC but anything that must be mandated like yearly visits etc. Raise insurance premiums by the cost assuming everyone uses it. Then let the premium payer decide how that increase is dealt with. Eat the cost, lower their pay or cut bonus, future wages, etc.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Do they raise premiums every time some woman pops out a kid too? I hear a delivery is pretty expensive these days.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            Premiums are typically raised after every large claim, pregnancy included.

            It generally costs an additional $250/month per ‘fertile female’ in premiums to provide maternity coverage in a group. For those with non-group insurance, this is typically an optional coverage and paid for via an additional rider.

      • dush says:

        This is a case of real medical need. Insurance should cover it just like any other medication.

        For people just using it voluntarily or because it “clears up their skin” that shouldn’t be covered.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          BC isn’t being treated like any other medication. It’s the only Rx that’s mandated to be covered at no cost-share.

          • dush says:

            No cost-share? You mean no premium, no co-pay, nothing?
            So where all other medications may cost $4 or $10 compared to the real cost, they want BC to cost nothing?
            That’s insanity.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              Yes, under the ACA there’s a list of services that are designated as “preventative” and they are required to be covered at no cost-share, regardless of deductibles, co-insurance, or co-pays.

              Birth control is the only Rx to be designated as preventative and given this special status.

              We have a $10,000 deductible that only picks up prescriptions once we hit the $10,000 threshold. Birth control is the only exception.

              • dush says:

                That’s interesting, how did it get this singular special status apart from even other “preventative” treatments?

        • c_c says:

          Um “clearing up your skin” can be a real medical need. Every been severely depressed because of your acne, having detrimental impact on your professional and social life? No? Then stop passing judgement on things you know nothing about.

          • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

            Well, hey, I’m pretty ugly and it bums me out and hurts my life professionally and socially.
            Should I get free plastic surgery paid by my insurance group?

            Preventing pregnancy? Ok. Easing pain from ovarian cysts? Sure. But clearing the skin? That’s like Homer getting the hair regrowth tonic covered by his insurance to keep his brain from freezing.

          • dush says:

            Ever been severely depressed because of your heavily receeding hairline, having detrimental impact on your professional and social life? Ever been severely depressed because of an overly large nose for the size of your face, having detrimental impact on your professional and social life? Ever been severely depressed because of having an unusually high voice for a male, having detrimental impact on your professional and social life?
            I guess anything about us that makes us feel bad about ourselves should be mandatorily treated and covered at no cost share?

            Good grief have the people of the United States who founded a country on freedom, self-reliance, hard work and self-determination really become such government dependant, entitled weenies?

        • c_c says:

          Also, the whole point of this is that the insurance provided by Georgetown and other institutions DOES NOT cover the pill, even for cases like ovarian cysts. And the larger point it’s none of their damn pious business what your doctor prescribes; you shouldn’t be denied coverage of certain things because your employer wants to play moral judge jury and executioner.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            Anyone with group coverage is going to have a list of excluded services in their plan book.

        • Kate says:

          Considering that having a baby is a major medical condition, women should have BC covered no matter what.

          • dush says:

            Well obesity and heart disease are major medical conditions but we aren’t mandating insurance cover the cost of healthy food and a personal dietician.

            Why doesn’t congress mandate that grocery stores make the healthiest food a no-cost option?
            Why doesn’t congress give big tax credits to non-smokers?
            Why doesn’t congress mandate that people who have never caused an auto accident get free auto insurance?

            So why should congress be able to mandate that a certain medical treatment choice be totally free?

      • Skeptic says:

        Do the math: there are 13, not 12, 28-day periods in a year. That’s right, a typical four-week BCP pack (with one week of inert pills) only lasts 1/13th of a year, not a whole month, unless that month happens to be February in non-leap years.

        Women have been getting ripped off even worse than described in most news reports, because apparently most reporters can’t do 3rd grad arithmetic.

    • missy070203 says:

      $600 is also far less than the $12M + the hospital will charge for birthing a child…

  6. pop top says:

    IUDs can be even cheaper than what the article says because some insurance plans will cover them, and the evil witches over at Planned Parenthood will install them on a sliding scale fee like their other black magic services.

    Also, lol @ “Fertility-Awareness”. My friend tried that and guess what? She has two kids now.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      My wife’s Mirena IUD cost about $1,600 in total for the insertion, follow up visit, and the device. It was still cheaper than my vasectomy but it definitely wasn’t cheap in any way.

      • pop top says:

        My friend got hers installed for free at PP, and mine cost almost a fifth of what your wife paid so your story doesn’t negate what I said at all.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Just sharing our personal experience. $1,600 was the contract rate (Bluecross), the actual billed rate was around $2,200. There are cheaper IUDs out there but they aren’t always an option for everyone. The closest PP is about 3 hours from where we live.

        • delicatedisarray says:

          I, like your friend, was lucky enough to get mine free. My insurance covered it.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            You don’t have a deductible or any cost sharing? What are your premiums like?

      • EarlNowak says:

        Cheaper than a pregnancy. Especially to the insurance company.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I’m not following your logic. We paid for the IUD out-of-pocket because it was less than our deductible. When our child was born, we had a $5,000 deductible and were paying $12,000/year in premiums,

          Our health insurance company made money on us both times.

          Our current health insurance doesn’t cover maternity and has a $10,000 deductible. A pregnancy wouldn’t impact them either way.

      • LanMan04 says:

        ??? A vasectomy costs less than $1000 out-of-pocket.

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        Damn. My husband’s vasectomy costs us under $500. Thanks, Planned Parenthood!

    • iblamehistory says:

      “Fertility awareness” can work IF you stick to it perfectly. A lapse in monitoring can lead to complete failure.

      You can’t just track your periods and assume you’re only fertile 14 days after your period starts. In trying to get pregnant, some cycles I ovulated (was fertile) on day 9, others on day 20. The cycle we conceived, it was day 16. And then you have to factor in the life of the egg (24 hours max), and the length of time sperm can survive (5 days under ideal conditions, closer to 2-3 normally).

      I tracked my fertility to try to get pregnant but it works the other way around too. I’ll probably do it after the baby is born, along with using condoms, because I can’t take take hormonal birth control due to family blood clotting issues and I don’t want an IUD. It does work if you consistently chart your basal body temperatures, meaning you have to be very diligent in taking your temperature at the same time every morning after at least 3 hours of sleep. Complete consistency is vital and usually if someone says it didn’t work for them, there was a lapse in diligence with it.

  7. May contain snark says:

    Or you can visit the free clinic once a month and just grab a handfull of condoms from the big bowl that they will no doubt have sitting out somewhere.

    • missy070203 says:

      the one where I live gives them to you in a brown paper bag when you ask for them… apparently people were taking the ones out of the bowl for “other purposes”????

    • Archergal says:

      Condoms have no effect AT ALL if you have menorrhagia or ovarian cysts that can be treated by hormonal birth control.

      That was Ms. Fluke’s point, NOT that she wanted to have lots of sex.

      Jeezopete.

  8. RandomHookup says:

    I’ve always relied on the “aspirin between the knees” method. Guaranteed not to leave the house when that’s in play.

  9. Rebecca K-S says:

    SWEET LIST.

    At one point my hormonal birth control was running me $715/yr, so I’m not super impressed with the ‘upper limit’ implied here.

    • Captain Sassypants says:

      Amen. I use the NuvaRing sans insurance and I pay about $78 a month. That’s much closer to a grand per year, and the ring won’t be available as a generic for several years yet. I just want to know who the heck is picking it up for $50 (and where!).

  10. kenj0418 says:

    Rhythm method : $125,000 and counting.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      I know some people who still believe this method to work. They went to college even!

      I can’t believe that anybody over 16 thinks it would work.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        It’s actually very effective when you’re actively trying to get pregnant. Preventing pregnancy, not so much…

        • missy070203 says:

          It’s not for everyone….. for those who can do it effectively kudos… but there is alot of room for error….. thermometer not working correctly…. new medications or even some foods interfereing with body secreations etc. etc. etc.

      • Lethe says:

        To be fair, my mother used this and it worked for her. She had the exact number of children she wanted, spaced out exactly as far apart as she wanted.

      • eezy-peezy says:

        DH’s mom (Catholic) had 3 kids, 5 years between each. Back in the 1930’s-1940’s. Some people can do it.

    • tz says:

      Natural family planning is not the ‘rythm method” – it uses changes like the mucus and body temperature and other symptoms to determine the fertile days with great accuracy.

      Natural family planning is free, generally allowed by the catholic church within marriage, doesn’t have cancer-causing hormones and is just as effective. We worry about BHP, but not megadoses of steroids except for male body builders? We worry about chemicals and additives in foods, but not turning a woman into an biological experimental object?

      Like cigarette smoking in 1955, wreckreational sex in 2012 is sacrosanct. Nothing is to be spoken no matter how unhealthy, damaging, or otherwise bad. Incurable (and expensive to treat) STDs, sterility, and increased cancer risk is a small price to pay for promiscuity.

      Mother Theresa’s order taught NFP to thousands of indians – catholic, muslim, and hindu, all poor, and they can manage their fertility naturally.

      • missy070203 says:

        somebody (tz) is not just Catholic….. but super Catholic…. like the Ex smoker who walks by the butt hut outside a public building and scorns others (smokers) for not following the same path they did…. all you’ve succeeded in doing is attempting to shame others for not being JUST LIKE YOU- based on religous values…. and that my friend is discrimination – so congrats for being a douche….

        while your at it why don’t you acknowledge the real issue which stems from the basis of hormonal contraceptives being used to treat legitimate medical conditions and not as a form of birth control…..

        Also I’m calling ****SHENANIGANS**** on the entire NFP is equally as effective as hormonal contraceptives as not every woman has typical symptoms during her monthly rotation****

        • missy070203 says:

          Also there is too much room for error in NFP and Mother Theresa???? come on the lady was rocking awesome but being a nun and all I highly doubt she was rolling in the sheets to test out NFP herself!!!

        • TexasMama37 says:

          It doesn’t matter if you have a regular cycle or the same cycle every month. NFP is based on your observations on a daily basis. My chart tells me and my husband if I am likely to be fertile on any given day, one day at a time. After taking the classes, we used it to avoid pregnancy for 4 years. Then we used it for the next 10 years to space our 5 pregnancies the way we wanted. My cycles are NOT regular, either. When we are preventing pregnancy, we ABSTAIN during my fertile days, so it’s much more effective than using a condom during those days. The condom can break. I was on the pill years ago and did occasionally ovulate even though I took the pills at the same time every day. So that’s not 100% effective, either.

          • missy070203 says:

            what if my observation sucks? either out of sheer stupidity or you know other factors like I broke my nose 3 times and had multiple surgeries to help regain my ability to not be a mouth breather anymore but during the process they also removed significant portions or my nasal and sinus cavities so I am prone to sinus infections and with infection often comes a body temp deviation – the entire basal temp portion is now blown out the window…. also I have polyps and bleed irregularly and this also causes mucus changes how can I effectively measure change when my body does not function normally- same goes to women with other types of reproductive disorders for example fibroids….cysts…and the list goes on(that can be effectively treated by hormonal contraceptives!)

            also don’t I have the right to choose???? don’t I have the right to religous freedom and not have to abide by catholic terms???

            Based on your comment then someone with similar issue would need to abstain for life or use a condom everytime they had sex and be denied coverage for use of contraceptives to treat reproductive issues other than pregnancy prevention….

            Don’t you think considering that the United States started out as a conquest to pursue religious freedom that a person who is not catholic or does not practice a religion that pushes abstaining as a form of birth control has the right to use a hormonal method of contrception with their partner???? I’m by no means encouraging people to take it to allow them to sleep around etc. etc. but I’m saying they have the right to choose….

            it is and always has been an option for use as a contraceptive and may not work for everyone… just like NFP is your choice and may not work for everyone … but should be covered when it is NEEDED to treat legitimate medical problems especially when it is the least invasive form of treatment….

            So get off your “I’m catholic/conservative” and “I’m right…and I’m better than you” horse and consider others who are not like you but are still American Citizens with rights!!! and are not lucky enough to be in as good health as you…….

          • missy070203 says:

            Nothing but abstaining for life or having your reproductive organs removed is 100% effective and yes condoms can break – it was a broken condom that resulted in the birth of my daughter and looking back I’m not sorry and 100% grateful I had an unintended pregnancy as I had cancer several years later and cannot carry a baby now….

      • kenj0418 says:

        As a recovered Catholic one thing I never understood is why it is OK to prevent preganacy using math, a calendar, a thermometer, etc. but not any other means.

  11. Nobby says:

    We need less government interference except when it comes to birth control, apparently.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      And pre-abortion ultrasounds. Apparently.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      Yeah, apparently ‘small government’ only extends to corporations and rich people who don’t want to pay taxes. Women who want to control their own bodies and gay/lesbian citizens who want equal rights? Time for a little government intervention into their freedoms, yessiree!

  12. Taylor Rolyat says:

    I’ve been on birth control (the old fashioned monthly pill for most of it, though I’d briefly done the ring and the patch before too) voluntarily for the last 6 years, and all told it costs me no more than $325 a year. I’ve also spent thousands of dollars on music, a new laptop, a HD tv, and oh, I don’t know, many other luxury items that I ultimately don’t “need” yet decided to buy anyway.

    I consider myself to be pretty liberal when it comes to so-called social issues, but it boggles my mind when some woman has the mind to say that not only does birth control cost too much, but that going to the most expensive law school in the country means she can’t pay her $30 per month (even the Ring only cost me $35 per month, without insurance), AND on top of that, she has the nerve to suggest that her voluntary decision should be covered by others.

    • LabanDenter says:

      ^Agreed.

    • pop top says:

      Then insurance companies should also stop paying for Viagra too.

      • Taylor Rolyat says:

        Also agreed, if only for the humor of the fact that some cover it. But the issue in the article is whether BC costs too much.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Most don’t pay for it.

        My current insurance (Highmark) and my prior insurance (Anthem), explicitly excluded coverage for it:

        - Drugs for treatment of sexual or erectile dysfunctions or inadequacies, regardless of origin or cause.

        -Services and supplies related to sex transformation and/or the reversal thereof, or male or female sexual or erectile dysfunctions or inadequacies, regardless of origin or cause. This Exclusion includes sexual therapy and counseling. This exclusion also includes penile prostheses or implants and vascular or artificial reconstruction, Prescription Drugs, and all other procedures and equipment developed for or used in the treatment of impotency, and all related Diagnostic Testing.

    • Cat says:

      I just never saw the logic in insurance companies not paying for birth control pills, because the cost of pills over 18 years is a lot cheaper than the medical costs of a child from conception to 18.

      But I think having no upper limit on price is ridiculous, too. Something like “We’ll pay up to $30 per month for birth control” is not a bad idea.

      • Taylor Rolyat says:

        Some insurance companies (most?) will cover it in some way, but if a Catholic college won’t pay it, that’s up to them. Since when do colleges even have health plans for students? Mine didn’t, but they gave us access to a clinic, and they cost as much as Georgetown.

        • c_c says:

          As far as I know every college requires students to have health insurance, and typically offer a plan if you don’t have your own. For students such as Ms. Fluke, who aren’t dependents on their parents, the student health plan is likely the only affordable plan available to them (premiums for individuals, especially women, are typically outrageous – that should start to change however when the bulk of the health care reform act comes into play in 2014). It’s ridiculous that just because they attend a Catholic institution they’re denied coverage of something that their doctor prescribed.

          And not all BC is as cheap as yours. Some women, for various reasons, require versions that are much much more expensive, so having it not be covered by the only insurance available to them can indeed make it a prohibitive expense.

      • dulcinea47 says:

        Not all methods of birth control are appropriate for all women. If you put a low cap on it like that, you’re pricing a lot of women out.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “I just never saw the logic in insurance companies not paying for birth control pills, because the cost of pills over 18 years is a lot cheaper than the medical costs of a child from conception to 18. “

        Insurance companies don’t cover dependents for free. Premiums are increased when children are added to a policy. The larger the group, the more people to distribute risk across.

        • bsh0544 says:

          Even at $600/year over 18 years ($10,800) I think that’s on par with if not cheaper than what it would cost just for the birth.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            You’re ignoring the additional $5,000/year in premiums that they would get from a dependent on the policy.

            It’s exceedingly rare for an insurer to ever lose money on a group. In a group policy, rates are already based on a set cost per fertile female member, which works out to be around an additional $250/month.

    • wellfleet says:

      You’re absolutely right. Nobody should pay for her birth control, and that’s why NOBODY DOES. The issue is about private insurance coverage, and that includes neither you, nor the American public at large. Your logic fail continues, citing the costs of Georgetown Law. First off, yes, it is expensive, but your ROI from Georgetown is much higher than going to Podunk State Law. Further, if she went to a cheaper state school, is she then allowed to complain?
      Next, not many people pay totally out of pocket for law school, especially a 50K a year school. She is likely on scholarship, or scholarship+loans. Next, since you obviously didn’t go to law school, I’ll just point out that the heavy work load precludes many people from having any gainful employment while studying. Not only that, she also has to live in DC, which is pretty spendy.
      In short, get over yourself. Your circumstances are anecdotal. Fluke was set to testify about a friend being prescribed BC for PCOS and it not being covered.

      • Taylor Rolyat says:

        Thanks for the kind and respectful tone, but what else can I expect from an anonymous internet forum. Ah well.

        My point is that birth control DOESN’T COST THAT MUCH, but Fluke and those her agree with her makes it out to be some sort of grave injustice that a private Catholic college doesn’t want to to cover it, medical reason or not. Schools shouldn’t feel obligated to give health insurance coverage either, but that’s another entitlement-related kettle of fish. My college didn’t cover it for my having dysmennorrhea, but I didn’t ever once think, Gosh, I’m paying so much more for these pills on top of my federal student loans which covered 50% of my tuition.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Um, you pay for your college insurance plan, it is not free. I sure as hell did and it wasn’t cheap. You also pay the co-pay for doctor visits and prescriptions, they are not “free”. If you are paying for health insurance the insurance company or administrator should absolutely not have the right to refuse coverage for a legal prescription drug. No matter the use, it’s none of their business. Unless you are a doctor you have no logical standing to get between someone and affordable care if they are specifically paying you to provide that care.

          Guess for me personally a person’s medical well being is more important than someone else’s religious objections.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            “If you are paying for health insurance the insurance company or administrator should absolutely not have the right to refuse coverage for a legal prescription drug…”

            There isn’t a health insurance policy in this country that covers every FDA-approved drug. My plan booklet has about 10 pages dedicated to what’s not covered.

            BC is also held in a special status and is the only Rx to be mandated for no cost-share coverage.

            • exconsumer says:

              Birth control, in just about every form that exists, is not some experimental, ineffective, or purely cosmetic device. It’s essential for health, in some cases, and cheaper than a child in all cases, and shouldn’t be excluded. These companies aren’t excluding it because they think the drug is suspect.

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                There are many safe, established, FDA-approved, and effective drugs that aren’t covered by typical insurance policies. My insurance has several pages dedicated to these exclusions.

                • exconsumer says:

                  And unless you’ve got a religious employer, birth control is NOT ON THAT LIST. . . because it is typically covered. Insurers are not balking at birth control because of the cost effectiveness or any other reason . . . they are not balking at all!!!!

                  It is the employers who step in, and on a whim decide that sex is the dirty and women shouldn’t have birth control so they won’t pay for it. The Insurer does not care and never has. And even if they did, that’s not at all what people have been talking about here or in the news.

                  Nice try, but Insurance companies didn’t suddenly get squeamish about birth control.

        • wellfleet says:

          Let me repeat this in words you understand: YOUR birth control doesn’t cost that much. However, as you noted in a comment on another thread, you buy yours in bulk from Canada. So, you’re not playing in the system. That’s like saying iTunes isn’t that expensive while using BitTorrent to get your media.
          Schools don’t feel obligated to offer insurance to students but very many do. It’s a service. Schools aren’t obligated to have student escorts late at night, offer recycling, and have beautiful landscaping. Again, it’s a service schools offer to attract bright young minds. I went to a private Catholic school for undergrad and while the administration dealt in the fantasy life of the Catholic church, the school health services dealt in the reality that women and men are going to have sex and you have to be a dolt to think that they won’t.
          And, just because YOUR college didn’t cover your condition, that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you as a woman. Because you suffered, everyone else should, too? My grandfather worked 80-hour weeks with no overtime or vacation, do you want the same conditions? It’s called progress and accepting reality as it stands today.
          YOUR anecdotal evidence is evidence of nothing. If you had federally-subsidized loans, you, in fact, asked the rest of America to subsidize your education. I helped fund your education. My parents are wealthy and I didn’t have to worry about borrowing money for school but my and my parents’ tax dollars helped subsidize your schooling. How do you feel about that?

          Thanks for the kind and respectful tone, but what else can I expect from an anonymous internet forum. Ah well.

          My point is that birth control DOESN’T COST THAT MUCH, but Fluke and those her agree with her makes it out to be some sort of grave injustice that a private Catholic college doesn’t want to to cover it, medical reason or not. Schools shouldn’t feel obligated to give health insurance coverage either, but that’s another entitlement-related kettle of fish. My college didn’t cover it for my having dysmennorrhea, but I didn’t ever once think, Gosh, I’m paying so much more for these pills on top of my federal student loans which covered 50% of my tuition.

        • dush says:

          Since when did schools provide health care coverage for students?
          This is all new to me. When I was in college I never heard about getting health care coverage, I had to buy private insurance or be on my parents’ coverage.

    • Misha says:

      Wow, where were you paying only $35/month for the ring?

      • Taylor Rolyat says:

        Bulk buys from Canada

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        That’s what we were paying for it (via CVS) up until about 2007. We had a HDHP, so we pay 100% of the cost, with no co-pays.

    • exconsumer says:

      “Covered by others” = incorrect. No one suggested that her costs be covered by others, only that the insurance she PAYS FOR covers her medical need for birth control. She pays for it, she should get it. This IS NOT a matter of someone asking for something extra, but asking for something to which they have already paid.

      • tundey says:

        I think stupid people can’t get this point into their thick skulls. No one is asking for govt freebies just that insurance covers it. Good grief.

      • dush says:

        I think they are talking about cases where it’s employer provided health care coverage and then if the BC is mandated as cost/no copay/nothing to the user, then it is being “covered by others.”

        • exconsumer says:

          Nope, still not covered by others, unless you count the idea of an insurer pooling together the resources of their customers and paying for expenses out of that, which is how all insurance works all the time.

          It also plays into the idea that providing birth control is somehow less expensive than providing health care for a birth. It isn’t.

          • exconsumer says:

            erp. meant MORE expensive. Birth control is cheap compared to having a baby, and the insurer must recognise that. I doubt very much that this will actually increase costs for them.

            • Snowblind says:

              You must have never had a child.

              When we had our fist child, our insurance rates more than doubled.

              So there is no net cost to the insurance, they charge additional premiums if you have a child, usually incrementing for each child.

    • Kate says:

      Except she didn’t say birth control costs too much, she said her friend lost her ovary because her health insurance wouldn’t pay for the BC pills that would have prevented that.

      A liberal and you didn’t bother to actually read about what really happened? BC pills are more than just birth control, they are important factors in a woman’s health and religion doesn’t care.

      • rmorin says:

        Except that is not “Birth Control” that is “managing a health condition”.

        Even the Catholic Church (and Georgetown) has publicly stated that medications used to treat medical problems are okay: “the Church does not consider at all illicit the use of those therapeutic means necessary to cure bodily diseases, even if a foreseeable impediment to procreation should result therefrom ‚Äî provided such impediment is not directly intended.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanae_Vitae

        Her friends situation WOULD IN FACT BE COVERED by Catholic Health Plans! So yes, this is PURELY about the ability to have sex, debate that not the medical argument which is a straw-man that people like Fluke made up.

  13. wellfleet says:

    What the article fails miserably to mention is that in order to get any kind of prescription, like the pill, patch, Depo, women must have a gynecological exam. Depending on if you have insurance or not, and where you live, that can be anywhere from $100-$250 a year on top of the birth control costs.
    In addition to this, not all generics are created equal and not all women do well with just any pill. Some women have very bad reactions to some pills, forcing them to buy name-brand or something that isn’t “preferred” by their insurance.
    Many insurance plans don’t cover abortion, but do cover Viagra while not covering many birth-control options. So, they want the men to have sex, but not the women?????
    This is the logic fail that occurs when you put a bunch of men in charge of women’s health. If men could get pregnant, abortion and birth control would be written into the Constitution.

    • webweazel says:

      “…..but do cover Viagra while not covering many birth-control options. So, they want the men to have sex, but not the women?????
      This is the logic fail that occurs when you put a bunch of men in charge of women’s health. If men could get pregnant, abortion and birth control would be written into the Constitution. “

      How true. I remember 20 years ago that my prescription for BC pills was not covered by insurance, and I had to pay full price every time. Giving birth was covered, though. But Viagra and all these other penis pills? Covered immediately.

      I don’t really get all the hooplah over this issue with the religious organizations. The cost they pay for the insurance helps pay for the prescriptions of the people who DO use the contraceptive pills, and those people in turn help pay for the hospitalization and prenatal care of the religious people in birthing their 14 kids each. It all works out in the end.

      • LabanDenter says:

        according to factcheck.org

        http://www.factcheck.org/2008/07/mccains-viagra-moment/

        viagra being covered but not BC is largely a myth.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Repeat a myth enough times and people will start believing it. If a plan is gold-plated enough to pay for Viagra, then it’s highly unlikely that birth control would not be covered.

          Do people ever open up their plan booklets and actually see what is and what isn’t covered?

        • webweazel says:

          You DID see where I said it was 20 (or more) years ago, right?

          From the article you link:
          “This could be referring to a 1993 Guttmacher study showing that 49 percent of indemnity plans did not cover contraceptives, and that less than 20 percent of large-group indemnity plans and PPOs and less than 40 percent of point-of-service plans and HMOs covered the full range of reversible contraception options.”

          Today, most companies DO cover them, but back then, not so much. So, the pills were invented in, what, the 1950’s or so, and 40 years later, still were not covered by insurance. How long did it take to get Viagra (and other penis pills) covered by insurance? Not 40 years, I can tell you with all factual honesty. THIS is what I’m talking about.

    • Taylor Rolyat says:

      I agree about Viagra, but if you also follow this line of logic, why should any insurance company be forced to cover a choice (be it BC, abortion, or Viagre) that is wholly voluntary. I’ve heard the line about “if men could get pregnant, then…” many times before.

      • pop top says:

        “I agree about Viagra, but if you also follow this line of logic, why should any insurance company be forced to cover a choice (be it BC, abortion, or Viagre) that is wholly voluntary.”

        But you’re under the assumption that birth control, abortions and Viagra are only voluntary, when there are non-voluntary uses for each of them. Some women have to be on birth control because of medical issues like PCOS, some women have to get an abortion to save their life, and some men (and even women) are prescribed Viagra for reasons other than erectile dysfunction.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          No health insurance covers all FDA-approved medication. If it did, the premium would be prohibitively expensive.

          • pop top says:

            I didn’t say anything like that whatsoever and your comment has nothing to do with what I posted.

            • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

              I’m going off your implication that insurance should cover anything that is medically necessary.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          or if you are taking something super harmful to the fetus. when thalidomide was reapproved for cancer patients, birth control use while on the drug is written in as pretty much necessary
          http://www.thalomid.com/
          if you look at the full prescribing information two of the black box warnings:

          “”Effective contraception must be used for at least 4 weeks before beginning thalidomide therapy, during thalidomide therapy, and for 4 weeks following discontinuation of thalidomide therapy.”
          “Two reliable forms of contraception must be used simultaneously unless continuous abstinence from heterosexual sexual contact is the chosen method.”

          the restricted prescribing program for it indicates that contraception is mandatory to be able to stay on thalidomide

          and for those of you too young to know why thalidomide has this restriction, please google “flipper baby”

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      “… but do cover Viagra while not covering many birth-control options.”

      ED drug coverage is becoming exceedingly rare.

      My insurer explicitly excludes coverage in my plan book:

      - Drugs for treatment of sexual or erectile dysfunctions or inadequacies, regardless of origin or cause.

      -Services and supplies related to sex transformation and/or the reversal thereof, or male or female sexual or erectile dysfunctions or inadequacies, regardless of origin or cause. This Exclusion includes sexual therapy and counseling. This exclusion also includes penile prostheses or implants and vascular or artificial reconstruction, Prescription Drugs, and all other procedures and equipment developed for or used in the treatment of impotency, and all related Diagnostic Testing.

    • BennieHannah says:

      I think Viagra and ED drugs and therapies should be covered. For most people sex is an important part of a healthy adult life. It must be painful for a man to experience a lack of function in that department, whether the cause is physical (after treatment for prostate cancer, for example) or emotional. I’d imagine depression and anxiety are common among ED sufferers (and drugs for those conditions are covered and might not be necessary if the ED could be treated). Of course, I think all medicines and procedures related to reproductive health should be covered as well.

    • mobiuschic42 says:

      Uh, many plans (my BC/BS one at least) already offer one yearly “free” gynecological exam, anyway, and getting a yearly (or at least every-other year) exam is a good idea, anyway. It’s just like going to your primary care doctor for a yearly physical.

      • wellfleet says:

        Uh, that’s why I said it depends on insurance. Uh, let’s not forget there are tens of millions of uninsured Americans out there, as well as millions more who are underinsured. Depending on your co-pay and what’s covered, your costs can vary dramatically. When so many Americans are one health scare from being completely broke, your comment is just silly.

  14. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    My family’s experience with birth control costs for the past decade.

    NuvaRing – $40/month
    Vasectomy #1 – $2,000
    Vasectomy #2 – $1,200
    Mirena IUD – $1,600

    This stuff definitely doesn’t come cheap. Though, I’m still not convinced it’s expensive enough that it’s worth insuring against such relatively small claims. Prior to this year, we had a $5,000 deductible, so we paid for it all out-of-pocket anyways. We just recently bumped it up to $10,000 for 2012.

    • missy070203 says:

      why 2 Vasectomies? and IUD—- do you have super human junk???? or does it grow back together like chimps?

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        My vasectomy reverted, even after all of the follow up testing.

        We only discovered this when my wife got pregnant. As a result, we decided to double up protection and I got a second vasectomy and my wife got an IUD for backup. She can’t take most hormonal BC because of complications from the birth of our youngest daughter.

        If she were to get pregnant again, there’s a very good chance that she will die. An IUD is significantly less intrusive and cheaper than getting her tubes tied. We also no longer have maternity insurance, so a pregnancy would not only put my wife’s life on the line, it would ruin us financially.

        • missy070203 says:

          makes sense……..

        • msbask says:

          I’m sure she’s reviewed her options with her doctor, but she might want to reconsider getting her tubes tied. My tubal ligation was a 30-minute procedure done laproscopically through my belly button (and my insurance at the time covered it because I was instructed by my doctor not to have any more children for health reasons).

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            The quote that we got was for close to $4,000.

            When it’s time to replace the IUD, it is definitely a consideration.

    • dilbert69 says:

      My insurance covered my vasectomy except for about $70.

  15. curiositykt says:

    I am on a seasonale generic pill, so I get 3 month supply for a 1 month copay amount, so it works out to 40 dollars a year. It doesn’t get much better than that!

    • dks64 says:

      When I tried Seasonale, there was no generic and my insurance wouldn’t cover it. They wanted I believe $150 or $200 for the pack. I got lucky and got 3 free samples from my doctor, so that was awesome. That pill didn’t end up working well for me, so I got off it shortly after. Not everyone gets free samples and not every brand has generic. Most do, luckily, if you have insurance in the first place. I know quite a few people who already shell out a few hundred a month for insurance, it’s crazy when they don’t even cover basics like birth control.

  16. DonnieZ says:

    If you want the government to stay out of the bedroom, I guess that’s fine, but then don’t ask me to pay for what goes on in there.

    Nobody understands that this issue isn’t about birth control – it’s about government infringing on the rights of religious organizations. This wouldn’t even be an issue if there were an exception religious organizations to not have to provide these types of perscriptions if it is fundamental to their belief system.

    Otherwise, for more secular organizations, If you’re going to go all balls out with this Obamacare thing, why not write the cost of BC in there? Contraceptives don’t cost all that much to manufacture. They just get what the market will bear from some people. Besides, the government hasn’t run out of other people’s money to spend yet, what’s a few billion more?

    • wellfleet says:

      If these “religious” women didn’t want birth control, it wouldn’t be an issue. So, Catholic/Evangelical employers who employ Catholic/Evangelical women should either fire them for not being religious enough, or, realize that preventing women from controlling their bodies by making the costs outrageous is both intensely anti-woman and counter-productive.
      Fluke was testifying about the insurance coverage at a private university. The government isn’t even involved. Please learn to read and understand information.

      • DonnieZ says:

        It becomes a governmental issue when they want to mandate that a private university provide contraception. PRIVATE university, meaning PRIVATE. And in the case of Sandra Fluke speaking about Georgetown university, a CATHOLIC university.

        Why would they teach one thing in religion class then let women walk down the hall and get contraception, or men get condoms for that matter?

        The same thing goes for faith-based hospitals – If you don’t like the fact that X hospital doesn’t provide for contraception in their health plan, work elsewhere. At the local Catholic hospistal, women can’t get their tubes tied in any of their surgical facilities – Why should they provide a similar benefit to employees?

        People are all kinds of hypocritical on this issue.. It’s all well and fine to take the money from the religious organization to fund the construction and operation of a hospital, but when the rules of the religous organization running the hospital conflict with YOUR beliefes, the religious organizatoin is expected to cave. Again, you don’t like it? Go to the local public hospital – don’t try and change the rules of private organizations.

        • pop top says:

          “It’s all well and fine to take tax breaks from the government to fund the construction and operation of a hospital, but when the rules of the government conflict with YOUR beliefes, the government is expected to cave.”

          • DonnieZ says:

            Yeah – that’s a good argument.

            Do you know why there are so many faith based hospitals? Because hospitals cost tons of money to run. If the government didn’t give them tax breaks, these hospitals would likely not exist, and we’d be left with far fewer hospitals.

            Besides, the faith based orgainizations have been in existence long before these “governmental mandates” were even thought of. Again, if you don’t like the policy, go work elsewhere. You don’t see too many pro-life people working at Planned Parenthood….

            • wellfleet says:

              Excellent point! I’ve decided I hate all religious people and institutions and don’t want my tax dollars to fund their hospitals, the roads that lead to their hospitals, the medical degrees that their doctors obtain at state schools, the fire department that puts out their fires and the tax breaks their churches get as non-profits. Please show me where I can opt out of this on my income tax.

              If they don’t like my policy, they are free to seek private donations.

              Why is it that religious folks feel that their ideology should be forcibly applied to everyone else, regardless of everyone else’s personal beliefs, while we cannot impose on religious organizations?

              If government subsidies/tax breaks were pulled from religion-based groups in the US, many wouldn’t make it.

        • exconsumer says:

          “Don’t try to change the rules of private organizations”

          So these employers shouldn’t try to change the rules of the (birth control supporting) community they serve and employ?

          Agreed.

          • DonnieZ says:

            Last time I checked, the “birth control supporting community” would be considered the PUBLIC.

            Sheesh.

            • exconsumer says:

              Technically yes, but you’re missing my point. Why should the demands of the hospital trump the demands of the community? I’m tired of hearing about how this or that community member ‘should have known’. I don’t adhere to that logic and I’m tired of capitalism only ever working in one direction. Just as each citizen is ‘free to go elsewhere’ the hospital is ‘free to quit being a hospital’ and religious employers are ‘free to stop employing’.

    • LadyTL says:

      If a religious organization wants to run a secular business like a hospital and hire non-religious employees they should expect to have to follow secular rules about employment. If they want to run their business and only hire people with the same religion and only serve people with the same religion then they can expect exemptions but then they also can’t get government money for their services either.

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        So would you carry this point of view even if it meant hospitals closing?

        • exconsumer says:

          Well, there’s no need to close anything. The solution is for these organizations to get over their antisocial opposition to birth control. It’s completely irrational and outside any kind of social agreement that city might have with the hospital. When you make a deal with someone, it’s never completely on your terms. You can say that those citizens should know better to live there, given the hospital’s beliefs. One could just as easily say the opposite: the hospital should have known better than to think the town would put up with their policy. I’ve no real issue with placing the cost on the entity that’s trying to strongarm a community. . . . if there were costs, which there wouldn’t be, as BC is cheaper than a goddamn baby.

      • dush says:

        Right, so they just shouldn’t treat anyone with Medicare because the money goes through the govt. Just disconnect themselves from any govt money at all. Grants, subsidies, etc.

      • Gertie says:

        You don’t seem to realize that in many small towns, particularly in the West, there is ONE hospital in town (if any at all). Many were started by The Sisters of Charity out of Leavenworth, Kansas. The hospital in my hometown is Catholic and they serve an entire region. They are excellent, too.

        What would happen if they closed their doors?

    • dulcinea47 says:

      It’s not a religious issue. There were several priest and rabbis testifying before congress a few weeks ago- where are they now? That’s right, nowhere, b/c people realized this has nothing to do with religion. The religious people (not the old white men in charge, the actual *people*) use and want birth control just as much as anyone else.

    • Bibliovore says:

      The original plan didn’t say religious organizations had to pay for birth control, just that they had the same requirement to have it in offered insurance plans that non-religious organizations do. The compromise plan specified that religious organizations would not even have to offer it via the insurance, but that insurance providers would have to offer it themselves. Or is your argument that anyone who works for a religious organization, regardless of their own religious affiliation or beliefs, should not be eligible for insurance coverage on any prescriptions or treatments that their employer doesn’t like?

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “Or is your argument that anyone who works for a religious organization, regardless of their own religious affiliation or beliefs, should not be eligible for insurance coverage on any prescriptions or treatments that their employer doesn’t like? “

        Coverages, deductibles, and premiums vary widely between group plans. The ACA does very little to change this.

    • Taylor Rolyat says:

      Why worry about understanding where money comes from when you can always just cry and play the victimhood card? The latter is a real time saver, not to mention it doesn’t require responsibility!

    • Archergal says:

      It’s totally NOT about religious freedom. The argument has been framed that way by the right to distract people and to try to vilify Obama. It’s just another side of the “He’s a MUSLIM!!!11!!ZOMG” argument.

      It’s really about wanting to control what women do.with their bodies.

      • dush says:

        If the government was either outlawing birth control or requiring the use birth control then I’d totally agree with you that they were trying to control what women do with their bodies.

    • dilbert69 says:

      Religious freedom does not give you the right to practice your religion ON OTHERS. The Catholic prohibition of birth control applies ONLY to Catholics. The Quaker religion prohibits war, so Quakers don’t participate in war, but they still have to pay for it through their taxes. Part of living in a society means paying taxes for things you may not agree with that benefit others, while other people pay taxes for things they may not agree with that benefit you. I have no kids but pay for schools. Other people buy their books from Amazon but pay for my public library habit. My car-driving friends pay to subsidize the public transit I’ll be riding home from my private-sector job this afternoon.

    • KyBash says:

      The cost of manufacturing any drug is tiny compared to what it costs to develop, market, and defend in court.

    • exconsumer says:

      No. This is not about the government paying for birth control. This is about people being denied medical coverage via the insurance THEY ARE PAYING FOR.

      Employers can feign moral objections to birth control, and prevent the insurance they offer to their employees as compensation. This is wrong.

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      So it’s not cool for the government to ‘infringe’ on the freedoms granted to a religious organization, but it’s super-cool for that religious organization to encourage infringement upon the rights and freedoms of certain citizens? How very interesting.

      • rmorin says:

        You pick and choose what you want to hear. If you work for a religious affiliated organization they (like any organization) choose to compensate you in a certain way. You agree to this compensation package when you sign up. Some organizations offer stocks, some organizations offer generous vacation days, and some organizations offer health care plans that do not cover contraception.

        Health insurance is not a right, regardless of whether you think it should be, they have no requirement to give it to you and this is not an issue to be debated.

        You can still choose to buy and use birth control and they can’t do anything about that, again this is not an issue to be debated.

        Oh and guess what? Catholic Organizations do in fact cover these medications when there is a legitimate medical need! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanae_Vitae

        So Fluke? Her story is garbage, Georgetown’s health insurance actually DOES cover those medications for a legitimate need. So this issue is very easy: you are telling an organization that believes that sex without the intention of procreation is wrong, that they MUST supply you via their health insurance policies medications which allow to have sex without the intention of procreation.

  17. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    until my brand of birth control went to generic late last year, if i had been uninsured it would have cost me $980 a year. and i didn’t choose it for birth control, i chose it to control hormone changes from my periods because they made me sick and messed with my blood sugar [and therefore how much insulin i needed.]
    so i wasn’t choosing an expensive one just because i could, there was not a cheaper option for me. i am very glad i have good insurance

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      oh, and the generic of the same thing would be $795.44 a year if i had to pay out of pocket. the generic is made by the same manufacturer – when i was switched unexpectedly by my pharmacy i checked to be sure since with hormones there’s always a chance the generic will perform with slight differences

  18. dulcinea47 says:

    This is what some people seem to miss- if you make $7.50 an hour, and are struggling to get by, and Planned Parenthood wants $40/month for the pill, it is a real financial hardship.
    (my $7.50/hour was too much to get a reduction on their sliding scale; this was 10 years ago tho) I did it anyway, because I needed it for health reasons not just birth control.

    But some people won’t do it and will end up pregnant. You know what costs more than providing birth control? All the WIC and food stamps and welfare and whatever else that that person’s going to need after they have a kid b/c they were too poor to get birth control.

    • LabanDenter says:

      Insurance doesn’t pay for WIC and all other government programs.

      If BC was cheaper then pregnancy for private insurance companies dont you think they would give it away?

      • missy070203 says:

        I don’t think the issue for BC is that insurance companies don’t offer it at all but that providers and employers have the option to pay a lower premium for excluding it- as with catholic employers like churches, schools, and health care providers- because the catholic faith believes that abstaining is the birth control of choice they do not cover birth control of any kind for any medical reason even if it is for PCOS, cysts, excessive bleeding, etc….. also for catholic employers/providers they don’t cover fertility treatments or any other means of baby making outside of the old fashioned getting down…. and some catholic facilities have been known to make their employees sign contracts stating that they could be fired for utilizing fertility treatments even if they pay for it themselves…. how sick is that???

    • Cat says:

      You know what costs more than providing birth control? All the WIC and food stamps and welfare and whatever else that that person’s going to need after they have a kid b/c they were too poor to get birth control.

      Don’t forget to add the cost to keep a percentage of these unwanted children in jail, because unwanted children are generally more likely to have a criminal history due to poor parenting and poverty.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      I agree with you that the cost of the kids is far more than the birth control. I just don’t know that the same people who get pregnant because “they can’t afford birth control” would get BC even if it was cheap or even free. I think there may some laziness, stupidity, or both at play for a lot of those people.

      Even when I was dead broke, I could at least buy condoms to make sure that I didn’t end up with a kid or an STD. Both of those cost more than condoms in the long run.

      • Taylor Rolyat says:

        +1. Even if birth control pills were sold next to gum and cigarettes at the checkout counter, impoverished people would still get pregnant, and the activists on the left would still figure out some way to say that women are being denied “access” or “choices” by the powers that be.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        It’s called being a rational actor and not everyone is one.

        We have a $10,000 deductible and no maternity insurance. You better believe we’ve done absolutely everything possible to avoid a future pregnancy.

      • exconsumer says:

        A very conservative stance on the issue.

        Why should we deregulate things and allow people and institutions to make private agreements in an unfettered manner? Because people are rational actors and they will act in their best interest for the most part.

        Why shouldn’t we remove the obstacles that we’ve created to peoples access to birth control? Because people are not rational actors and can’t be counted on to act in their best interest.

    • Taylor Rolyat says:

      Then don’t have intercourse. Really really REALLY want to have safe sex? If you desire it, then you should personally accommodate those choices rather than complain that others aren’t covering your personal life choices. People spend money on all kinds of crap and luxuries they don’t need, and $40 (if that) a month isn’t nearly the obstacle that’s it been made out to be as of late.

      • LanMan04 says:

        Then don’t have intercourse.
        ————-
        Oh DO fuck off. Having an active sex life is very important to adult health. Being able to have sex and NOT get pregnant should be a basic human right.

        • dush says:

          Wait, but having sex is the very thing that causes pregnancy. Yet having all the sex you want without ever getting pregnant should be a “human right?”
          You shouldn’t have a government telling you when to have sex but elevating it to a basic human right is just ridiculous.

          • exconsumer says:

            No one anywhere proposed that the government tell anyone when to have sex. And sex is ALREADY a human right. This is not about handouts. We are and always have been talking about PAYING CUSTOMERS WHO STILL ARE NOT COVERED.

            No handouts asked for at any time.

            • dush says:

              Well the simple answer would be to stop paying for a lack of coverage.
              Go find a provider that will cover what you want and start paying them instead.
              Why be a paying customer of someone who isn’t giving you the product you want?

      • c_c says:

        Ah yes, the old abstinence argument. Please young poor immoral woman, don’t participate in an activity driven instinct developed over thousands of years of evolution, because you’re poor. Stay classy my friend.

      • exconsumer says:

        It’s an obstacle when you’re ALREADY PAYING FOR THE INSURANCE!!!!!! This isn’t and has never been about a handout. The issue of late has been INSURED people who can’t get them to cover their health care.

        And what an unrepentant hypocritical attitude. Don’t have intercourse? You just got done saying above that you are a birth control USER. What do you think makes you so special? These things are allowed for you but immoral for others? Some special dispensation directly from the Lord perhaps? Truly awful. Can’t quite imagine a more invalid point of view.

      • Kate says:

        You don’t sound like a liberal. You sound like an idiot conservative who is deliberately missing the point. An insurance plan which you pay for should cover the basics of women’s health care. It should not discriminate against women because of a religious edict.

        Its that simple, do you think you have it now?

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        Do you understand that some women rely on hormonal birth control for medical reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with contraception? Whether or not you do, it’s the truth.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      That sounds like a good argument to provide BC via county health departments and pay for it with progressive taxation.

  19. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    The true cost of hormonal birth control? Blood clots. Despite what the pharms want you to believe, the risk is still high even if you are young, healthy, don’t smoke, and have no history of clots.

    If you use hormonal BC, stick with the older brands (i.e. Ortho Tricycline) which have a lower incidence of blood clots due to the mix of horomones that they use.

    Otherwise, you could end up like me: 20-something who has to take a pill every day for the rest of my life to prevent a recurrance of clots and unable to use any form of birth control but condoms and spermicide (because the intrauterine copper one could cause complications which may result in – you got it – more clots). Unfortunately, my case isn’t as rare as it should be.

    That being said – birth control should be covered for free by insurance agencies. And any organization that provides insurance that covers viagra for men where their wife is beyond child-bearing years is being hypocritical in claiming that they can’t cover birth control as it promotes “recreational” sex. So does viagra. Stop waging war on women.

    • pop top says:

      If you can’t do Paragard because of the clot issue, have you looked into Mirena? It’s only 5 years instead of 10, but it might be less of an issue for you.

    • Gertie says:

      There is no such thing as free. The cost WILL be passed along, somehow, someway.

      • exconsumer says:

        Yes, a very small cost (probably savings, in fact, as paying for birth control is far cheaper than paying for a delivery) will be passed on to the other paying plan participants, as per how insurance works and has always worked.

        Are private insurance companies targets for conservative ire now? I admit, the pooling of resources to cover costs that are unlikely for the individual but inevitable for the group does sound awfully socialist.

  20. nearly_blind says:

    This would be great article idea, but when I see something dumb like $150 for 104 condoms ($1.44 each) I can’t trust the rest of the statistics. The OP article says that condoms cost .20 -2.50 each and used something in the middle. That’s like comparing the cost of public transportation versus owning a car then saying, well cars cost 12K to 70K then using $41K per car in your comparison. If you buy a $20 or so large box, name brand condoms cost less than half as much as $150 per year.

  21. daynight says:

    As far as the religious aspects goes, this really should be a non issue.
    Insurance companies charge according to expected usage. Everyone of a plan may well be covered for a heart attack. (They should be, shouldn’t they?) Not everyone on a plan is going have a heart attack every year. So the insurers don’t plan for that and don’t charge for that.
    If you are ‘religious’ the way the authorities command you to be, then you won’t be even using birth control, so no blessed money really changes hands for that service. If you do not follow the rules laid out for you as a religious follower, then your rights to service should be that of any other person, religious or nonreligious.
    Remember that health insurance is not a religiously guaranteed right. It is a civil, secular benefit.
    I assume other secular laws apply, like no sexual harassment on the job, no violations of child labor laws, paying taxes on earnings, etc. This is secular behavior and not religious.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Every group plan picks and chooses what is and isn’t covered.

      Here are some random excluded coverages in my health insurance certificate:

      7. For a condition resulting from direct participation in a riot, civil disobedience, nuclear explosion,or nuclear accident.
      25. For routine foot care (including the cutting or removal of corns and calluses); Nail trimming,cutting or debriding; Hygienic and preventive maintenance foot care, including but not limited to:
      – cleaning and soaking the feet.
      – applying skin creams in order to maintain skin tone.
      – other services that are performed when there is not a localized illness, injury or symptom
      involving the foot.
      26. For surgical treatment of flat feet; subluxation of the foot; weak, strained, unstable feet; tarsalgia; metatarsalgia; hyperkeratoses.
      33. For weight loss programs except as specifically listed as covered in this Certificate. Weight loss programs not approved by Us, including but not limited to, commercial weight loss programs (Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, LA Weight Loss) or fasting programs are not covered.
      34. For bariatric surgery, regardless of the purpose it is proposed or performed.
      35. For marital counseling.
      40. For reversal of sterilization.
      41. For diagnostic testing or treatment related to infertility.
      44. For care received in an emergency room which is not Emergency Care, except as specified in this Certificate. This includes, but is not limited to suture removal in an emergency room.
      56. Services and supplies related to sex transformation and/or the reversal thereof, or male or female sexual or erectile dysfunctions or inadequacies, regardless of origin or cause.
      57. For services, supplies and other care provided for elective abortions accomplished by any means, as defined by applicable law.
      61. For treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
      75. Treatment of Onchomycosis (toenail fungus).

      • exconsumer says:

        That’s nice, but birth control is not some experimental or cosmetic or inordinately expensive treatment. It is exremely effective and does what it is supposed to do with very little side effects. If your insurance company wouldn’t pay for basic chemo, you wouldn’t just shrug and say ‘Oh well, every plan is different I guess.” You’d protest that you were being denied a basic treatment and you’d be right to do so.

        And besides, this isn’t the Insurer who makes the call, it’s the employer.

        • dush says:

          Yeah but just because an insurer doesn’t pay for basic chemo or just because an employer doesn’t provide a plan that covers it doesn’t mean the federal government should step in and mandate those businesses must provide that covereage at no cost.

  22. jbandsma says:

    The REAL cost of birth control? Not being able to get it.

  23. Jane_Gage says:

    Women come equipped with their own form of birth control located literally right beneath their noses-Rush

    • dush says:

      “right beneath their noses”

      So if they didn’t wax their upper lip hair no guy would want to have sex with them? Automatic birth control! Genius!

  24. exconsumer says:

    Folks, two things:

    First, asking insurers to cover Birth Control is not some kind of government handout or cost in any way. No one is asking anyone else to pay for their birth control . . except the organization that has agreed to do so in exchange for that person’s money. An insurer should take care of a person’s birth control for the same reason they should take care of other preventative measures. Babies are expensive and would require the insurance to pay out money far beyond the cost of the preventative measures (birth control). No sane person could possibly have an objection . . . unless, of course, you are “morally” opposed to the idea. Which brings be to point #2:

    Secondly, YOU ARE NOT MORALLY OPPOSED TO BIRTH CONTROL. I repeat, you are not morally opposed to birth control. You speak those words, I’m sure, but they are empty. In reality you use it frequently. Shock of all shocks! HOW DID I KNOW? . See, you’re an adult without kids, or perhaps, married with 2.5 kids. And I wonder who it is you think you are fooling. Adults are sexually active, and you’re no different. So the fact that you’ve not birthed far more children than you presently have is evidence enough that you’re making use of some kind of contraception. I know that we live in a culture where we are allowed to pretend we are chaste, so I hate to get all up in your grill; but this issue is serious, and actually getting women (and men) the birth control they need is more important than your need for cosmetic virtues.

    Now, don’t you feel better with all that out in the open?

  25. Kate says:

    The prescription may be one cost, but the doctor’s appointment to give you the prescription will be a significant added cost.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      an annual OBGYN appointment/PAP smear/manual breast exam is already a pretty standard recommendation for all women, regardless of being on BC or not. my insurance actually covers it as preventative care.

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        But if you don’t have insurance, be prepared for the potential for high costs and a very long wait. The last time I got an exam at a place that wasn’t Planned Parenthood (all I can access now), it cost me over $300 (plus a couple hundred extra in lab fees, which they did not disclose at the time but just billed for after the fact) and I had to make an appointment at least six months in advance.

  26. Jane_the_cynic says:

    My insurance has recently been changed by my employer, and I am now in a situation where the insurer will only pay less than 50% of the cost. They do pay a larger portion of generic.
    Firstly, assuming we are discussing birth control pills prescribed for medical reasons, neither cervical caps, condoms, or any other option out there can control symptoms the way that birth control can.
    Secondly, generic pills are not the same, only the active ingredients are. Sadly I know from person experience that inactive ingredients are going to effect the efficiency of the pill.
    Honestly, I am dumbfounded how health insurance companies will cover frivolous medications but will not cover a medication that can have such a dramatic improvement in life for so many women.

  27. benminer says:

    How much does a World of Warcraft subscription cost these days? That’s an option as well.

  28. dks64 says:

    “Cervical cap ‚Äî The cervix-blocking barrier and accompanying spermicide should cost no more than $60.”

    Too bad the Cervical cap isn’t very effective. According to Planned Parenthood:

    ” For women who have never been pregnant or given birth vaginally, 14 out of 100 who use the cervical cap will become pregnant each year.
    For women who have given birth vaginally, 29 out of 100 who use the cervical cap will become pregnant each year.”

    29 percent FAILURE rate for Moms? Holy crap. The IUD, Implant, Shot, Pill, Ring, and Patch are much more reliable.

  29. waltcoleman says:

    Nothing is free. The cost of BC is simply passed on from the insurance company to those purchasing policies…either employers, individual policy holders or the gov’t.

    Everytime gov’t mandates a certain form of coverage, WE ALL pay for it. You may think it’s free, but it’s not. In the end we all pay more either through higher premiums or higher costs for goods and services.

    The questing is when is enough enough? Using the “health” argument, one could claim insurance companies should cover the cost of gym memberships because if someone belongs to a gym they are healthier and will need less health care. Or perhaps insurance should cover the cost of fruits and vegetables because if one eats healthier they will need less health care. But why stop there? Stress leads to heart disease and expensive treatments. If health insurance paid for vacations so I could reduce my stress levels, my long term health care costs will go down! We can play this game forever.

    At the end of the day, if you believe BC should be covered, so be it. But don’t whine when your insurance rates go up and up and up year after year. Nothing is free…

  30. Snowblind says:

    The number is total bullshit, if you bothered to look at the underlying methodology. It excluded a lot of women.

    Here is who it did include, from page 8 of the study:

    Contraceptive use was restricted to *women at risk for
    unintended pregnancy*, (those were in bold in the PDF) whom we define as those who
    had had sex in the three months prior to the survey and
    were not pregnant, postpartum or trying to get pregnant.

    First, it did not include ALL women, catholic women. It did not include women who were outside the15-44 range.
    It did not include women who did not have sex in the last 3 months, or who were virgins.
    It did not include women trying to get pregnant.
    It did not include women who had been sterilized, or their partners are sterilized.

    It does include any women meeting the criteria, who has ever used a contraceptive or their partner used one, even just once. Possibly even if the event was before the respondent was a practicing Catholic… none of that was filtered out.

    And, even in their own data table on page 8, it lists 11% who meet the criteria and use NO METHOD at all to prevent a pregnancy.

    So the 98% is not supported by the methodology of the paper itself, and the paper never makes the claim.

    98% percent comes from a misreading of the data table, taking 100% and then subtracting just the 2% that uses “Natural Family Planning” method.

  31. dethl says:

    My vasectomy was a whole $90 thanks to my health insurance. $45 for my consult, $45 for the operation done at the doctor’s office (the operation itself was just shy of $1,100 as reported to UHC).

  32. MECmouse says:

    It’s called a tubal, it’s permanent and no muss/no fuss!

  33. Skeptic says:

    Crocodile dung!