Where can I get birth control if I have private insurance?
The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover FDA-approved contraceptive methods, including emergency contraception and intrauterine devices (IUDs), for free. If you have insurance, your plan must cover contraceptive methods without co-pays (there are a few exceptions, including if you have insurance through a religious employer). This means you probably will be able to get contraception without paying anything out of your pocket. Check with your insurance plan to learn more and find out where you can get covered contraception.
What you need to know: If you have health insurance
- Most private health insurance plans cover abortion care. Check with your insurance provider to see how much you are covered.
- Most insurance plans cover birth control, prenatal care, child birth, and maternity care. Call your insurer to make sure you are covered. If you are not covered, visit this link or call ACCESS at 800-376-4636 for help.
- Pre-existing conditions are now covered by insurance plans, so even if you were pregnant before you enrolled in your insurance plan, your pregnancy care will be covered.
- Your plan must cover contraceptive methods without co-pays (there are a few exceptions, including if you have insurance through a religious employer). This means you may be able to get contraception without paying anything out of your pocket. Check with your insurance plan to learn more and find out where you can get covered contraception.
- Most insurance plans are also required to provide free STI testing and certain vaccines for STIs such as hepatitis A and B and HPV with no out-of-pocket cost to you.
- If you have health insurance through your parents, you can remain on their plan until you turn 26.
- If you use your parent’s or spouse’s insurance, or go to a family doctor, your family could find out what care you are getting if you don’t take action. If you don’t want them to know, ask ahead of time about confidentiality (what they will or won’t keep private). Go to www.myhealthmyinfo.org and fill out a Confidential Communications Request (CCR) to keep this information private. (See more about CCRs, below.)
- If you don’t think your family doctor will keep your information confidential, visit www.familypact.org for health care alternatives.
If I’m using insurance, how do I keep my health care confidential?
If you’re enrolled in a health insurance policy held in another person’s name, such as a parent or a spouse, that person is considered the policyholder. Your insurance company may send some of your confidential health information – like the name of your provider and the services you received – to the policyholder, as part of figuring out billing and payment, without you knowing. To fix this problem, you can send a Confidential Communications Request (CCR) to your insurance company.
A CCR is a request to your insurance company that it stop sharing your confidential health information with the policyholder (your parent or spouse). Health insurance companies must accept your request in two instances:
- When you ask for confidentiality regarding sensitive services you might receive. “Sensitive services” are defined by the law to include, among other services, mental health counseling, reproductive health services, STD services, sexual assault services, and drug treatment; OR
- When you say that disclosure of all or part of the information that might be revealed in an insurance communication could endanger you, regardless of the type of health care sought. (You don’t have to say why it might endanger you.)
To submit a CCR and to get more information, go to www.myhealthmyinfo.org. You can also request a CCR when you make your appointment.