In 2012, a federal law was passed requiring all hospitals in the United States to provide birth control without charge to any woman who could show that her health would be seriously harmed by doing so. In 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (Centers) added birth control to this list.
The Affordable Care Act requires all health insurance companies to cover the full cost of birth control, and to offer it without charge to women whose health has failed to improve in any way. The law’s mandate also applies to churches and hospitals that receive federal contracts.
The new program, which began on January 1, 2017, is intended to cover 10 million women.
What’s a free birth control option?
In the United States, a birth control plan called the Essential Plan (EP) can be purchased at any pharmacy without a co-pay or coinsurance. The service covers the cost of all FDA-approved, generic versions of five kinds of birth control pills, as well as an implant and a patch or contraceptive patch.
The plan covers three years of pregnancy prevention benefits for eligible health plans, without counting against your standard pregnancy cost or annual limit. Benefits include:
Birth control (for up to nine months)
Prescription contraceptives such as sterilization and emergency birth control
Pregnancy-related preventive care services such as breast X-rays and pap smears, as well as Pap tests that are ordered for reasons like cancer or sexually transmitted diseases
Wellness consultation and medication management
What is a contraceptive implant?
A contraceptive implant is a small, thin, plastic device that is placed under the skin in the upper arm. The device acts like a small spongy bladder (a sphincter), preventing sperm from entering the uterus and preventing expulsion. The device makes your reproductive organs look and act like a condom, preventing any risk of pregnancy.
Can I skip my period if I start taking the birth control?
Some women may find that skipping their period begins to come on sooner after starting the birth control. You will have some period-free periods after about one month, and this can be normal, or it can be very light bleeding. The bleeding could also be a sign that the implant has gone into your fallopian tubes (tubal sack) or that you are undergoing a pelvic exam (testicular examination).
How long do I stay on the pill?
It depends on your health. Some women on the pill who are over 25
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