Getting prescription birth control can be tricky, especially if you're trying to keep it private from your insurance plan owner. But don't worry, we'll guide you through getting the care you need.
The first step in getting prescription birth control using insurance without anyone finding out is to check your coverage. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans are required to cover the full cost of prescription birth control without any out-of-pocket costs. This includes the pill, the patch, the ring, IUDs, and the implant. However, if you're on a grandfathered plan or a religious employer's plan, you may not be covered. In this case, you can always ask your insurance provider for a list of in-network providers that can offer prescription birth control at a lower cost.
Even if you're on someone else's insurance plan, you can still talk with your insurance provider privately. If you're concerned about your plan owner - like your parents - finding out about your birth control usage, this step is particularly important. Many insurers send out Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements, which show the services and medications that have been covered by the plan. The information on EOBs changes depending on your insurer.
Check out your online portal: If you have an online account with your insurer, try to find a sample EOB. Look for the types of details included on the EOB to understand if it discloses info you'd rather keep quiet.
Call your insurer: This is a must. There should be a number on the back of your insurance card where you can ask questions like:
"What privacy protections are available to me in my state?"
"Can you keep my medical services confidential from the plan owner, even if I'm under 18?"
"Can you send my EOB directly to me [instead of the plan owner]? Or can you forego sending it at all?"
If all else fails, you can always use your own money to pay for your prescription birth control. Many pharmacies and clinics offer birth control at a reduced cost or even for free based on your income. This is where Title X comes in.
Title X (or Title "Ten") is a federal program for reproductive health and wellness. The program gives money to sexual and reproductive health clinics in across the United States, providing free or low-cost birth control, STI testing, domestic violence, and beyond.
They even have a handy tool for looking up clinics that operate under Title X, which we've included below.
This tool won't help you find abortion care. If you need abortion care, BCDB recommends using INeedAnA.com to protect your privacy.
This tool should be used to locate other reproductive health service, like free or low cost birth control or STI testing.
If you're looking for an even more private option, you can also use a mail-order, or online, pharmacy. This way, you can have your birth control delivered directly to your home, and you can avoid the public display of picking it up at a pharmacy. Make sure you confirm the packaging is discreet, especially if you're considered about keeping your birth control usage private.
Many mail-order pharmacies offer automatic refills, so you never have to worry about running out. Some of these services will even write you a prescription for the birth control!
We recommend Planned Parenthood for online birth control prescriptions and delivery.
Another way to keep your prescription birth control private is to talk to your doctor about your options. There are many private options available, including IUDs, the patch, and the ring. These options are less visible and more private than the pill.
In conclusion, getting prescription birth control using insurance doesn't have to be a hassle, and you can keep it private from the plan owner. With a little research, you'll understand all your options: using insurance privately, paying in cash, and even birth control delivery services. And most importantly, remember that your prescription birth control choices are nobody's business but your own. So, take control of your body and your life and make the best decision for you.
NO! If you're going to a Title X clinic, you don't need a guardian's permission to get a birth control prescription. In fact, many states allow minors to get birth control without a guardian's permission regardless of the clinic. You can find more information on your state's rules in the table at the bottom of this page.
Glad you asked. In May of 2022, Title X expanded its funding allowances to support telehealth, or virtual clinic visits. You'll need to contact the clinic to confirm they offer virtual visits.