Planned Parenthood Offers Expanded Program for Free Birth Control Beginning October 1, 2012

Your life is expensive, birth control shouldn't be...


Kristen Glundberg-Prossor 206-328-7714

Published: 10.02.12| Updated: 10.02.12

SEATTLE -- Thousands of Washington women will benefit from a simple eligibility change in the popular TAKE CHARGE family planning program beginning October 1st, 2012.  Now, if you make less than 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL) instead of 200% FPL, you will likely qualify for free birth control.  All Planned Parenthood health centers in Washington State proudly participate in the TAKE CHARGE program.

What is 250% of the federal poverty level?  It means that a single woman making under $2,327 per month or about $28,000 per year; a family of two making under $3,150 per month or about $38,000 per year; or a family of three making under $4,000 per month/ or about $48,000 per year, may now qualify for free birth control for a year.

TAKE CHARGE is a joint state/federally funded program administered by the Washington State Health Care Authority providing family planning services to women and men who do not have insurance, or whose insurance coverage does not fully cover their contraception.

“Providing education and access to birth control is Planned Parenthood’s mission.  We are proud to partner with the state of Washington to provide this essential health service to our clients,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.  “The TAKE CHARGE expansion will profoundly impact close to 12,000 Washington women – improving their health and well-being, and saving them money. Your life is expensive but your birth control shouldn’t be.”

Contraception can cost as much as $800 or more per year.

“After losing my job and finding a new one that pays less, I’m now on the TAKE CHARGE program, said Tara Nelson a 34-year-old Planned Parenthood client.  “I kept trying to save up for the 3-year hormonal implant, but could never quite get there – my car would break down or bills would stack up.  When I signed up for TAKE CHARGE it was like ‘Yay, I can get this’ – the most effective form of birth control for free!  It really helps.”

The expansion in eligibility was made possible by a bill sponsored by Senator Karen Keiser D -Kent, and passed by the 2011 Legislature.  The legislation created parity between those eligible to receive Medicaid paid pregnancy care and those eligible for birth control coverage.

What does TAKE CHARGE include?  Upon approval, you may receive:

• Well-woman exam and birth control methods education (women only)
• All birth control methods including: birth control pill, patch, implant, vaginal ring, shot, IUD, condoms and sterilization [vasectomy (men) or tubal ligation (women)]
• Emergency contraception (sometimes called the morning-after pill) (women only)
• Testing for sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia and gonorrhea only) during the well-woman exam - for women 25 and younger (women only).

TAKE CHARGE coverage is for one full year.  It can be renewed each year if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.  You must reapply each year. 

Get started today!  Sign up for TAKE CHARGE at your nearest Planned Parenthood health center or for more information call 1-800-230-PLAN (7526.)  Walk- ins welcome.  Visit for the health center nearest you.

For Tara’s contact information, please email:


Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest is the region’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. We believe everyone has the right to choose when or whether to have a child, and that every child should be wanted and loved. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest operates 28 health centers in Alaska, Idaho, and western Washington, providing medical services and sexuality education for thousands of women, men, and teenagers each year. Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization.  We rely heavily on support from donors to help sustain responsible reproduction.

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