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The pill is easy to get, but you need a prescription. Here’s the scoop on where to get birth control pills, how much they cost, and how you might be able to get them for free or low cost.

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How much do birth control pills cost?

Prices vary depending on whether you have health insurance, or if you qualify for Medicaid or other government programs that cover the cost of birth control pills. For most brands, 1 pill pack lasts for 1 month, and each pack can cost anywhere from $0-$50. But they’re totally free with most health insurance plans, or if you qualify for some government programs. In most states, you can even get birth control pills prescribed and mailed to you using the Planned Parenthood Direct app.

You may also need to pay for an appointment with a doctor or nurse to get a prescription for the pill. This visit can cost anywhere from $35–$250. But under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), most insurance plans must cover doctor’s visits that are related to birth control. Learn more about health insurance and birth control.

If you’re worried about cost, check with your local Planned Parenthood health center to find out if they can hook you up with birth control that fits your budget. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to get birth control starting at $20/pack using the Planned Parenthood Direct app.

How can I get birth control pills for free?

There’s a good chance you can get low-cost or free birth control pills if you have health insurance. Because of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), most insurance plans must cover all methods of birth control at no cost to you, including the pill. However, some plans only cover certain brands of pills or generic versions. Your health insurance provider can tell you which types of birth control they pay for. Your doctor may also be able to help you get the birth control you want covered by health insurance. Learn more about health insurance and affordable birth control.

If you don’t have health insurance, you’ve still got options. Depending on your income and legal status in the U.S., you could qualify for Medicaid or other government programs that can help you pay for birth control and other health care.

Planned Parenthood works to provide services you need, whether or not you have insurance. Most Planned Parenthood health centers accept Medicaid and other health insurance. And many charge less depending on your income. Contact your local Planned Parenthood health center for more information.

Where can I get birth control pills?

You can get birth control pills by prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) birth control at many drug stores or online.  

For birth control by prescription, you can get a prescription from a doctor or nurse at a doctor’s office, health clinic, or your nearest Planned Parenthood health center. In a few states, you can even get a prescription online or directly from a pharmacist.

During your visit, a nurse or doctor will talk with you about your medical history, check your blood pressure, and give you whatever exams you may need. Most people don’t need pelvic exams in order to get birth control pills. Your nurse or doctor will help you decide what’s right for you based on your medical history.

You may be able to get your birth control pills right away during your appointment. Or you’ll get a prescription from the nurse or doctor, and you’ll use that prescription to go pick up your pills at a drugstore or pharmacy.

You can also get Opill, an over-the-counter (OTC) progestin-only birth control pill. You can get it without a prescription by buying it directly from pharmacies and online

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The Pill

  • 93% effective

  • Costs up to $50, but can be $0

  • Prescription required

  • Take once a day

The pill doesn’t protect you from  STDs. Use a condom with your pill to help stop pregnancy and STDs.
See All Methods

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