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After spending the summer with your toes in the sand, you’re now looking toward a future full of long hours spent in the library.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional entering your last semester or stepping on campus for the first time, it’s important to know your health care options.   

If you’re leaving your hometown, talk to your healthcare professional beforehand about what birth control option is right for you. 

Here are some tips:

What does my college offer?

Before heading out with your brand new independence, it’s important to know the healthcare options your school offers. So while you’re checking out photos of your dorm on the college’s website, do some research on what services are available at your campus health center.  

Most universities have an on-campus health center. Where is it and when is it open? Does it offer walk-in hours or do you need to make an appointment? Once you know if there’s a health center on campus, find out what services they offer. This varies widely from school to school.

You can always visit your nearest Planned Parenthood health center for birth control, STD testing and treatment, emergency contraception and problem-related visits.

What about insurance and cost?

It’s important to know what services your campus health center offers and how you will pay for them.

Luckily, you’re allowed to stay on your parent’s health insurance until you’re 26 so while you may be “adulting” in some ways you don’t have to “adult” completely. Some require all students to be on their parent’s insurance while others charge students a small fee for each visit.  In most cases, the insurance company will not list the service you received on the bill but it will say where you went for treatment. If you are concerned about your privacy and don’t want your health care visit billed to your insurance, you can always visit your nearest Planned Parenthood health center. Planned Parenthood allows you to pay out-of-pocket for birth control or you can enroll in our Pills Now Pay Later program.

Check this out: Pills Now Lay Later allows you to get up to a year supply of birth control pills that day. Planned Parenthood simply charges your credit card monthly for the pills, a little at a time. This is also an option for a 6 month or 9 month supply.

What type of birth control is right for me?

The pill, IUD’s, the patch - like most things, birth control is not one-size-fits-all. It can easily become overwhelming when trying to pinpoint which one is right for you. To help with the process, meet with a Planned Parenthood clinician to make sure you are using the birth control method that is tailored to your needs.

Check out different birth control methods

How do I get Emergency Contraception?

Accidents Happen. It’s a good idea to keep a box of emergency contraception in your medicine cabinet in case you need it. Before heading off to college, you can stop by Planned Parenthood and pick up a box of emergency contraception also known as Plan B. You don’t need a visit and it costs $40, cheaper than most pharmacies. This is good to have on hand in case you have unprotected sex or the condom breaks during intercourse. Emergency contraception or “morning after pills” can be used after sex to stop a pregnancy before it starts but they need to be taken as soon as possible.

Find a Planned Parenthood near your campus

Our Planned Parenthood clinicians can help you get the care you need. Whether your on-campus options are lacking or you’re already a Planned Parenthood patient, we offer professional, confidential, non-judgmental care you can trust. Search for a health center here or call 1-800-230-PLAN for care when you need it.

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Birds. Bees. Bodies.

a Sexual Health Education and Reproductive Health Blog

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