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When it comes to birth control, the pricing can vary as widely as the methods. Long-acting reversible contraception, like the implant and the IUD, may be the most effective at preventing pregnancy. But, they can also be some of the most expensive, costing more than $1000. Fortunately, health centers like Planned Parenthood are participating in a new Missouri-wide initiative to help people access the full range of birth control methods.

What is The Right Time initiative?

The Right Time initiative is a six-year, statewide initiative to help Missourians, including those who are uninsured or underinsured, to receive quality contraceptive services. Participating health centers like Planned Parenthood seek to empower individuals to take control of their health by improving information about, and removing barriers to, contraception. All methods of contraception, except emergency contraception, tubal ligation and vasectomies, are accessible through The Right Time initiative. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce Missouri’s rate of unintended pregnancy by 10 percent by 2024.

Who can get low-cost or free birth control at Planned Parenthood?

Anyone who is uninsured or underinsured can get free or low-cost birth control at Planned Parenthood. “Underinsured” would include those who have a high deductible, high copay, and/or who have insurance that won’t cover the contraceptive method of their choice. People who have health insurance, but who may not have a local provider who accepts their insurance, may also qualify. People who are already on birth control and want to switch methods can also do so through the Right Time initiative.

How does improving access to birth control help Missourians?

Helping Missourians time and space pregnancies through the effective use of contraception improves maternal and child health. Missouri has some of the worst maternal and infant mortality rates in the country, and more than half of all pregnancies in the state are described by the pregnant person themselves are unintended. Helping people decide if, when, and under what circumstances they become pregnant reduces health disparities and helps people complete their education and improve the financial and employment prospects for themselves and their families.

How do I get birth control, especially without insurance?

Four of Planned Parenthood’s Missouri health centers are participating in the initiative: Central West End, South Grand, Springfield and Joplin. There are also 10 other health centers across Missouri who are participating, including locations in Columbia, the greater St. Louis region and Southwest Missouri.

To get the birth control you need, you can give us a call at 314-531-7526 or 417-883-3800. You can even do your visit over the phone if you're unable to come to a health center. You don’t have to know what type of birth control you want before you make the appointment. Our staff can answer any questions you may have or help you compare options or you can learn more about the different birth control methods by visiting therighttime.org or plannedparenthood.org.

Sharell Collins is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri