Birth control, as you may have noticed, is under the microscope on Capitol Hill. And access to affordable birth control is under heightened threat since the the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would end the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of no-copay birth control and other women’s health care.
To estimate exactly how much birth control methods could cost you out-of-pocket, health care transparency company Amino analyzed a database of over nine billion health claims from 225 million Americans. Spoiler alert: The findings aren’t pretty.
Amino found that an IUD could run you around $1000, depending on the brand (the median estimate for Mirena is $1,111, while Skyla cost cost around $983 and Paragard around $1,045). IUDs are one of the safest and most effective birth control methods there are, and research shows women’s health care providers use them more than any other method — and so making them inaccessible for women who want them seems like a very bad call.
Amino also looked at tubal ligation, a.k.a. “having your tubes tied.” About 25 percent of U.S. women of reproductive age who use contraception opt for tubal ligation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the AHCA could put the procedure out of reach for many: Under the GOP plan, it could cost about $4,000.
As for other essential health care for women, a standard pap smear could cost $200, an HPV vaccine could cost up to $960 for the full series of shots, and a mammogram could cost an estimated $250.
It’s important to stress these numbers are speculation, albeit informed speculation. The AHCA still has to pass the Senate before it can officially replace the ACA and potentially drive your birth control costs through the roof. If it is is signed into law, we don’t know the extent to which states will take the opportunity to stop covering essential health benefits (the Affordable Care Act currently requires insurers to cover a list of essential health benefits, of which birth control is one. The fact remains, however, that the GOP currently controls the House, Senate, and White House and is attempting to push through legislation that endangers access to women’s health care.
More on birth control:
- This One Simple Birth Control Law Would Be A Game-Changer for Women’s Health
- Senator Patty Murray Breaks Down What You Need to Know About Congressional Attacks on Planned Parenthood
- Your Birth Control Could Be Making Your Life Suck, Study Finds