Should I get an IUD or shot while I’m still covered?


Millie, I’m nervous that with new administration, I won’t be able to afford birth control pills. Should I get an IUD or shot while I’m still covered? What kinds of options do I have? And how do I know if I’m covered? – Panicked About the Pill

Finding birth control that’s right for your body—and insurance—can get tricky.

First things firsts, get to know your insurance! If you have private insurance, chances are you’re covered with no co-pay. Not all insurance policies are required to provide birth control, but most are. If you don’t have private insurance, you may still qualify.

For a quick way to find out, visit and answer some questions to find out how and where you can get free birth control.

About the IUD panic: don’t panic. While the Affordable Care Act is in hot water, any changes will take time. In addition, you may still qualify for you preferred form of birth control with no co-pay, depending on your insurance plan. (Another great reason to stay on parent’s insurance, if you can!)

If you’re ready to switch methods, though, get ready for some research and a doctor visit.

Quite a few options are available for birth control outside of the daily pills. IUDs, or intrauterine devices, are a popular choice for long term birth control. You can opt for devices with or without hormones, and they last anywhere from 8 to 12 years. Implants, vaginal rings, and birth control shots are some of the other options available.

Visit the Planned Parenthood website for a listing of birth control methods, their explanations, and effectiveness.

Birth control brands, like Mirena and Implanon, also have their own websites with information about their products.

Remember that every body works differently—the pill may work the best for some, but others may prefer IUDs. Some women may feel best with hormone-based birth control, but others might need hormone-free options like the copper IUD. It’s important to find birth control that fits your needs, your body, and your coverage.

If you do decide to get an IUD or another longer term form of birth control, make sure you talk to your doctor about your insurance concerns. Most clinics and offices will have resources to help you navigate insurance, coverage, and any possible payments. Navigating medical insurance is never easy—don’t be afraid to ask for help!

Overall, make sure to do research on birth control methods, how your insurance may affect your preferred method, and most importantly—talk to your doctor!

— XO, Millie