While Democrats attempt to use the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision as a political weapon against Republicans, the fact is women can purchase birth control for as little as $3.77 per month.
Writing at his blog called the Self-Pay Patient, Sean Parnell, author of a book by the same name, helps people who are paying for their own healthcare to find avenues for the highest quality, inexpensive options. His latest post addresses purchasing birth control.
Neither Parnell nor this author are claiming to endorse artificial birth control, but while the Obama administration tries to whip uninformed women into a frenzy about how Republicans don’t want them to have birth control, it’s good to revisit how easy and inexpensive it is for women to purchase it on their own.
“The first (and pretty much only) thing for people to understand is that shopping for birth control pills as a self-pay patient is no different than shopping for any other sort of prescription medicine as a self-pay patient,” writes Parnell.
He recommends finding the best deals on all prescription drugs at GoodRx or WeRx, online platforms that allow visitors to see the various cash prices of retail pharmacies in their area. As is the case with many other drugs, the brand names are often much more expensive than the generic versions.
For example, Parnell says GoodRx cites Yaz, one of the leading birth control pills on the market, as costing between $88 and $92 in the Alexandria, Virginia area, while the generic versions (Gianvi, Vesture, Lonyra) can cost between $31 at CVS and $60 at Target.
Seasonale costs about $90 per month at local pharmacies, but generic versions cost about $20 per month at Rite Aid, CVS, and Walgreens.
However, for those women for whom $20 a month for birth control is still too much, there are plenty of less expensive options.
With a coupon, generic Aviane, for instance, is $11 at Walgreens, $12 at CVS, and $13 at Rite Aid. Sprintec, also a generic, is $9 per month at Walmart and Target.
Less expensive yet are Philith and Gildagia, generic versions of Ovcon. These are available at Target as well as local membership warehouses such as Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s, for $3.77 per month. The same generics are available at Walmart, Safeway, and CVS for about $6 or $7.
…[G]iven the fairly widespread availability of birth control pills for $20 per month or less, it seems reasonable to think that most employed women who as a result of the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling find themselves as self-pay patients for at least this area of their healthcare should have relatively little trouble finding something that fits their budget.
In fact, because of the way third-party payer healthcare tends to drive up costs (particularly for relatively inexpensive things, like birth control) it’s entirely possible that most women will actually save money on birth control simply by paying directly for it.
“In the end, however one feels about the Supreme Court’s ruling in this case, it may be a financial winner for working women who will now be able to save money by paying directly for their birth control,” Parnell concludes.