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Your Guide to Choosing the Right Birth Control for You

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The pill, the ring, IUDs -- these options will soon be free. (Yep, you read that right!) Check out the latest scoop here, and follow our guide to find the best method for you.

What You Need to Know About Birth Control

Are you using the right birth control?

The average woman uses birth control for at least three decades. So you must really like yours, right? Probably not. Seventy percent of women use a BC that they would change in some way if they could, according to a recent survey sponsored by Merck. "Maybe you started taking the pill as a teen for your acne and you're still using it, even though it's tough for you to remember it every day," says Pamela D. Berens, MD, professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Now's a good time for you to reevaluate. Beginning next August you'll no longer have to shell out a copay or meet a deductible for any FDA-approved contraception, thanks to a new federal mandate that insurance companies must pick up the tab.

Birth Control Free-for-All

What you need to know
"You won't have to pay for it, but there are a few caveats," says Dylan Roby, PhD, assistant professor of health services at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health.

Know when your new plan year starts. If it's before next August, you may not get free birth control until 2013. Insurers aren't required to comply with a new regulation halfway through a policy period.

Stay in-network for your ob-gyn visit and pharmacy if you're in an HMO or a PPO. Otherwise you may be responsible for a copay or a full payment for BC if you haven't hit your deductible.

Call your insurer to check coverage. A small number of major corporations have a temporary waiver from the government. If your plan won't cover BC, contact your state insurance agency.

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Nurse200314518 wrote:

I was disappointed with this article featuring "healthy" ways to avoid pregnancy. Hormones, surgeries and devices in my uterus are not what I consider healthy. And what about STDs? No pill or IUD can prevent that and condoms only decrease your risk. Check out this info on ALL of the options, not just the ones that require shutting down your otherwise healthy fertility.

7/29/2013 03:39:29 PM Report Abuse
czechitoutaz1 wrote:

I love my method of family planning! It costs me nothing, after a fifty dollar class and a twelve dollar thermometer. It involves NOTHING invasive, teaches me all about my body, and is a life-long method. It is Natural Family Planning. It's awesome!

4/3/2012 02:31:56 AM Report Abuse
canonick wrote:

No mention of condom & spermicide combo which is highly effective when used together and NO HORMONES!

3/30/2012 03:24:44 PM Report Abuse
rebecca.nicole87 wrote:

I'm a little disappointed nothing is mentioned about Natural Family Planning. As a health magazine primarily read by women, I think it is important to encourage women to learn about their bodies and fertility. NFP can be just as affective as other methods of birth control and does not involve pumping hormones into your body, which can cause serious side effects.

3/30/2012 09:57:08 AM Report Abuse
kh32701 wrote:

Do you REALLY think birth control will be free? The cost WILL be included in the insurance premiums even though it won't be called out. Nothing is free. How idiotic to think that.

2/15/2012 06:42:11 PM Report Abuse

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