Your Guide to Choosing the Right Birth Control 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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