Access to Birth Control Just Got a Lot Easier With Home Delivery in All 50 States

Photo: Getty Images/Vertigo3d
In coverage of women's healthcare, "access" is a word that dominates headlines in perpetuity. And for good reason: From state to state, access varies greatly when it comes to booking an appointment for an abortion, buying emergency contraceptives, or obtaining a prescription for birth control.

On Tuesday, The Pill Club becomes the first online service to deliver birth control to doorsteps in every U.S. state and Washington, D.C., regardless of insurance coverage—a feat considering more than 19 million women live in "contraceptive deserts" across America. To put this plainly, it's a huge (huge!) step toward closing the accessibility gap for both women who want to start taking the pill as well as those who simply want to skip the monthly visit to the pharmacy.

While The Pill Club is now licensed to deliver medication in all 50 states, it can only prescribe in 35. If you live in one of the 15 states that doesn't legally comply with the company just yet, you'll still need a prescription from a doctor that The Pill Club then transfers into its pharmacy to deliver to you. In zip codes where it is permitted for the company to help you choose a contraceptive, you'll be able to speak with a nurse practitioner via text message to discuss over 100 brand-name and generic options. "Anyone can sign up [online], but there are definitely barriers depending on the state where the patient resides," says Janell Sanford, the company's head of pharmacy. "Every state has different laws and there is an age limit in some states."

Here's what the process looks like: After you've filled out an online health questionnaire that asks you to disclose current medications, medical history, and certain preferences related birth control, a clinician from The Pill Club will contact you directly to go over (via text) your specific needs. If you already have an idea about which hormonal birth control jives with your body, you'll have the opportunity to discuss options and alternatives. "[Patients] can tell us what they prefer and our nurse practitioners will go with the patient preference while also using their expertise and judgement to determine what's correct based on certain factors," elaborates Sanford. They accept all major healthcare plans with a $0 copay and will even throw in emergency contraceptive and a female condom should your insurance comply.

Should you not have insurance, expect to pay a $15 consultation fee and as little as $20 for three months’ worth of birth control. The delivery is always free, though, and guess what? Insurance or not, your delivery comes with bonus gifts like candy, 100 percent organic cotton tampons, or other goodies that make popping the pill a little more fun. Opening a box from The Pill Club is essentially a collective high five in celebration of accessibility for women everywhere.

Here's why some women are ditching birth control altogether. And the rundown on health risks of synthetic options

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