Healthy Body

Cheap (or Free) Plan B Options: Easy Ways To Access the Morning-After Pill

Photo: Getty Images/PixelsEffect
As demand surges for emergency contraceptives following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, retailers such as Amazon, CVS, and Walgreens, among others, put limits on the purchase of such drugs, including the widely popular Plan B.

Making emergency contraception accessible to everyone is not just a matter of whether Plan B is on the shelves of your local pharmacy—it’s also about price. In the U.S., the morning-after pill costs anywhere from $10 to $70. The reason for such inconsistency among pricing across stores and locations remains a mystery. But the result is that many women who are seeking the pill within the three-day window during which it is most effective find themselves overpaying for it at their closest retailer. That is what motivates us to compile a series of ways you can get Plan B for cheap, or even free, on short notice.

As is always the case with emergency contraception, it’s better to buy the pill before you need it. Plan B, and its generic cohorts like Ella, Next Step, or Next Option, have expiration dates of roughly four years—so you can purchase the pill through one of the methods listed below and feel comfort knowing it’s on hand for your use (or the use of a loved one) in the future.

How To Get Plan B (or similar emergency contraception) for cheap or even free

Delivery services

The era of online gynecology is here, and we never want to go back. While many of us are already converts to getting our primary birth control mailed to us from services like The Pill Club and Nurx, many do not know that you can get emergency contraception delivered overnight from these companies as well.

If you have insurance, you can order a generic version of Plan B from The Pill Club for $0. If you are uninsured, you can order the same pill for $28—which is still cheaper than you’ll find it priced in some stores. If you sign up for a monthly birth control plan with The Pill Club, you can even receive a free box of Plan B with your first order.

Meanwhile, Nurx offers two emergency contraceptive pills: Ella and New Day. If you have insurance, you can do a $15 virtual consult with Nurx and order Ella for free. If you’re paying out of pocket, the cheapest option is to order New Day, which is $20. The only drawback of the New Day pill is that it is less effective for women over 165 pounds—so, if you fall into this category, it’s better to opt for Ella.

You can also order the After Pill, a generic Plan B, for just $20 directly from the company's website. However, if you need a morning-after pill right now, the After Pill will not ship in time, so it's a good option only if you’re looking to keep a pill in your medicine cabinet for future use.

For a faster turnaround, Amazon sells My Choice ($15), an emergency contraceptive pill that contains the same active ingredient that is in Plan B (levonorgestrel). It’s available for Prime one-day delivery and boasts over 5,600 five-star reviews from people who have successfully used the pill to prevent pregnancy.

Coupons and cheap in-store options

No matter what kind of prescription you’re looking to fill, always search for the drug’s name on GoodRx before you hand over your credit card. GoodRx is a coupon database that searches for discounts on prescriptions, and will shave $10 to $15 off the final price of Plan B at Walgreens, Target, and CVS. GoodRx coupons can only be used if you have a prescription from a doctor—so, while this is a great, money-saving option if you have a script, but it’s not going to work for everyone.

Luckily, there are several stores where you can find Plan B for cheap, too. Costco is one such place, where you can buy a generic Plan B for around $8, whether or not you are currently a club member. Walmart sells My Choice for just $12 in-stores and online. But because pricing on emergency contraception is so inconsistent, the in-store prices may vary depending on your location.

Safety net clinics

While the price of Plan B at Planned Parenthood is typically $30 with insurance and $50 without insurance, special allowances are often made in cases where the person seeking emergency contraception cannot afford to pay full price. Planned Parenthood’s given many women the morning after pill for a low-price or even free. The best way to learn whether you qualify for a discounted pill is to call your local Planned Parenthood and ask.

If you’re currently a student, the same is true of your school’s sexual health clinic. Pricing and availability of emergency contraception varies so greatly from university to university, that your best bet is putting in a call to student health services. At schools who make the morning after pill accessible to students, many students report having purchased it for just $10 to $25 or being given a coupon to pick it up at a local pharmacy.

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