Easy as A-B-C (Affordable Birth Control, that is)
Seriously, has anyone ever turned down a chance for an amazing deal? My heart races when friendly baristas bump me up to a grande. I live for product samples at beauty and health expos. And don’t even get me started on my quests for cheap and chic clothes at the thrift store. Maybe the best things in life can’t always be on the house, but it’s great when they’re affordable. President Obama and his administration realize that too.
On Friday, March 16, the Obama Administration issued a few clarifications to the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections for student health plans. Are you scratching your head? Let me make it simple—beginning in the fall, all out-of-pocket birth control costs will be covered (meaning no copays or deductibles) by most* of the health insurance plans sold to students by their college or university. Of course, your student insurance plan isn’t free—you still have to pay a premium—but with the new policy eliminating those extra costs at the clinic or pharmacy, I think it’s a pretty good deal. And if you’re still on your parents’ insurance (which, also courtesy of the Affordable Care Act, can now cover you until you turn 26!), you may also get this benefit—though for some, it might not be until January 1st of next year. Eventually, almost all health insurance plans will do the same thing.
This is a relief because birth control can be pretty costly. The patch can cash in at $55 while the pill may run you a monthly $25. According to the Center for American Progress, some methods can cost as much as $1,200 a year without insurance. It’s no secret that college costs are pocket drainers—with rising tuition, books, meal plans and housing. With the new coverage of contraceptives, students can pocket that cash and put it towards something useful (like a nice tip for your DJ at drunkaoke – or, you know, that bio textbook you’ve been saving up for).
So there it is. No more excuses for slip ups or Sunday morning regrets! And that, my friends, is priceless in itself.
*Note: Some religiously affiliated colleges and universities may be allowed to take up to a year to put these changes in practice.
[Lead image via Brooke Becker / Shutterstock]