How Much Does Ella Cost Without Insurance?

Alexandra Thompson
Alexandra Thompson23 Aug 2022

Ella is a form of emergency contraception or morning-after pill that can prevent pregnancy up to five days after sex. Compared to other emergency contraception like Plan B, Ella is more effective and about $40 without insurance coverage. However, Ella is only available with a prescription from your doctor or health clinic provider. 

What is Ella?

Ella or ulipristal is a type of emergency contraception used to prevent pregnancy. Ella can be taken up to five days after unprotected sex and lowers your chances of getting pregnant by 85 percent when taken correctly. Ella is one of the most effective emergency contraceptives on the market; however, it typically works better for individuals who weigh between 165 and 195 pounds. if you are under or above the weight range, Ella may not be as effective.  

Like other emergency contraceptives, the sooner you take Ella, the better. The package includes one pill to be taken orally but comes with instructions for more information about the pill. Once taken, the emergency contraceptive binds to the body’s progesterone receptors and blocks the hormone effects on the ovaries by delaying ovulation. Progesterone is the hormone that prepares the body for pregnancy if a released egg is fertilized. 

Cost Comparison Amongst Common Pharmacies     

The 1 30mg tablet dose of Ella costs an average of $47 but can vary depending on the pharmacy, coupons, and rebates that can be applied to the prescription. Under the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare, insurance plans should cover the full cost of FDA-approved emergency contraception. Therefore, if you have Medicaid, you may get Ella at no additional cost. However, you will be responsible for paying the full amount without insurance. 

Below is a cost comparison on the 1, 30mg tablet of Ella at different popular pharmacies without insurance coverage. 

Ella Cost Comparison 

Pharmacy Price of Ella Prescription (1 Tablet) 
CVS $41.61
Walgreens $47.01
Rite Aid $47.07
Walmart $41.61
Target $41.61
Duane Reade $47.01
Wegmans $43.49 
Kroger Pharmacy $42.99 

Source: Good RX

Comparing Ella and Plan B

Ella and Plan B are the top-recommended and FDA-approved emergency contraceptives, despite having some similarities and differences. The two pills contain different hormones, Plan B has levonorgestrel and Ella has Ulipristal,  Plan B also stops ovaries from releasing eggs, while Ella delays and prevents ovulation. Both options are extremely effective in preventing pregnancies. Below is a chart comparing Plan B and Ella. 

Ella Versus Plan B Emergency Contraceptives

Type of Emergency Contraceptive Cost Availability Success Rate Timing 
Ella $40-$50Need prescription from a doctor, pharmacist, or health clinic 99.1% to 97.9%Taken soon after unprotected sex ( within 5 days or 120 hours) 
Plan B $43-58Available OTC without a prescription at most retail stores, pharmacies, and clinics99.4% to 96.9%Taken soon after unprotected sex (within 3 days or 72 hours) 

Source: Healthline, Food and Drug Administration 

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Where to Get an Ella Prescription

Unlike Plan B, which is available over-the-counter at your local pharmacy, Ella is only available with a prescription. However, there are several ways to get a prescription quickly. 

Planned Parenthood Direct App   

Depending on the state you live in, you can get Ella emergency contraception by ordering through the Planned Parenthood Direct App and can pick it up at your nearest Planned Parenthood Center. However, if you don't have a center near you, Planned Parenthood also has a connection with Nurx or PRJKT RUBY that allows you to order online and delivered within a day. 

Planned Parenthood Health Center  

If you have a Planned Parenthood Center near you, you can walk in and get Ella or a prescription for Ella to be sent to your local pharmacy. You may also be able to do a walk-in and other family planning or health clinics in your area.

Calling Your Gynecologist  

If you can contact your regular gynecologist or their respective nurse, you may be able to call and get a prescription sent straight to your local pharmacy without needing to go in for an appointment. 

Directly At Your Pharmacy  

Depending on the state that you live in, you may be able to get a prescription directly from your pharmacy without seeing a doctor or visiting a health center. Call your local pharmacy first to make sure they can write you the prescription and that they have Ella in stock.

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Ella and Emergency Contraceptive Frequently Asked Questions FAQs. 

Below are a few commonly asked questions about the Ella emergency contraceptive and how it interacts with your daily activities and other medications.

What are the side effects of Ella?  

Ella is extremely safe, and side effects are not often reported. Additionally, there have been no reports of serious complications from taking Ella. It's important to note that after taking Ella, it's common for your period to come earlier or later and be heavier, lighter, or more spotty.  

One uncommon and rare side effect of taking Ella is an upset stomach right after you take the pill. If you end up being nauseous and throwing up within two hours of taking the pill, it will not be effective, and you will have to purchase and take it again. 

How do other medications interact with Ella?   

There are a few medications that do not work well with Ella. It's important to tell your nurse or doctor about any medications you are taking when you're getting your Ella prescription; they can help you figure out if Ella is the best option or if you should try a different emergency contraceptive. The supplements and medications that don't work well with Ella:

  • Antibiotic Rifampin
  • Antifungal Griseofulvin
  • Certain HIV Medications  
  • Some Anti-Seizure Medications
  • The herb St. John’s Wort

Can I take Ella with other forms of birth control?  

If you made a mistake with your birth control pill, ring, or patch and take Ella after unprotected sex, you can start using your regular method of birth control again right after your Ella dosage. If you were more than seven days behind on your selected birth control method, you should wait six days after unprotected sex to resume your normal birth control. You should also use a backup method such as condoms during this time, as it can take a few days before your birth control method starts working again. Any questions or concerns about missed birth control method and using Ella should be directed to your doctor or nurse. 

Bottom Line  

Although Ella is prescription-only, there are some benefits to using it instead of the Plan B OTC option. Ella is not only less restrictive with weight requirements, but it also has a higher rate of effectiveness than Plan B. Additionally, Ella is still effective for a long period of time following unprotected sex and, in some circumstances, is covered by insurance plans.  

Mira provides up to 80 percent off several prescription medications, including Ella, Plan B, and other emergency contraception options. Additionally, with a Mira membership, you also have access to affordable primary care doctors, urgent care visits, and preventive lab screening. Sign up today! 

Alexandra Thompson

Originally from Houston, Texas, Alexandra is currently getting her Master's in Public Health with a health policy certificate at Columbia University. One of her life goals is to own her own art gallery!