Plan B is an emergency contraceptive that can be found over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. For brand-name Plan B, you can expect to pay close to $50 but should be taken shortly after unprotected sex to be effective. Other generic forms of Plan B exist at a cheaper cost, and many family clinics and health insurance plans cover the cost of emergency contraception or at discounted rates.
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The Cost of Plan B without Insurance
Under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans cover FDA-approved prescriptions for emergency contraception and birth control at no cost, including Plan B. Since Plan B can be bought over-the-counter (OTC) at a pharmacy without a prescription, you can call your insurance company to determine if your plan offers coverage of the OTC contraception. You may need to get a prescription from your doctor if you want your insurance to cover the costs.
Plan B Cost at Different Clinics & Pharmacies
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Factors that Influence the Cost of Plan B
As you can see, the cost of Plan B can vary depending on the pharmacy, but other factors affect the cost of emergency contraception. Generic versions of Plan B exist, and costs can be covered by insurance or made more affordable at your local health clinic.
Brand Name vs. Generic Name
Like other OTC drugs and prescriptions, brand-name products are usually more expensive than the generic version. Buying Plan B OTC will likely be more expensive than the brand name alternatives. CVS carries a generic version of Plan B called Aftera for $40, and Walmart carries the generic version My Choice for about $12. Many other pharmacies carry various generic brands and usually at a more affordable cost than the brand name Plan B.
Below is a breakdown of costs for generic forms of Plan B. Not every generic form can be found at each pharmacy, but you should be able to find at least one of these affordable alternatives.
Generic Plan B Costs
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If you have insurance, your health plan likely covers the cost of birth control and emergency contraception. You would need a prescription for the cost to be covered. For Plan B to be effective, it should be taken within 3-5 days of unprotected sex, so while you may want to get a prescription, remember that one should be proactive in trying to obtain this prescription as soon as you think your birth control method may have failed.
Community and Health Clinics
If you do not have insurance, you can also call your local community health clinic to ask about their rates for emergency contraceptives. Local community and family health clinics often offer access to emergency contraceptives, such as Plan B, at little to no cost to you. HHS has an online tool for searching for family planning clinics in your area.
Plan B Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There are many things to consider when determining whether to take an emergency contraceptive, such as Plan. Below are a few answered frequently asked questions to provide more insight.
What is Plan B?
Plan B is emergency contraception that can help keep you from getting pregnant after unprotected sex or if your birth control method failed. This form of contraception does not require a prescription and can be found at your local pharmacy. Plan B One-Step has many other generic versions you may find over-the-counter such as AfterPill, My Way, Next Choice One Dose, and Take Action.
How does Plan B work?
Emergency contraception pills work by preventing or delaying ovulation - the release of an egg from an ovary. Emergency contraception may prevent the fertilization of the egg by the sperm if ovulation has already happened. Although, if a fertilized egg has already been implanted in the uterus indicating pregnancy, emergency contraceptives will not stop the pregnancy nor harm the pregnancy.
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When should I use Plan B?
Using Plan B or any other emergency contraceptives is a personal choice. If you are trying to prevent pregnancy, you should consider using Plan B if you did not use birth control or suspect your birth control did not work. Many forms of birth control exist, so what constitutes birth control failure may depend on the form of birth control you typically use. For a list of birth control methods and examples of what can go wrong, the Office on Women’s Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has listed out potential failures of birth control.
How quickly should I use emergency contraception after unprotected sex?
Ideally, you should take emergency contraception, such as Plan B, as soon as possible after unprotected sex. For Plan B or the other generic versions, you should take the pill within three days or 72-hours after unprotected sex. Another form of an emergency contraceptive pill is called Ella, which can be purchased online with a prescription and is said to be more effective than Plan B, especially for those who weigh between 155-195 pounds. Ella can prevent pregnancy if taken within five days after unprotected sex.
Are there age restrictions for buying Plan B or other emergency contraceptives?
There are no age restrictions for purchasing Plan B! This was not always the case and required an ID-check to purchase. Previously, you needed to be 17 years of age to purchase Plan B. While many packages may say they are intended for women 17 years of age and older, anyone can now purchase emergency contraceptives without a prescription.
Is Plan B FDA-approved?
Plan B became FDA-approved in 2013, but a total of four emergency contraceptives have been approved, three of which, including Plan B, have been approved for preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sex.
Plan B is available over-the-counter at nearly every pharmacy but is not the only option for emergency contraception. While Plan B is the brand name emergency contraceptive, many less expensive alternatives exist under generic versions. If you have insurance, you can obtain a prescription to cover the costs of emergency contraceptives, and many health clinics will also provide emergency contraception at a lower cost to you, even without having insurance.
Mira provides up to 80 percent off over 1,000 prescriptions, including Plan B and other emergency contraception. A Mira membership also offers affordable rates for doctor’s office and urgent care visits, and even preventative lab screenings. Try Mira today!