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It's Basically Black Friday for IUDs

A telling pre- and post-Trump birth-control cost comparison.

by Kate Lowenstein
Nov 23 2016, 6:45pm

By now you've heard that there's a rush on intrauterine devices, those little t-shaped things that, per the experts, are the most effective set-it-and-forget-it forms of birth control there is. Since Obamacare's contraceptive mandate kicked in in 2012, IUDs have been relatively affordable. Insurers are required to cover the cost of the device itself, leaving patients to pay a few hundred bucks for the procedure and then make off with five to ten years' worth of pregnancy protection (the hormonal IUD, Mirena, lasts about five years, while the copper one lasts about ten).

To measure just how rational this current birth control frenzy is, healthcare-database site Amino took a closer look at what getting an IUD currently costs in every state, using the median cost of the procedure according to their database:

With the ACA's contraceptive mandate

Cost of an IUD by state, with the ACA's contraceptive mandate

In some cases, the costs could be even less than shown above, because there's some unclear language in the ACA that leads some insurers to fully cover the fees for both the device and the procedure, and other insurers to only cover the device itself. In any case, these are decent prices to pay for years of birth control.

Next, they took a look at what the costs would look like if the ACA protections went away, leaving women saddled with the cost of the device itself and the procedure. This is an estimate of what you might have to pay out-of-pocket if a Trump/Pence administration removes the contraceptive mandate:

Cost of an IUD by state, without the ACA's contraceptive mandate

In other words: Joining in the great birth-control scramble of 2016 might in fact be a level-headed choice. With some luck you could get yourself a contraceptive that will last you through four years of retrogressive healthcare policy.

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