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‘I Asked My Partner To Chip In For Birth Control—Here’s What Happened’
With the future of the Affordable Care Act—a.k.a. —totally up in the air, many women (including us) are wondering what the hell is going to happen to our birth control coverage.
Under Obamacare, , insurers are required to cover birth control, annual checkups and screenings at no cost to women. And that coverage has made women's lives easier. Over 55 million women currently have access to birth control and other preventative services with no out-of-pocket costs, which adds up to .4 billion in savings a year, according to a report from the National Women's Law Center.
Fun fact: A recent of more than 1,000 registered voters found that 33 percent of women of reproductive age could only afford birth control if it was or less. And despite the fact that most of us are enjoying super-affordable birth control and the ability to have sex without risking pregnancy (including dudes), 52 percent of guys surveyed said that they have not personally benefitted from a woman in their life having access to affordable birth control.Really, guys?
Another report from the Urban Institute's Survey of Family Planning and Women's Lives found that 63 percent of 1,990 women of reproductive age believe birth control reduces stress in their lives, 57 percent think it helps keep them working, and 54 percent are fully aware of the health benefits that come with it—which go beyond pregnancy prevention.
Plus, two-thirds of women who are using a prescription contraception method reported that the full cost of their BC was covered through all of 2019, either by their insurance or another program (like Medicaid), and only 16 percent of insured women reported a delay or inaccessibility to getting their hands on it in the last year.
While there are still a lot of unknowns, it's very likely that the number of women paying for birth control will rise if and when the ACA is repealed. And let's be real, it's not exactly fair to expect women to cover the full cost when there's usually another person involved when a woman gets pregnant.
So we asked five women to talk to their partners about chipping in to cover the cost. Here's what went down when they said, "Show me the money!"
Watch men answer questions about birth control (spoiler alert—they're clueless):
"My health insurance covers a generic version of my birth control, which would be free, but my doctor suggested I take a non-generic version that isn't covered due to some personal health issues. So I pay a month for it. What's worse, though, is that the company who makes the pill no longer offers a discount, so the price is jumping to per month. That's obviously a huge price difference, especially when you look at it from an annual budget perspective. So I'm currently working with my ob-gyn to see if I can switch to a generic brand that my insurance will cover entirely.
"In the meantime, though, my husband definitely helps cover the cost. We combined our finances when we got married, and we pay for birth control out of our joint account, rather than our individual ones. And when I asked if he would have paid for the cost of the Pill back when we were dating, he said, 'Absolutely. I would have paid at least half.' He also said he wouldn't have a problem going to pick it up in the store, whether it be a prescription or condoms. I love that it was such a chill conversation, and it makes me wish that I had talked with him about it a long time ago. Either way, it makes me feel good knowing he's always willing to share the cost, since a lot of time it feels like birth control is the woman's responsibility."
Related: 7 Things Your Ob-Gyn Won’t Tell You...But Really Wants To
"Back when my husband and I were dating (we've been married for a year now), I started using the NuvaRing, which wasn't totally covered by insurance—it was per monthly prescription.
"So we actually had this conversation about him chipping in to cover the cost of the birth control back then. He said, 'Yeah, duh,' and even went to pick up the prescriptions for me when I needed him to. I always worked crazy hours and could never make it to the pharmacy in time to pick it up myself. In fact, he was on a first-name basis with the pharmacist who knew when and why he was there, and they kind of became friends. I switched to the IUD for a bit, and that didn't cost any money, but am actually having it taken out and am going back to the NuvaRing. I can't even fully express how grateful I am to have a partner who makes me feel like we're a team, and that family planning doesn't rest solely on my shoulders. I know that whenever I need to switch birth control methods I won't be handling it alone." (Enhance the pleasures of intimacy with from the Women's Health Boutique.)
"I have a genetic blood disorder that keeps me from taking any hormonal birth control, so the Pill is not an option, and neither is a hormonal IUD like Mirena and Skyla. Icouldget ParaGard, the copper IUD, as that doesn't release any hormones. But with my family history, it's not something I'm comfortable with right now. So my husband and I are resigned to using condoms as our only form of birth control. Which, to be honest, can get pretty expensive given our active sex life (though I don't keep close track of the exact spending). We've always split the cost, even back when we were dating, and we take turns picking up a box when we run out. It was always a given between the two of us—after all, the condom preventshissperm from entering the no-swim zone—but when I recently sat down and talked with him about it, I was pleasantly surprised by his response. 'No matter what type of birth control we use at any point of our lives, and whether we were married or not, I would help pay,' he said. 'I just think that's the right thing to do. And for us, specifically, you have a medical condition. Why should you have to pay for that by yourself when condoms stopbothof us from becoming parents before we're ready? Guys who think women should have to pay for it because it's the Pill, the IUD, or whatever are assholes.' Yeah, I picked a good one."
Related: 5 Things You Should NEVER Do After Sex
"My birth control is free under insurance offered by my employer (#thanksObama), but if that weren't the case it would cost about .01 per pill, which adds up to just under 0 a year. That's a lot of money. And when I told my boyfriend about it, asking if he would help cover those costs if the situation ever called for it, he answered in his typical pragmatic and dry manner. He pointed out that the issue was moot because the governor of New York enacted a regulation that requires insurers to provide free birth control coverage in direct response to the Trump administration (#thanksCuomo). Still, I pressed him to answer the hypothetical. Here's how that conversation went:
Me:What if my insurance didn't cover my birth control. Would you go halfsies?
Me:Would I need to ask you, or would you volunteer?
Dave:I would volunteer.
Me:What if it only cost like a month?
Dave:Hmm, I guess the price would seem too nominal unless you asked me to help.
Me:What if it cost me ,000 a month?
Me:I guess I'd have to have a lot more sex with you to make that worth your while.
Dave:Laughs. That's a good point. You would have to have alotmore sex with me to make it worth my while. Jeez, what would I require? Four times a week?
Me:At what price point is the cost nominal? a month? ?
Dave:I guess . Once it becomes it's worth splitting. I would take it off your monthly bill. (We split rent, utilities, groceries, garbage pickup, Netflix and cable each month.)
Me:So, talk about why, on principle, you would be willing to go halfsies for birth control.
Dave:Because it keeps me from becoming a dad. Because I don't want to have anal sex. Because you don't offer blow jobs on demand. And because I can only achieve completion knowing that you won't be pregnant.
Me:*Hard eye roll*
That about sums it up."
Related: Vagina Dos and Don'ts: A Guide to Keeping Her Happy and Healthy
"Jared and I already have one daughter, but I got the ParaGard put in three years ago, which was free because of my military insurance coverage. Now that a Trump administration is in charge, I'm not really sure what will happen to our coverage, seeing as the White House deleted its Joining Forces page—which works to support veterans, active military members, and their families—shortly after President Trump was sworn into office. So when I asked Jared if he would help cover the cost of any birth control changes, he said 'of course' like it was a stupid question for me to ask. It's a choice that we've both made to not have more children at this time, and since he isn't willing to get snipped just yet, he said that he would definitely support me financially in taking preventative measures. My current birth control is good for about seven more years, but I've had medical issues with it so a switch might be necessary in the future.
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