NPR: Contraception Is Free To Women, Except When It's Not



For Stephanie Force, finding a birth control method that she likes and can get without paying out of pocket has been a struggle, despite the Affordable Care Act's promise of free contraceptives for women and adolescent girls in most health plans.


The 27-year-old physician recruiter in Roanoke, Va., was perfectly happy with the NuvaRing, a flexible vaginal ring that women insert monthly to release hormones to prevent pregnancy. But her insurer, Anthem, stopped covering the branded product and switched her to a generic version in early 2020. Force says the new product left her with headaches and feeling irritable and short-tempered.


After talking to her OB-GYN, Force tried an IUD. But that made her feel worse: She had bad cramps, gained 10 pounds and developed severe hormonal acne. Plus, she was charged $248 for an ultrasound her provider used to guide the insertion of the device, a charge she successfully fought.


Force also considered a couple of birth control products approved in recent years: a non-hormonal vaginal gel called Phexxi and a vaginal ring called Annovera that can be used for a year. But Phexxi isn't covered by her employer health plan, and she would owe a $45 copayment for Annovera.


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INDICATION

Phexxi® is an on-demand method of birth control used to prevent pregnancy. Phexxi is not effective when used after sex.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Rare cases (0.36%) of bladder and kidney infection have been reported. If you have a history of urinary tract problems that keep coming back, you should not use Phexxi®.

Contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing genitourinary side effects such as vaginal burning, itching, discharge, genital discomfort (including in male partners), yeast infection, urinary tract infection or bacterial vaginosis.

Phexxi does not protect against any sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Avoid using Phexxi with a vaginal ring.

Avoid Phexxi if you or your sexual partner is allergic to lactic acid, citric acid, potassium bitartrate, or any of the ingredients in Phexxi. Stop using Phexxi if you develop an allergic reaction.

For more information about Phexxi, talk to your healthcare provider and see full Product Information.

 

Please report side effects by contacting Evofem Biosciences® toll-free at 1-833-EVFMBIO or contact FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Phexxi and the Phexxi logo are registered trademarks of Evofem Biosciences, Inc. Trademarks, registered or otherwise, are the property of their respective owner(s).

INDICATION

Phexxi® is an on-demand method of birth control used to prevent pregnancy. Phexxi is not effective when used after sex.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Rare cases (0.36%) of bladder and kidney infection have been reported. If you have a history of urinary tract problems that keep coming back, you should not use Phexxi®.