Unfortunately, some patients may not have access to any insurance coverage or may choose not to use coverage for other reasons. There are some financial support options available for these patients.
Manufacturer assistance programs
Manufacturers of the various LARC methods have programs to provide financial assistance to patients who meet specific qualifications.
Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals established the ARCH Patient Assistance Program to assist low-income patients who do not have insurance coverage for the LARC methods Mirena or Skyla. To qualify, patients must be US residents who do not have access to insurance coverage for an LNG-IUS. The ARCH Program also assesses applicants’ income levels to determine eligibility. Eligible women may have a free LARC method sent to their health care provider, but the program does not cover fees associated with the insertion or removal procedures. To apply, both a patient and her provider must complete a form. The application will be reviewed within approximately two business days of receipt of a complete application packet. Note that this program used to limit the number of LARC methods an entity could receive each year, but in February 2015 the program was re-launched without such limits. More information is available online.
The patient assistance program for ParaGard was discontinued as of July 2014. However, the distributor, ParaGardDirect, allows patients to purchase this method from them directly using a four- or 12-month installment payment plan option. Patients should contact the distributor at 1-877-PARAGARD. See the section on obtaining supplies for more information about patient payment plans.
The distributors of the implant, Curascript and CVS Caremark, offer installment payment options for patients. Curascript offers a 6-month installment payment option with no credit check, while CVS CareMark offers a 3-month installment payment option. To apply for these programs, a healthcare provider must contact the distributors and request instructions for referring patients to the program. See the section on obtaining supplies for the distributor contact information.
Title X family planning program
More than 4,200 family planning health centers across the country make up the network of providers funded by the Title X family planning program administered through the OPA. These providers receive funding to help cover the cost of providing voluntary family planning services and related preventive health services to low-income or uninsured individuals. Title X-funded providers are required by law to charge no fees to patients whose income is at or below 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Additionally, these providers must have a schedule of discounts, based on ability to pay, that applies to individuals with family incomes between 101% and 250% of the FPL.
Title X-funded providers may be able to provide assistance to patients who have no other coverage for LARC methods. Visit the OPA website to find Title X providers, or contact the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association for help connecting with a state’s Title X program.
NOTE: Discounted pharmaceuticals are available to Title X clinics and other covered entities via the 340B Drug Pricing Program. For more information on 340B pricing, see Section 3.3.
Other low-cost clinical settings
Some academic medical institutions – including hospitals, medical schools, and schools of nursing – have health centers that provide low-cost family planning care or provide free LARC methods through grant funding or under research protocols. Providers and patients can check with local hospitals or medical schools to see if such care is available and what patient eligibility criteria may apply.
For example, the Department of Family and Social Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York, established the getLARC program to provide funding and technical assistance to US family medicine graduates choosing to work in federally qualified health centers. Grants awarded through this program may support the stocking of LARC methods, so getLARC-funded programs should be considered as a resource when patients need to explore alternative financial support options.
Additionally, the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at UCSF houses the Ryan Residency Training Program, which aims to integrate and enhance family planning training for obstetrics and gynecology residents. Ryan Program-supported locations may be able to offer support for patients in need of affordable access to LARC methods when they receive abortion or obstetrical care.
In many communities, Planned Parenthood and other community providers offer sliding fee scales or other low-cost alternatives for care. Bedsider has a clinic locator search function that might be helpful for patients seeking low-cost family planning services. In addition, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals has a LARC-specific provider locator tool.