If you're one of the 62 million American women of childbearing age, we have a question for you: How much do you pay for birth control? Did you know you might be able to save perhaps hundreds of dollars on your contraceptive method, just by asking? Let's back up. We've reached the halfway point in our PriceCheck project.
We're shining a light on notoriously opaque and highly variable health care costs. We're asking you, the members of our community, to share what you've paid for common procedures including mammograms and back MRIs. We found that both screening mammograms and back MRIs could vary in price ten-fold. Now we're moving on to a new health care service: IUDs.
We're asking you to share what you paid for your IUD. The two most widely-used IUDs are Mirena (a hormonally-based IUD) and ParaGard (a non-hormonal product). Both are more than 99 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. Our PriceCheck partner, ClearHealthCosts.com, has surveyed health care providers and lists cash prices for these IUDs in our PriceCheck database.
We've already found that if you're not insured and are paying out-of-pocket for an IUD, these cash prices in the Bay Area range from about $600 to about $1,200. But we also know that what insurers pay for health care tests and treatments varies widely. We're asking you to share what your insurer paid -- and what your copay was.
Right about now you might be thinking that IUDs are supposed to be covered at no copay under rules established by the Affordable Care Act. Isn't that right?