8 Ways to Get Cheap (or Free) Plan B Emergency Contraception
Plan B is an effective form of emergency conception that can help prevent pregnancy. It’s widely available at many retailers, both online and in-store.
But just because something is available over-the-counter doesn’t always mean it’s affordable.
You can get Plan B One-Step, also known as the morning-after pill, for about $45 to $60 at most major retailers, including CVS, Target, Walmart and Walgreens. You don’t have to provide a prescription, identification or your age.
There are also generic versions — including Take Action, My Way and After Pill — that cost less, anywhere from $11 to $40.
The brand of emergency contraception you buy doesn’t matter — all brand-name and generic morning-after pills with levonorgestrel work the same.
8 Ways to Get Cheap Plan B
How much you pay for emergency contraception depends on several factors, including the brand you buy, where you get it and if you have health insurance.
Here are eight tips to save money on Plan B and its generic alternatives.
- Buy Plan B before you need it
- Use this $10 off coupon from Plan B
- Look for generics
- Visit Planned Parenthood or a health department clinic
- Go to your campus health clinic
- Order directly from the company
- Use your health insurance
- Check online providers
1. Buy Plan B Before You Need It
The best way to save money on emergency contraception is to buy it in advance.
Otherwise you may be stuck paying more than $50 for a single (albeit very important) pill at your nearest drugstore simply because it’s the fastest, easiest option.
Plan B contains levonorgestrel, which works by delaying ovulation and preventing pregnancy. (It is not an abortion pill, which terminates a pregnancy.)
Having a package or two of Plan B ready to go in your medicine cabinet saves you time, which is of the essence with levonorgestrel pills.
Plan B and similar medications are best used within 72 hours of unprotected sex — and it’s most effective when used within 24 hours.
Putting a pack on the top of your shopping list not only gives you peace of mind — it also gives you time to shop around for the best deal.
Levonorgestrel morning-after pills have a shelf life of about four years, so make sure to keep track of the expiration date on the box when you purchase it.
Don’t Rely on Prime One-Day Shipping Either
We’ve all gotten spoiled by Amazon’s mind-blowingly fast delivery times.
But if you need the morning-after pill — well, the morning after — don’t hold your breath.
Amazon, along with other major stores and pharmacies, is struggling to keep up with demand for emergency contraception following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in late June.
That can mean longer-than-usual delivery times.
When we checked in early July, Amazon was completely sold out of two Plan B options. The soonest delivery for Plan B sold by a third-party seller was more than a month away (even with Prime).
Amazon and several other retailers initially put purchasing limits on Plan B after the Supreme Court’s decision became public. Some were lifted in July.
2. Use This $10 Off Coupon From Plan B
The manufacturer of Plan B offers a $10 off coupon you can print from its website.
Or if you already purchased Plan B, you can submit your receipt online or mail it in for a $10 money-back rebate. You can also track the status of your rebate online.
A head’s up from Plan B’s website: You can’t use a coupon and a rebate together.
3. Look for Generics
Plan B One-Step is the best-known brand name of levonorgestrel pills. It first hit the market in the 1990s.
It’s also the most expensive option, and plenty of more affordable generics now exist.
Generic names of Plan B include:
- Next Choice One Dose
- My Way
- Take Action
- Option 2
- My Choice
- New Day
Many times, you’ll pay a fraction of the cost — and get the same active ingredient and effectiveness — by using a Plan B generic.
On Amazon, for example, you can buy Plan B for more than $40, but the generic My Way costs around $15. Buy a six-pack of My Way and you could save even more, down to about $10 a pill.
Similarly, on Walmart.com, Plan B goes for $40-plus, while the generic My Choice sells for around $10.
4. Visit Planned Parenthood or a Health Department Clinic
If you live near one of the 600 Planned Parenthood clinics in the United States, you can typically get Plan B for as low as $40.
Simply stop in to a Planned Parenthood and pick it up — you don’t need to make an appointment, show ID or disclose your age.
If you can’t afford to pay full price, the clinic can provide the morning-after pill to you for free or at a reduced cost. This is probably the fastest, cheapest option for people with lower incomes.
You may be able to get a few packs of emergency contraception from Planned Parenthood each year.
The best way to see if you qualify for a free or discounted pill is to call your local Planned Parenthood and ask.
You can also check your state’s health department website for clinics in your area.
Many health departments offer family planning or women’s health care services — including emergency contraception — on a sliding scale.
You can use this family planning clinic locator from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to find a clinic near you.
5. Go to Your Campus Health Clinic
If you’re a college student, your campus health clinic can provide emergency contraception, usually at a reduced cost or for free.
Some clinics dispense pills on-site, while others may provide you with a coupon or voucher to use at an off-campus pharmacy.
Keep in mind your campus clinic may be open for limited hours or only Monday through Friday.
Vending machines have become a popular way to provide 24-hour access to emergency contraception on college campuses.
From big-name schools like Stanford and Dartmouth to small rural campuses, more places of higher education are offering these discreet, easy-to-use machines.
Calling your student health center is the best way to find out what your college offers.
If you’re in high school, you can stop by the school nurse’s office and ask if they provide emergency contraception to students or can offer a referral.
6. Order After Pill for $20 Directly From the Company
If you’re buying emergency contraceptives for a “just in case” and not a “need it right now” situation, you can get After Pill for $20 plus $5 shipping through the manufacturer’s website.
If you need the medication quickly, look elsewhere. After Pill won’t arrive for at least five to seven business days.
7. Use Your Health Insurance
You could pay $0 for Plan B and similar drugs if you have health insurance or Medicaid.
While you don’t need insurance to buy Plan B — it’s an over-the-counter drug — a doctor or health care professional can still write a prescription for it so your insurance covers the cost.
If you go this route, you may pay $0 out of pocket, especially if you have Medicaid or you’ve already met your yearly insurance deductible.
Even if insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of the prescription — maybe because you’re enrolled in a high-deductible health plan — you can use an app like GoodRx to find the cheapest pharmacy in your area.
When we checked in July, filling a Plan B prescription without insurance was as cheap as $10.55 and typically between $11 and $13 from several pharmacies.
You can buy the morning-after pill with a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA). Both offer tax-savings on medical expenses.
8. Check Online Providers
If you’re tight on time, Nurx and Wisp can call a prescription into your local pharmacy for generic Plan B. Nurx also offers overnight shipping (for $15 more) on Ella, a different type of emergency contraceptive that’s effective for up to five days.
If you’re not in a rush, these companies can send you emergency contraception with free shipping in three to five business days.
You’ll generally save the most money with Favor and Nurx when you use your health insurance and opt for standard shipping.
Nurx offers New Day, the generic equivalent of Plan B, for as low as $0 with insurance or $20 without insurance. However, Nurx also charges a $15 consultation fee, whether you have insurance or not.
Favor offers generic Plan B without a prescription for $15. You’ll pay a $15 consultation fee, which may be covered if you have insurance.
These companies also sell other items by mail, including birth control pills, home pregnancy tests and condoms.
When You Need Emergency Contraception Right Now
Time is of the essence when it comes to emergency contraception.
If you need Plan B now, your best bet is to go to a nearby drugstore or family planning center ASAP.
Remember: Plan B and similar pills are only 61% effective if used within 48 to 72 hours of unprotected sex — and 95% effective if used within 24 hours. So the sooner you take it, the better.
At the store, look for generic Plan B or use a $10 off coupon to save money — without sacrificing time.
You can find Plan B by using this tool on the company’s site, which notes retailers with curbside pickup and same-day delivery options.
Emergency contraception is legal in all 50 states as of July 2022.
No prescription or ID is required to buy the morning-after pill. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what your gender is.
However, finding emergency contraception pills isn’t always easy.
Pharmacies across the country have placed order limits on emergency contraceptives, while others are struggling to keep the pills in stock as demand rises.
To complicate matters more, pharmacists in six states are allowed to refuse to dispense contraception for any reason, including personal beliefs, according to data compiled by the Guttmacher Institute.
Even when a store is stocked, it may keep the morning-after pill locked up to prevent theft or behind the pharmacy counter.
If you don’t see Plan B in the family planning aisle of a store, ask the pharmacist where to find it.
Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.