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April 23, 2024 2:14 pm

Local News

Over-the-counter birth control pill to be available at no cost to BadgerCare members

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by Baylor Spears, Wisconsin Examiner
March 19, 2024

Wisconsin BadgerCare Plus members will be able to access the Opill — the first daily, oral contraceptive pill for use without a prescription — at no out-of-pocket cost.

Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday that he directed the state Department of Health Services to issue a standing order to provide the over-the-counter contraceptive to BadgerCare Plus members at no out-of-pocket cost. Evers first said he would take the action during his State of the State address in January.

“As we see continued attacks on women’s reproductive freedoms here in Wisconsin and across our country, our work to ensure Wisconsinites can access the reproductive healthcare they need when they need it has never been more important,” Evers said in a statement. 

Evers said that having the Opill on shelves across Wisconsin will “expand access to more contraception options while also making it easier for folks to get the contraception they need when it works for them.” 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Opill in July 2023. The Opill is a type of birth control pill — commonly referred to as the “minipill” — that only uses the hormone progestin and is taken daily. The “minipill” was originally approved by the FDA for prescription use in 1973. 

According to Evers’ statement, the pill is becoming available at Wisconsin pharmacies starting Tuesday and in coming weeks. The suggested retail price for the Opill is $19.99 for a one-month supply and $49.99 for a three-month supply. A six-month supply is available on Opill.com for $89.99

BadgerCare Plus, which provides health insurance for low-income children and adults in Wisconsin, already covers over-the-counter daily oral contraception with a prescription from a provider. The standing order will serve as a prescription allowing members to get the pill at no cost and without an appointment. 

DHS Secretary Kirsten Johnson said in the statement that “streamlining access to contraception for BadgerCare Plus members helps them make their own choices about their future.” 

Evers also issued an order to DHS in January to allow BadgerCare Plus members to access over-the-counter emergency contraception at any Wisconsin Medicaid-enrolled pharmacy without a prescription and at no-cost. 

This story is republished from Wisconsin Examiner under a Creative Commons license. Read the original story.