IUDs Can Be Expensive—Here's How To Make Them More Affordable

An IUD can cost about $2,000 without insurance. Luckily, there are programs in place that make this highly effective form of birth control more affordable.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs) have a 99% efficacy rate, making them one of the most reliable forms of birth control; each year, fewer than 1 out of 100 people who use an IUD get pregnant, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

"It's more effective than tying your tubes," said Sophia Yen, MD, CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health, a women-founded and led birth control delivery service.


Two types of IUDs are available: the copper IUD and the hormonal IUD, which releases progestin. But these small, T-shaped devices can be costly.

According to Planned Parenthood, without insurance, the cost of an IUD can be anywhere from $500 to $1,300 but may cost less if you qualify for some government programs, and since IUDs can last three to 10 years, they still might be your most cost-effective option in the long run.

Birth control pills can cost anywhere from $0 per year with most health insurance plans and some government programs or as much as $600 per year without insurance, according to Planned Parenthood.

Here's a breakdown of how much an IUD costs with insurance and without, and ways to make it more affordable.

An IUD With Insurance: $0

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), an IUD should be free if you have insurance. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the ACA requires most private insurance companies to cover FDA-approved birth control prescribed by a doctor.

So if you have insurance, getting an IUD (including the cost of the device, insertion, and removal) should cost you nothing—no copay, and no deductible.

A 2019 study published in Health Affairs on the use and out-of-pocket costs of contraceptives under the ACA found that in 2016, 64% of people with private insurance paid nothing to get an IUD.

The Exception

While your health plan is required to cover different types of birth control such as the IUD, there may be some exceptions that might require that you pay out-of-pocket. For example, your insurance might only cover one type of hormonal IUD out of the four. However, if you are medically required to use a different brand, your insurance must cover it under the ACA, according to CMS.

You may also be charged for IUD removal—which can cost up to $250, depending on where you go, per Planned Parenthood. "Insurance companies often only pay for either removal or placement," said Sarah Yamaguchi, MD, a board-certified OB-GYN in Los Angeles, California. Again, your insurance should technically cover appointments for IUD insertion and removal, but these are some fees you may run into depending on the provider you see.

"For most patients, getting an IUD will at most cost them less than $200 total for everything, and for a lot, it is $0," Dr. Yamaguchi said. "It is important to check your benefits for the cost to you, not whether it is covered."

Programs That Can Help Lower IUD Costs

Here is a rough estimate of how much an IUD can cost without insurance:

Pre-insertion STD testing: $25-$200

Pregnancy test before insertion: $20 or less

Cost of IUD: $400-$1,000

Cost of insertion/removal: $125-$400 (cost of insertion/removal are often bundled together)

Clearly, IUD charges can really add up if you don't have insurance. Some offices do ultrasounds to make sure the placement of the IUD is correct, which could be another $100 to $500.

But there are options for those who can't afford the steep cost of an IUD. Planned Parenthood explains that the Title X Family Planning Program is a national healthcare system that provides important preventative care and reproductive health services to those who can't afford them. Title X clinics offer sliding scale fees for services, which are based on your income.

"If you find a Title X family planning clinic, [an IUD] might be free depending on how much your income is," Dr. Yen said. Most Planned Parenthoods are Title X clinics. Other examples of Title X clinics include academic clinics and FQHCs—Federally Qualified Health Centers—which will provide low-cost or free IUD services. You can find a Title X clinic in your area on the Office of Population Affairs website.

A Quick Review

Choosing the right birth control method depends on several factors, including cost. Talking with a healthcare provider can help you figure out if an IUD is the right birth control method for you and how much it will cost.

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  1. Weisman CS, Chuang CH, Snyder AH, et al. ACA's Contraceptive Coverage Requirement: Measuring Use and Out-Of-Pocket Spending. Health Affairs. 2019;38(9):1537-1541. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05484

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