California Women Are the Luckiest Women, Because They Can Get a Year of Birth Control All at Once
I’ve never understood the rule that made it so I could only get three months of birth control at a time. It’s the same medication. I’m just going to take one pill a day every day at the same time, same as always. The birth-control situation was such a part of my daily routine I felt like the situation could be improved by dropping the pills from a little pellet-dispenser mounted to the wall by my bed as though I were a pet guinea pig. But still, I was only ever allowed to get three months’ worth of pills at a time, meaning that every three months I’d suddenly wake up like, “Ah crap, must get prescription refilled immediately!” and be thrown into an “I need new birth control” panic. (I am not very good at remembering basic errands without panic as a motivator. I run out of toilet paper at least twice a month.)
On certain insurance plans I’ve had in the past, I was even stuck getting a new refill every single month, because the insurer would only cover 30 days at a time. That was desperately obnoxious. But now women in California are going to be spared that annoyance, because starting next year, according to The Cut,Â they’ll be able to get a year’s worth of birth control pills, patches, or rings at a time.
While giving a year’s supply of birth control at a time is certainly a nice convenience, it’s a lot more than that.Â Not only does having access to a year of birth control all at once save women from last-minute pill refills and the annoyance of an extra errand, but it’s reportedly very effective at helping prevent accidental pregnancies. Researchers say that women getting 12-month supplies of birth control have 30 percent fewer accidental pregnancies than women getting 30- or 90-day supplies.
Reducing the rates of unintentional pregnancies is one of the most effective ways of reducing the number of abortions. It also saves the state a ton of money. Dispensing birth control prescriptions 12 months at a time sounds like a win-win for basically everybody involved.