Plan B for Pharmacists

A 2022 guide to supporting patients after Roe

LAST UPDATED 06/29/2022

Here's how pharmacists can help patients access Plan B.

  • The Supreme Court has overturned Roe V. Wade, a landmark decision protecting safe & legal abortion nationwide.

  • Plan B is a commonly used emergency contraceptive that is available over the counter without a prescription

  • Plan B may be unaffordable without a prescription or insurance coverage

  • There are options for getting Plan B covered by insurance at the pharmacy

Scripted Pharmacist FAQ:

How do I get my patient's insurance to cover Plan B?

 

Get the most important info in this 2 minute video.

What is Plan B?

Plan B is an emergency contraceptive used for preventing pregnancy following unprotected or inadequately protected sex. Plan B is a backup method of preventing pregnancy and should not be used as regular birth control. It is not effective in a person who is already pregnant.


Plan B should be used as soon as possible following unprotected sex. You can take it up to five days from unprotected sex but it works better if you take it within three days. Plan B comes as a one-dose or a two-dose option. For the two-dose option, one pill is taken 12 hours after the first pill. The one-dose option, Plan B One-Step, is double the strength of the two-dose series and you only need to take one.

Do you need a prescription for Plan B? How much does it cost?

Plan B is available over-the-counter without a prescription or age restriction but the cost can be a barrier.

Plan B typically costs $40-$50 with alternative products such as Aftera, My Way, and Take Action costing $12-$40. The brand you buy or how much you pay for it does not matter as long as it is a levonorgestrel morning-after pill.

The generics work just as well as the brand Plan B and provide a more affordable option.

 

Plan B One-Step has an available coupon for $10-off on their website.

Where to get a Plan B pill free with insurance

Plan B is fully covered if — FREE! — you use your insurance to fill the prescription.

To use your insurance at a pharmacy, you most often need a prescription from your medical provider. In many cases, pharmacists can prescribe Plan B directly to patients.

There are currently seven states that allow pharmacists to dispense Plan B and use your insurance. They can do so through state-approved protocol or collaborative practice agreements without obtaining a prescription in advance from a doctor.

These states include:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • Washington

To find a pharmacy in one of these states, use the pharmacy locator. Not insured? There are still options to get Plan B for free — You may be able to get Plan B from family planning clinics and Planned Partnerhood health centers.

Is Plan B covered by Medicaid?

If you have Medicaid and live in one of the following five states, you can get Plan B, or one of its alternatives, for free without a prescription.

  • Arkansas
  • Georgia (if you’re under 17 years old)
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • New York

Does Plan B expire?

Plan B has an expiration date of about four years on average. You can plan ahead by purchasing Plan B or one of its alternatives when it fits your budget and keep it around if need be.

Since Plan B is best taken within three days of unprotected sex, finding money for Plan B may be difficult on short notice and already having it in the medicine cabinet can be a relief.



Have questions? Get a free consultation from a Scripted expert.

More resources

Scripted - Pharmacist Provide Care

References:

  1. Plan B Morning-After Pill | How Plan B Works & Side Effects. Planned Parenthood. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/morning-after-pill-emergency-contraception/whats-plan-b-morning-after-pill. Published 2021. Accessed December 7, 2021.
  2. Pharmacist Provision of Emergency Contraception to Women Without a Doctor’s Prescription. Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/state-indicator/pharmacist-provision-of-ec/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D#note-1. Published 2021. Accessed December 7, 2021.
  3. Medicaid Coverage of Emergency Contraceptives. Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/womens-health-policy/state-indicator/medicaid-coverage-of-emergency-contraceptives/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D. Published 2015. Accessed December 7, 2021.

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