7:47 pm - 08/15/2009

Since when did the Nuvaring get so expensive?

So I lose my health insurance at the end of the month. I've been on the Nuvaring for a little over 2 years and love it. When I called the pharmacy to ask how much it would be without insurance they said $75. Eeek! I swear when I had to buy one a year ago that wasn't covered by insurance it was only $50, which is still a lot, but $75 is really steep. I called planned parenthood and the student health clinic and neither could really do any better. Costco was around $65 I think. Well since I'm leaving my job to go back to school (hence no more insurance) money is an issue. I've started looking at other forms of birth control. My partner and I already use condoms and would prefer to have a second aspect to our birthcontrol. I know I could try a much cheaper generic hbc pill, but I really am atrocious at taking daily medication, let along something that needs to be taken near the same time every day. I'm just not sure I could trust myself with it. IUD's make me nervous b/c I use a divacup and am not good at breaking the seal. I mostly just tug on it and don't mind the bit of suction it creates.

So I was looking at Implanon. I like that it's long term, but can be taken out at any time if the side effects are too much. i don't like that it's a lot of money up front (Planned parenthood said they'd contact my insurance company to find out exactly what it would cost me, but I haven't heard back from them for a couple weeks even though I've left many messages) If the side effects are too much it's a lot of money down the drain if I have it removed just a couple months after having it put in. (I guess about 30% of women have it removed b/c of irregular bleeding) There's also the fact that in three years I'll have to make sure I have the money to have it removed - but I'm kinda thinking that I'll deal with that in the future.

There's also the deposhot. It's cheaper in the short term - and not terribly more expensive in the long run. I just feel like I've heard so many 'horror stories' of women it didn't work for and they had to deal with the side effects for months and months while they waited for it to work it's way out of their system. On the other hand it is fairly convenient, reasonably affordable, and if it doesn't work for me I've only spent a fraction of the money i would have on implanon.

Does anyone know if irregular bleeding on the deposhot is any indicator of whether or not you will have irregular bleeding with implanon since they are both progesterone based?

Can anyone think of any other birth control methods I should be looking into?

Does anyone know of any ways of getting the Nuvaring cheap that I haven't looked into?

Thanks - this community is always such a great source of information :)
jetaimemoncheri 16th-Aug-2009 03:12 am (UTC)
It's free there? Wow. PP here (Missouri) sells it for $57. I wonder why there's discrepancies in different states?
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 03:17 am (UTC)
get what free? Implanon? Nuvaring? would I have to lie about residency? (I've considered asking my doctor to prescribe Nuvaring off label to my boyfriend since he still has insurance)
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 03:28 am (UTC)
wow tempting - at least for the implanon. (goes off to googlemap the nearest border town with a pp)
jetaimemoncheri 16th-Aug-2009 03:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, Implanon is RIDIC expensive. That would be a pretty sweet deal.
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 03:57 am (UTC)
ok, no clinics seem to be in blythe or needles, I'll keep looking....

I don't know if it's ridiculously expensive or I'm just broke. ;)
parachles 16th-Aug-2009 05:20 am (UTC)
Does your PP not have a sliding scale program for uninsured clients?

Granted the PP I work at is in WA, but we have a sliding scale program for our clients... if you have little to no income you go on SB - which makes Nuva Ring $11 a month. Formulary pills (basically anything other than Yaz or Seasonique - which we have samples of anyhow) $8 a month.

You could try for an IUD before your insurance goes away. Mirena is around $700 full fee (with insertion) and Paragard is around $500 or $600 ff (w/ insertion.) Your insurance may cover at least a portion of either/both... and as they both last awhile you'd be getting your money's worth even if you did have to pay out of pocket.

My clinic is pretty lenient about payment plans too... then again, every PP affiliate is a little bit different. :\

Good luck, though. :)
jetaimemoncheri 16th-Aug-2009 03:11 am (UTC)
I know that irregular bleeding is the biggest side effect of Implanon; eighty-some-odd percent of women as I recall experience that.

I also hate the daily pill-taking, and besides Implanon and IUDs (can you explain again what your issue is with an IUD? I don't think I understand), I'm not sure what other options would be good for you. =(

I also don't know what else to do about the price of Nuvaring. I stayed off it for a little while because I couldn't afford it. The only reason I'm on it now is because I get it free since I work for a gynecologist. All I can suggest is if you're bad about taking the pill everyday but can't afford the Nuvaring....step up your game on taking the pill correctly. I don't know what else to tell you. =(

Sorry I'm of no help, really! I hear you with your problems, though.
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 03:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, I feel so silly saying "i'm just not good at taking a daily pill" when I feel I should just suck it up and do it. But there's been times it was really important for me to take a daily pill (anti depressant) and I stunk at it. I may try this route and hope being a bit more mature now will help - but I do worry about having a bout of depression and messing it up.

IUD's technically aren't suppose to be used with menstrual cup since the suction of removing the cup can pull the iud out of the uterus. Many women do use both successfully but they need to be very sure to break the seal on the inserted cup before pulling it out and I'm not very good at this at all.
jetaimemoncheri 16th-Aug-2009 03:34 am (UTC)
Ohhh, I get it. I've never used Divacup so I was a little confused. Yeah, that would make sense. One of the ladies I work with had an IUD and it came out through her cervix, so yeah, that sounds like it would be a problem

Maybe you have to decide whether it's worth giving up the Divacup to have a BC that works for you that you can afford?
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 03:58 am (UTC)
I know, I'm going to have to make some compromises, but man the diva cup has made periods so much easier for me. I guess I just keep trying till I find a combination that works for me :)
parachles 16th-Aug-2009 05:32 am (UTC)
It should be safe to use Diva Cup with an IUD. (I've never had any problem with my Lady Cup, that is...) You just need to break the suction before you pull your cup out.

Using Instead softcup is supposed to be a problem with IUDs as well... but I've spoken to a lot of clients who had no problems with Instead and their IUD. I've even used Instead cups a few times myself (while I was waiting for my Lady Cup to be delivered) and had no problem (other than with the Instead cup itself... ugh, I'm so glad to be done with Instead!)

Nuva Ring's ff cost is one of the biggest complaints I hear about from our ARNP's, by the by. One of them even told our Nuva Ring rep that she'd rather they skip giving us all those free lunches and make their product cheaper instead! ;)

Good luck, by the way. Having to change BCMs from your "know it, love it" method sucks. :(
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm really bad at breaking the seal, but I suppose I could just practice. I don't have long nails but kept managing to pinch/scratch the inside of my vagina. Not fun! Still, if everybody else can do it I should be able to figure it out too.
nakedfaery 16th-Aug-2009 09:50 am (UTC)

I had light flow for the entire time I had the Implanon in, with the odd day of just spotting, which was the only time I managed to have sex (and got pregnant - argh).

For that and many other reasons, I'm not a fan of Implanon at all but I know a couple of people who have used it successfully without any problems whatsoever.
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
eek!
cadetsandkings 16th-Aug-2009 10:24 am (UTC)
AFAIK, the main concern with IUDs/cups is that there is a 'settling/seasoning' period with IUDs. I used tampons (you could also do a cloth pad) for the first cycle and after that went right back to using my cup, and I literally never even had a single worry about the IUD budging.

When I got it removed the Dr. didn't say anything about it either, and she was looking straight up in there. I really think that it's a somewhat overblown concern (I mean this generally, I'm not saying you should lighten up!!). :) Do give the IUD some further consideration. I'm a big fan.
stefuhkneeee 16th-Aug-2009 03:21 am (UTC)
I have insurance and last year I paid $20 for it and this year my copay went up and now I pay $30 it's not horrible but I still didn't want to have to pay more, so I def. feel your pain.I just love mine so much it's worth the extra money.

I was on the pill before and was pretty bad at taking it on time. What I found really helped me is if I set my cell phone alarm for a certain time, I used 5 pm because it was the time I usually ate dinner so that was another factor that helped me remember. The alarm really helps, especially if you use your cell phone because it's on you almost all the time. I also kept my pill in purse that way if I was out somewhere and my alarm went off I could still take it.

I've heard a lot of horror stories about the shot. I've had two friends get pregnant while on the shot. One when she first started had her period for about 3 months. My cousin used to take it and she said her doctor told her it was affecting her bones and making them brittle. I don't know how much truth there is to that.

I hope I was of some help, and I hope you can find something that works for you!
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 03:27 am (UTC)
my copay was $35 (a non generic non prefered prescription - bleh) and then went up to $40, but still $75 is a big jump. I googled it and it doesn't look like a generic will be coming out until 2018. sigh.

in the past I really haven't kept my phone on me since reception is lousy and I feel weird having it at work. I might try that, but I always turn it off during class so I'd have to remember to turn it back on in time for the alarm to work... Still, may be worth trying.

TWO friends get pregnant on the shot?!? wow, I know things are possible but I've always heard the shot is more effective than the pill b/c you don't have to worry about taking a daily pill. I have heard long term use isn't good for your bones, though I don't know how different this is from other forms of hbc. I'm hopefully only looking into it for about 3 years until I can finish school and get a job with health insurance.
stefuhkneeee 16th-Aug-2009 03:33 am (UTC)
yeah I wish that a generic could be made asap! They would make so much money off of it. I don't even want to get started on health care lol. I feel that birth control should be made more affordable and accessible to people. I mean why wouldn't they want something that's going to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and control spending/population. Sorry didn't mean to go on a rant there.

Yeah two friends, so I've decided never to go on the shot. My cousin had been taking the shot for a while, I wanna say like 4 years or so. I also hear of a significant amount of weight gain with the shot (I don't know how important that is to you)

Your phone doesn't turn back on for the alarm on it's own? I know that my current and previous phones both did that. You might wanna check
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 04:02 am (UTC)
I'm not very phone savvy, so maybe this is the case. I'll check it out.

I do get that if a company spends tons of money developing a new drug, some other company shouldn't be able to immediately take the info and make a generic since there would never be a chance for the company to recuperate costs or make a profit. But still, good affordable birth control does seem like it should be much more accessible. Maybe I'm just being too picky....

I guess I've heard about weight gain with almost every form of HBC so it seems like a fairly universal risk.
indigo_forest 16th-Aug-2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
It's all about Patents. The drug company makes a patent and generics cannot be created til that expires. It sucks, but it is the way of things.
cadetsandkings 16th-Aug-2009 10:21 am (UTC)
You can get little pill cases that are SUPER cute and have alarms on them!
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
"oh, excuse me, my birthcontrol is beeping..." LOL, sorry, it's a great idea but it made me giggle.
nonnycat 16th-Aug-2009 03:47 am (UTC)
If you have AAA, there is a prescription discount. Give the pharmacy your card and they'll run it. Even with that, though, mine is still $65. :-\
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 04:02 am (UTC)
good to know - every little bit helps!
dial_zero 16th-Aug-2009 04:27 am (UTC)
Seriously? I need to look at a big master list of all AAA discounts!
betterbebalboa 16th-Aug-2009 04:46 am (UTC)
I... never knew this before. Thanks!
imindiaunajones 16th-Aug-2009 04:10 am (UTC)
One of the reasons I'm going to switch over to FAM is being of the monthly price of Nuva Ring. Ridiculous!!!

Anyway, someone posted a comment in a Nuva Ring post a couple of weeks-month ago. Apparently you can print out $15 coupons from the Nuva Ring website. I did this last month and it made the price for me $45 instead of $60. Wish I'd known about it sooner. The pharmacist looked at me kind of funky when I gave her the sheet of paper I'd printed, but she ran it all the same.
http://www.nuvaring.com/consumer/global/offers/index.asp

That's pretty much the best advice I can give to you -- aside from the Planned Parenthood suggestion someone gave you above. With any luck, I'll be starting in grad school within the next year (and I won't have a job after next month), and although I have a love/hate relationship with PP, that's probably what I'm going to be using if I need any birth control prescriptions.
cadetsandkings 16th-Aug-2009 10:18 am (UTC)
Ooh! Do you know of any good FAM communities on LJ? I want to try it.
imindiaunajones 16th-Aug-2009 02:55 pm (UTC)
Sure do! fam
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
I'll print off the coupons. $15 off $60 is still a lot, but still better. Thanks!
indigodye 16th-Aug-2009 05:13 am (UTC)
Get an IUD! I was on my Dad's insurance still, so I paid $20 for it, total. So that's $20 for 5 years worth of BC.. not too shabby.
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
I can't think of anything that only costs me $20 on my insurance. It's better than the no insurance I will have next month, but not by much. When I called them about Implanon (and I assume and IUD would be similar) they only said they were required to cover part of the cost of the device, but wouldn't say how much, and the insertion would simply go towards my $3500 deductable, which I haven't reached, so I would probably pay for the insertion out of pocket, which is at least a couple hundred bucks. though they really wouldn't say anything too definite other than "just submit your bill after the procedure" which seemed to scary.
indigodye 16th-Aug-2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
I know - I was really, really lucky to have that insurance.. and the copay had actually doubled, meaning we used to have to pay $10 copays. Now, though, it's $50, I think.

That last month on my Dad's insurance I did nothing but medical stuff. IUD, new glasses/contacts, teeth work, a full blood panel, absolutely anything I could do. it's saved my ass a few times - I couldn't see spending $50 a month on HBC, at least not on my budget.

I bought a short term insurance that had a deductible like yours, but I spent more money on it than if I was uninsured and going to the doctor - seriously. It's amazing the programs I am eligible for since I have no insurance VS when I had a crappy short term plan.
fireaphid 16th-Aug-2009 05:50 am (UTC)
So, I don't know anything about the ring's pricing, but I think you might want to reconsider the hormonal IUD (Mirena) because it's very likely to make your period extremely light or disappear, so maybe you wouldn't miss your cup so much? Also, if you get better about breaking the suction or get an "IUD-safe" cup (like the Lunette), you can use a cup and an IUD together. I'm pretty much on the verge of getting an IUD, and I intend to continue to use my cup (a Lunette) after just a few months' break after getting an IUD (apparently they need time to "settle" if you've never been pregnant or something like that).
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
OOh, why is the lunette more IUD friendly than the diva?
fireaphid 16th-Aug-2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, because the Diva company is all about covering its butt and the Lunette company kinda isn't. If you reliably break the suction before removing your cup and get the IUD's strings trimmed short so they can't catch on the rim, you can use any cup with an IUD. But, the Diva company is very worried about being sued (and operating in the US, that's something any company has to be afraid of), so they want to minimize their risks. The Lunette, which is from Finland, doesn't have warnings in part because IUDs are extremely common there and lots of people probably started using the two together before anyone had recommendations, and in part because they are actually designed to be easier to use with an IUD.

Some cups have very small anti-suction holes, like the DivaCup, Miacup, and (I think) the Keeper Moon Cup. Cups with small anti-suction holes make it more likely for you to accidentally yank out the IUD because it's so hard to break the suction. Cups like the Lunette and LadyCup have larger anti-suction holes, so it's harder to take them out without breaking the suction, thus legitimately reducing the chance of yanking out an IUD. I hope this helps!
girlonthewing6 Since when did the Nuvaring get so expensive?16th-Aug-2009 06:53 am (UTC)
Mine used be about $30 for 3 months, which was amazing. Now it's $50. I don't know why it went up, but it's still affordable for me, which I'm grateful for.
womdigo Re: Since when did the Nuvaring get so expensive?16th-Aug-2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
my insurance wouldn't let me get more than one at a time as far as I know..
girlonthewing6 Re: Since when did the Nuvaring get so expensive?16th-Aug-2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
I have to get mine through mail order, and three at a time through http://medco.com. I can get it from a pharmacy three times (one ring at a time), and then insurance won't cover it from retail.
marionravenwood 16th-Aug-2009 08:54 am (UTC)
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
Oooh! I wonder if there's much worry about it staying cool enough while it's being shipped...
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
hmm, I didn't see anything about insurance, only the prices for students at the campus health clinic, but I'll look into it.
cadetsandkings 16th-Aug-2009 10:18 am (UTC)
Is it possible for you to just stock up like a maniac now, while you're still insured?

I had an IUD and never worried too much about breaking the seal on my cup, I just squished it really hard before pulling out like normal and I was fine. I did just get mine removed because I wanted to figure out if I was having ovarian cysts or if it was just cramps, though... but overall I loved my experience with one and it was an amazing no brainer.

I'm scared shitless of the depo shot- honestly, if you can find a way to somehow rejig your budget to afford nuvaring, stay on it. BC is weird, and for me at least, once I find one I like I cling to it like a lifeboat.
womdigo 16th-Aug-2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
My insurance will only cover one 'refill' a month

hmm, If just squishing it worked, that would be great. I'm just so freaked out i'd mess it up. Maybe I should be braver...
cadetsandkings 16th-Aug-2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was a little worried but I just took it slow and took LOTS of deep breaths to calm myself down the first time.

Once the IUD settles in, it's IN. It isn't going to like, fall out. Like I said... I did give it a cycle or so to get back to the cup, but I just got my fingers up in there, squished it together toward the top, and pulled it out, and I was fine. :D You'll be extra-fine if you make sure your strings are trimmed pretty short, if you have a shorter vag... according to my NP my vag is super long, lol!
jujustars 16th-Aug-2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
ahh I have the same problem..My insurance runs out soon and I'll be paying full price for the ring. Right now I pay 14 for 3 months, so a jump to even 50 a month is ridiculous.

DON'T TELL ANYONE, but last time I filled my prescription they messed up and gave me 3 boxes of 3 rings instead of 3 boxes of 1, LOL. So..I have an extra 6 months in the fridge, thankfully.
jillkicks $30 Nuva RIng6th-Jan-2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
I get my NuvaRing at: www.MyCycleDirect.com. The MyCycle company is the #1 Birth Control Pharmacy. Good Luck
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