Planned Parenthood is often known as the go-to place for reproductive healthcare services and primarily serves low-income, marginalized individuals. They offer a wide range of preventative and family planning services. Depending on which services you get and where you are based, who has access to these services is not only a social and financial issue but also very a political one. So, here’s what you need to know when considering accessing reproductive and preventative healthcare through Planned Parenthood as well as some of the options available to their low-income patients that you may not know about. Let us also know ‘Does Planned Parenthood Have Payment Plans?’.
When does Planned Parenthood offer payment plans and how do they work?
The short answer to the big question is yes, Planned Parenthood does have payment plans but this depends on which services you get, which state you are in, whether you have health insurance, and what your financial/income situation looks like. Planned Parenthood offers payment plans for all their services except abortions and vasectomies, which require full payment. These services include but are not limited to regular examinations, laboratory tests, screenings, STD tests as well as accompanying treatments.
Unlike most payment plans, no interest is added to the balance being paid off by the patient and there are no convenience fees and pre-payment penalties if the balance is paid off early.
When opting for the payment plan, partial payment is required at the first visit. The balance is thereafter paid off through monthly installments deducted from a bank account or card of the patient’s choice. The balance has to be paid off in 6 months, with a minimum of $20 per installment.
How can I get an abortion and other services at Planned Parenthood with a low income?
Some of the most sought out services at Planned Parenthood clinics are abortion services, however, since they are excluded from the payment plans, here are some ways to relieve the financial burden for abortion and other reproductive services, including free birth control.
- Call them on 800-230-PLAN: Planned Parenthood prides itself on not turning anyone away and has worked with grant funders, donors, and philanthropists to help pay for the services offered to low-income patients. Find out how they can help you reduce costs.
- Health Insurance: Planned Parenthood does take most major health insurances, including Medicaid*. Find out if your insurance covers abortion services and other reproductive and preventative services.
If you are on Medicaid, only the following 16 states are covered: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. To be covered, you must reside in and get your abortion in that state. The other 33 states and the District of Columbia are not covered as they are under the Hyde Amendment’s ban, only covering abortion in cases of incest, rape, or life endangerment. In South Dakota, the only way to get an abortion under this ban would be if there is life endangerment.
- Title X: Title X is a federal grant that provides individuals with family planning and reproductive healthcare. It does not, however, cover abortion services. Planned Parenthood left the Title X program in 2019, due to the gag order implemented by the previous administration, which prohibited health care workers from providing information to patients about the options available to them for sexual and reproductive health care. This meant that many individuals in different states have been left without this option. However, if you live in Washington State and qualified for Title X, you can still receive free services.
The gag rule was removed on 4 October 2021 by the new administration, and Planned Parenthood is working at reentering the Title X program so things may change for your state as soon as today!
- New York State FBBP: If you are in New York State, check if you qualify for Family Planning Benefit Program which could provide you with free birth control, STI testing, examinations, PAP smear tests, pregnancy tests, and more. To qualify, you need to be of child-bearing age, a United States citizen and New York State resident, not on Medicaid or other health insurance, and at no more than 2-3% of the federal poverty level.
- You can always get help to pay for an abortion through grant funders and donors working with Planned Parenthood or find a list of funders on www.abortionfunds.org and www.providecare.org. Contact multiple funders or funding organizations for a greater chance of getting assistance.
Other frequently asked questions
- Does Planned Parenthood ask for income?
If you are looking to get services through Title X, then yes, they may ask for your income, residency, and social security number. This is to ensure that you qualify for Title X or to help you apply for Medicaid or FBBP, which you may be better suited for. They will require the most recent four-week proof of income.
- What is ‘Pills Now, Pay Later’ with Planned Parenthood?
This is a program that allows patients to collect a year’s worth of birth control pills during one visit at a Planned Parenthood center and only be charged through their credit or debit card monthly for the other months until the prescription runs out.
- Does Planned Parenthood show up on my insurance bill?
A lot of times, claims from Planned Parenthood may show up on the insurance bill or explanation of benefits (EOB). Depending on the insurance, if you are an individual particularly worried about your guardian, partner, or other members of your insurance finding out about you accessing preventative or abortion services, you could ask that your individual EOB be sent directly to you. Planned Parenthood does prioritize the confidentiality and privacy of their patients, and so discussing your concerns with the center is always a good idea. Do not skip or cancel your appointment as they may likely help, even if it is through their free or reduced-fee services.