I’m psyched to be graduating next month, but a little nervous about leaving Princeton. For the last four years I’ve gotten birth control from University Health Services. I’m moving to Chicago next year, and I’ve just realized I have no idea how to find contraception outside of Princeton. What should my plan be? (No pun intended.)
— Pill Popper
Congratulations on your upcoming graduation. The Sexpert team wishes you great success out in the wider world. I also want to commend you on taking advantage of the birth control available at McCosh Health Center. For students who don’t know, UHS offers lots of choices for protection: You can pick up 10 free condoms each day from outpatient services, and several different brands of birth control pill, including the morning-after pill, are available at a reduced price. Other types of contraception, while unsubsidized, can be obtained by prescription. If you’re interested in discussing your options, make an appointment by calling (609) 258-5357.
For many graduates, leaving Princeton means an end to this kind of convenient, one-stop shopping. But not for everyone. Popper, you don’t mention whether you’re going to Chicago for a job or graduate school or some other reason. If you’re going to be a graduate student, chances are your future school will require you to have some kind of insurance, just like Princeton did.
If your insurance covers your birth control, you may be able to pick up the prescription from a campus health center. You’ll certainly be able to find it at a local pharmacy. Look at your enrollment materials and see if they mention student health plans. Some graduate students may be offered health insurance as part of an aid package or employee benefits. Once you know how you are insured, your school’s human resources or health services department will be able to explain what types of birth control they cover. Click around on your new school’s website and call the directory if you have further questions.
If you are moving because of a job, you’ll have to contact your employer. Many full-time and some part-time jobs offer health benefits, but some do not. If you are receiving benefits as part of your compensation, your employer will be able to tell you how to reach its affiliated insurance company. Once you know the name of the insurance company, you can contact a representative there who will let you know what’s included in your health plan.
If you are not going to get insurance from your job, don’t worry: There are still lots of ways to receive health care. Under the Affordable Care Act, most young people are able to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until age 26.
If that is not an option for you, go to the website of Planned Parenthood Illinois (plannedparenthood.org/illinois), and look for a nearby clinic. Planned Parenthood offers birth control, pelvic and breast exams and lots of other important health services at an affordable cost. Good luck out there, and take care of yourself!
— The Sexpert
Interested in Sexual Health? The Sexpert is always looking for
passionate members of the community to join the team of sexual health educators who, along with fact-checking from University health professionals, help write these columns. Email email@example.com for more information, and, of course, with your questions about sexual health. Don’t be shy!
Reader Comments (0)
No comments yet. Be the first to post your opinion on this article.