I want to get birth control pills, but I don’t want my parents finding out. If I go to Planned Parenthood but use my health insurance (it’s my parent’s insurance) will they know? How do they find out I’m on it? What should I do?
It’s great that you want to go on birth control! Safe sex is incredibly important. The good news is that it’s possible to get on birth control without telling your parents about it. The bad news is that you most likely cannot get it through their health insurance if you really don’t want them to know.
Because they aren’t over-the-counter pills, you need to get a prescription from a doctor in order to get birth control. You have to see a gynecologist, or go to a clinic like Planned Parenthood. Going to a private doctor, like a gynecologist, requires health insurance, because without it, the visit and exam can cost you hundreds of dollars. If you go to a gyno under your parents’ insurance, there’s a good possibility they’ll find out about the cost – although you don’t have to tell them why you went, and your doctor is legally not allowed to tell them what you discussed during the appointment. But if you go to a clinic like Planned Parenthood, like you said, you do not need to go through their health insurance and you also do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to do that. So, the clinic is your best bet!
The beauty of clinics like Planned Parenthood is that they are made to help women who don’t have health insurance or access to affordable contraception. You can get birth control pills from a Planned Parenthood doctor without going through your health insurance – that way, your parents won’t find out about it. Even if they find out you went to PP, those doctors aren’t allowed to discuss your appointment with them. If you choose to use your insurance at PP, then yes, there’s a good chance your parents will find out.
So, moral of the story: if you want to go on birth control without telling your parents, go to Planned Parenthood and get a prescription without going through your health insurance. Simple as that!
Not to go off on a political tangent here, but stories like these remind us of exactly why we need organizations like Planned Parenthood – and they remind us of exactly why so many women were so furious when the Trump administration threatened to pull funding from PP. Planned Parenthood is not an abortion clinic. It’s a place where girls like you can go for birth control or appointments if they don’t have health insurance or a way to pay for birth control. It’s incredibly helpful and important. In these political times, though, there’s a chance that Planned Parenthood won’t survive without government funding. If you or anyone you know can swing it, take action by making a donation to the organization or at least attending rallies and protests in support.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org