How do I Get Free Birth Control Pills in California?

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Women in California have several options when it comes to access to free birth control and healthcare resources. Depending on their income, some women may qualify for Medi-Cal benefits, while others who do not qualify for free birth control pills may be able to obtain birth control pills at a reduced cost. Planned Parenthood, sliding scale health clinics and free clinics located in California are all possible options as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Proof of your income (check stubs, bank account statements) to determine your benefits eligibility
  • Proof of enrollment in other California state or federal benefit programs (if applicable) such as SSI or Cal-Works, which may automatically qualify you for Medi-Cal benefits
  • Appointment with a California DHCS (department of health care services) counselor to determine your eligibility if applying for Medi-Cal
  • Appointment with your doctor or a healthcare provider or clinic that offers free birth control pills or accepts Medi-Cal

If you want to apply for Medi-Cal or aren't sure if you qualify, bring proof of income and any other required documents (you will be told exactly what to bring once you make your appointment) to your local DHCS office to meet with a caseworker to discuss your options.

If you qualify for Medi-Cal, obtain a list of local doctors and healthcare clinics that accept Medi-Cal and make an appointment to obtain free or low-cost birth control.

If you don't qualify for Medi-Cal based on your income but cannot afford to pay for your birth control pills, ask your caseworker about expanded benefits eligibility and/or a referral to a free or low-cost doctor's office or clinic.

Women who are unsure as to whether they qualify for Medi-Cal or who need to obtain birth control pills right away can call their local Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides free and low-cost birth control pills for women who meet low-income guidelines.

Women in California can also visit free clinics and sliding scale health clinics, which charge for services based on the amount of money that patients can afford to pay. There are several free and sliding scale clinics located throughout the state.

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