BadgerCare recipients can get new over-the-counter birth control for free

DHS issued standing order for pharmacies to provide Opill at no out-of-pocket cost to BadgerCare recipients

Three Opill boxes
Opill, the first over-the-counter birth control, will soon be available at retailers and pharmacies across the U.S. Photo courtesy of Perrigo

People with Wisconsin’s Medicaid-funded insurance will now be able to get the new over-the-counter birth control pill at no cost.

Gov. Tony Evers announced on Tuesday he had directed the state Department of Health Services to issue a standing order to allow BadgerCare Plus members to access Opill. It’s the first oral contraceptive pill available without a prescription in the U.S.

The medication started shipping to major retailers earlier this month, and one month’s supply of Opill has a recommended retail price of $19.99. According to the statement from the governor’s office, Opill’s manufacturer said the medication will become available at Wisconsin pharmacies starting Tuesday.

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The BadgerCare Plus program covers the cost of over-the-counter oral contraception with a prescription. The new standing order from DHS will serve as a prescription for members, allowing Medicaid-enrolled pharmacies that carry Opill to issue the medication at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient.

“Streamlining access to contraception for BadgerCare Plus members helps them to make their own choices about their future,” DHS Secretary Kirsten Johnson said in a formal statement.

In January, DHS issued a similar standing order at Evers’ direction to make over-the-counter emergency contraception available at no cost to BadgerCare Plus members. Under both orders, Medicaid-enrolled pharmacists will submit claims to Wisconsin Medicaid for the covered over-the-counter contraceptives.