Cost as a barrier to long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) use in adolescents

J Adolesc Health. 2013 Apr;52(4 Suppl):S59-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.01.012.


Cost is a major barrier to adolescents' ability to obtain long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). By reviewing the available literature on this issue, we provide a framework to understand how insurance coverage, out-of-pocket expenses, parental involvement, and recent pregnancy can impact access. We provide examples of cost-free access to LARC for adolescents, such as the Contraceptive CHOICE Project. Universal coverage for contraception, without cost-sharing, could increase use of LARC among adolescents resulting in fewer unintended pregnancies, improved health outcomes, and considerable cost savings to the healthcare system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics*
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices / economics*
  • Intrauterine Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / prevention & control
  • Young Adult