The Virginia League for Planned Parenthood (VLPP) and the Virginia Department of Health will provide uninsured patients with free long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) through a Virginia LARC initiative. The initiative was approved in the two-year state budget by Governor Northam and the Virginia General Assembly.
The LARC initiative is made possible from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds. The initiative is a two-year pilot program that allows the Virginia Department of Health to allocate $6 million to the payment for the contraceptive devices, the insertion and removal of the devices, and education for women about their birth control choices.
From October 1, 2018 to May 31, 2020, the LARC program will provide 2,450 patients with free long-acting contraceptives. Eligible patients must have an income below 250 percent of the federal poverty level, which currently stands at about $12,000 for a single female.
The Virginia LARC initiative aims to provide birth control for low income women and families to aid family planning. LARCs include IUDs and contraceptive implants, the two most effective methods of birth control, both with more than 99.9% success rates. These devices are inserted once and work until they are removed. They leave no room for the kind of human error associated with the daily ingestion of a birth control pill, or quarterly doctors appointments for hormonal injections.
“It’s an amazing service, because they are $1,000 devices that we are able to provide at no cost for both the device, insertion, and removal. We’ll be doing that at all our health centers, including at the new one in the East End when it opens,” said VLPP Medical Director Dr. Shanthi Ramesh.
More Planned Parenthood centers are located in Hampton and Virginia Beach. If none of these locations are near you, no worries: The LARC initiative includes health care providers other than Planned Parenthood.
“There are other health systems as well that will be participating in the program that are in all corners of the Commonwealth,” said Alexsis Rodgers, Communication Director at Planned Parenthood.
To view the other health care providers who will be participating in the program, click here.