Ask The Daily Gazette: Can I Get The Pill At Worth and Does Obamacare Pay for It?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Obamacare –  mandates insurance companies to offer birth control pills without co-pay. That’s good news for students on or looking to start birth control, who can fill their prescriptions at Worth.

Yet, not all students want to go through their insurance company for privacy reasons. For students who still wish to buy hormonal contraceptives through the health center dispensary, Director of Student Health Services Beth Kotarski says the health center does provide affordable birth control. According to Kotarski, Worth subsidizes the cost of the pill to offer it below market prices. Birth control pills are $11 a cycle, according to Worth listed prices.

Obamacare also mandates free-of-charge emergency contraception. Worth charges a fee of $20 for the morning-after pill. Half of the cost originates from the pregnancy test  taken before pill.

The College continues to provide other forms of contraception free of charge. Swarthmore purchases and distributes 2,000 free condoms a year to students, according to Kotarski.  For example, the Student Budget Office provides $400 in funding to the Sexual Health Counselors for condom distribution. The Worth Health Center also stocks up on condoms and other contraceptives, which are sold in the cold clinic under an honor policy. Dental dams are the only current “bare” contraception not also given out for free, according to Sexual Health Counselor Alexander Noyes ‘15.

There are plans to make dental dams free in the future, he said.

– photo courtesy of TMDaily 


This article has been changed to reflect the fact that birth control pills cost $11/cycle. A previous version of this article stated incorrectly that they cost $8/cycle. (Andrew Karas, News Editor, 5:55pm 12/13)

Isaac Lee

Isaac is an economics and political science major. He is a Singaporean who grew up in Hong Kong. In America he discovered the wonders of Netflix and Uber. Other than devoting his time to The Daily Gazette, he is probably reading The Atlantic and the Wall Street Journal, or skim-reading the hundreds of pages assigned to typical Swatties.


  1. With all due respect to the questioner, Obamacare doesn’t pay for anything, people do through their taxes and insurance premiums. Fortunately, birth control is very affordable whether you are insured or not.

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