France makes contraception pills and IUDs free for under 25s

Health Minister Olivier Véran said that it is ‘unacceptable that women would give up contraception because of price’

9 September 2021
A woman holding a turquoise pack of oral contraceptives on a pink background

France will offer free hormonal contraceptive pills and IUDs to all women under age 25 from January 1, 2022 Pic: TatianaMara / Shutterstock

By Hannah Thompson

France is to make hormonal contraception pills and IUDs free to all women under 25 from January 1, 2022, the health minister has said today.

Olivier Véran confirmed the move on France 2 today (Thursday, September 9).

He said: "We will cover the cost of hormonal contraception and the checks that go along with it; contraception on prescription and all related care until the age of 25.

“[France] has seen a decline in the use of contraception among young women, and the first reason for this is financial. They say it is too expensive. It's unacceptable that women would give up contraception because of the price.”

The age of 25 was chosen as a cut-off point because “this is an age at which we have more autonomy”, Mr Véran said.

“It’s the age at which you definitively stop receiving any healthcare benefits from home, and also the age at which, after studying, too many women give up contraception because it’s too expensive.”

Most common contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices (IUDs) were already free in France up to age 18, and 65% reimbursed for adults. Since 2013, it has been free for young women aged 15-18, and in August 2020, this was also extended to young women under age 15.

Depending on your mutuelle (insurance) plan, this type of contraception may already be reimbursed 100% by l’Assurance maladie.

Making it free for everyone up to age 25 will cost the country €21million.

The cost of hormonal contraception in France depends on the type and brand used. Some pills are reimbursed, others are not.

The cost of pills usually varies from €3-10 per cycle, depending on the brand and type. Patches and coils are more expensive, at around €15 per cycle on average, and are not reimbursed, nor are female condoms.

Implants cost around €1.70 per cycle, while hormonal IUDs cost around €1 per cycle over the five years on average that they remain in place.

Male condoms can be reimbursed up to 60%, but this only applies to two brands and must be signed off with a prescription from a doctor or a midwife.

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