How Does the Price of Contraception Affect Take-Up among Low-Income, Uninsured Women: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial
Martha Bailey1, Vanessa Lang2, Lea Bart3, Iris Vrioni3, Paula Fomby3, Jennifer Barber4, Daniel Eisenberg1, Vanessa Dalton3
1University of California, Los Angeles, 2University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research, 3University of Michigan, 4Indiana University

Our objective is to understand how out-of-pocket costs for contraceptives affect take-up among low-income, uninsured women. We randomized women seeking care at Planned Parenthood to receive vouchers for the purchase of any contraceptive method. The intervention group received either a voucher valued at 50% or 100% of the out-of-pocket costs for an IUD. The control group received no voucher and received usual clinical care. Relative to the control group, 100%-voucher recipients were 40% more likely to buy contraceptives; spent 63% more on contraceptives; took up long-acting, reversible contraception (LARC) 310% more often; had 0.185 fewer expected annual method failures; and increased contraceptive coverage by 325 days. Findings hold for all pre-specified subgroups except Black women, whose take-up of LARCs was significantly lower. Results suggest that making contraceptives free for all Title X patients could reduce unintended pregnancies by 12% and births by 4%, annually.