{living in sin} Who Pays to Play?

by Rachel on March 20, 2012

living in sinI realized a few weeks ago that my birth control prescription was about to run out. This is actually the first time I’ve needed a refill in 2012 (I went back on Seasonale after having my IUD removed in December) which makes this my first time refilling my prescription since I switched to a new insurance plan.

The new plan is a high-deductible HSA plan; it was really the best option I had, but it makes me nervous. After years of just paying co-pays, I’m now responsible for fronting the first $3,000 of medical expenses I have this year. While that can come out of a tax-free HSA, it’s still a very big change to my budget.

So I found myself sort of questioning what to do about my birth control, which wouldn’t be cheap. Should I wait until next month to refill it? I mean, I didn’t want to go off of it and use a non-prescription method, but could I really afford it right now? And then I had one of those “getting it” moments when I realized, Wait. This isn’t my problem.

I mean, it’s my problem, but it’s not only my problem. Because those pills? Aren’t just for me. They are for Eric too. Yes, it’s my name on the prescription, but I’m taking them for the team. Why was I the one stressing about how to pay for our birth control?

So I told Eric about my dilemma and asked if he’d be willing to split the cost of the birth control with me. While Eric doesn’t like to spend money when he doesn’t have to, he realized as soon as I asked that the situation was pretty unjust and that of course he needed to split it with me. And now that’s what we’re doing.

It was a huge relief for me and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. It’s probably because 1. my co-pays used to be affordable and 2. I’m not used to sleeping with the same person for this long, but it’s also because I never questioned why birth control has been my responsibility — and mine alone — for the duration of this relationship. It’s on me to call in refills, pick it up, and remember to take it each day. I’m the one worrying about the side effects. I’m the one who has to remember to pack it on vacation. That’s not his — or any man’s — fault, but it’s certainly something to be aware of. Rather than making things my problem simply because I’m female, I need to remember to just stop and ask, Is this only about me? With all the outrageous attacks on women’s rights that are happening right now, I feel like we need to remember that it’s not just our problem; it’s everyone’s problem.

I’ll admit though — I wonder if, by Rush Limbaugh’s definition, this means he’s paying me for sex. Does this make me a prostitute?

I think most men would respond the same way Eric did, but I’m curious about how many women have asked their significant other to pay and how many couples actually pay for birth control out of a joint bank account. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Do you pay for your own BC? Are you OK with that and why? Would you have done the same thing I did if you were in my situation? Let’s talk sex and money!