A great (and very common) question!
In terms of truly 'free' birth control options available at U of M, you'd be looking at condoms. External and internal condoms can be picked up for free from multiple locations on campus, such as:
If you are willing to go off campus, there are a couple of free birth control resources, depending on financial need, with more options than just condoms available to you (which is often what people want!) including:
The next best option for birth control methods are those methods that may be free-of cost depending on your health insurance. One downside to insured birth control options is that some insurance companies will ask you to pay at point of purchase and submit an insurance claim receipt to them for reimbursement. If you're looking to keep this information private, this may not be the best option for you, as anyone (e.g. parents or family members) who has access to your insurance account will be able to see the prescription. So as an example, if you have insurance coverage through a parent's work, your parent would be able to see the insurance receipt claim made for the birth control.
If you're interested in hearing about some insured birth control options, keep on reading!
U of M students enrolled in the UMSU Health and Dental insurance plan will have insurance coverage for 70-80% of the cost of prescription medications. The remaining 20-30% may be covered by Manitoba Pharmacare, a prescription drug benefit program that Manitobans with a Health Card and U of M students enrolled in the Student Health and Dental Plan can enroll in for free. For more information, visit Pharmacare.
Insured birth control options include:
As of 2016/2017, the birth control patch, the vaginal ring, and copper IUDs are not covered by UMSU insurance.
For more information on birth control methods and other healthy sexuality topics, here are some fantastic additional resources:
Feel free to drop by Healthy U Office Hours for more information and resources on birth control or other health topics!
The Healthy U Team
To receive a digital copy of your card, you can download the StudentCare app and create an account. Once you're logged in, select the menu “Pay Direct Card.” You will need to then press the arrow to view your card. We would recommend taking a screen shot of your card, so you don’t have to log in every time you want to use it.
To receive a paper copy of your card, you can visit studentcare.ca and print out the “Pay Direct card” (PDF). You will need to fill in the blanks with your student number (do NOT include the 00’s at the beginning).
For help with any of this, you can visit the StudentCare booth on the 1st floor of UMSU University Centre (near the cafeteria).
If you are an international student, an e-copy of your Manitoba International Student Insurance Plan card should have been sent to your student email. To request a physical copy, visit misip.ca/coverage/card.
If you'd like to keep up with Healthy U's events for the year, it's a good idea to follow their social media pages:
We look forward to seeing you around!