Finding affordable birth control in East Tenn.

Chynna GreeneChynna Greene # State

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Birth control may be missing from some women's lives, simply because of cost. However, an East Tennessee resource told Local 8 News price doesn't have to be a limiting factor when making safe and effective choices.

Morgan Mullins, a UT student, said that for her, every aspect of choosing and using a method of birth control can be overwhelming.

"Because I had tried so many other birth controls, and [...] the cost was outweighing the benefits,"
she said.

The Knox County Health Department said they don't want any woman to shy away from protection because she can't afford the price tag. KCHD uses a grant from the federal government that helps cover the costs, so women without insurance can receive birth control for a reduced price, or sometimes for free.

"In our clinic, no one is turned away with the inability to pay,"
Clinical Services Manager Dena Mashburn said.

Although KCHD can't give women a set price up front, the cheapest route could be to go with a temporary implant.

"It could be zero pay, it just really depends on your income,"
Mashburn said.
"The least expensive, the most cost effective routes, really are the ones that you can leave in for a long time. You know, a five-year, or, say, a ten-year."

Mullins chose an arm implant that works for three years.

"I don't think it's worth it to have to either pay every month or to pay a doctor's co-pay,"
she said.

Masburn said women may not know what they can afford or should use until they visit the health department. KCHD's main location is located at 140 Dameron Avenue in Knoxville, and can be reached by phone at 865-215-5000. The location is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

For more information about women's health programs in Knox County, visit the Knox County Health Department's website.