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Plan B is a reliable form of emergency contraception.

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If you’re sexually active, you may be familiar with the concept of emergency contraception (EC). Commonly referred to as “the morning-after pill” or Plan B, EC should be taken within 72 hours of having penis-in-vagina (P-in-V) sex without a form of contraception or with a form of contraception that failed.

Plan B One-Step is a popular brand. It is widely available, even though it is not the only option.

We discuss how EC works, where to get it, how much it Costs, and more in this article.

Plan B One-Step is a type of EC that is supposed to be taken within 72 hours of having sex. It is more effective at preventing pregnancies when you take it.

Plan B is not intended to be used as birth control. They are not forms of the abortion pill and will not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

“You won’t be affected by using EC if you want to get pregnant later on.”

Plan B’s purpose is to temporarily delay ovulation. This is similar to how birth control pills work. It postpones the release of an egg from an ovary, so no egg is waiting to meet sperm for fertilization.

Plan B is most effective the sooner you take it after having sex. According to Planned Parenthood, it can lower your chance of becoming pregnant by 75 to 89 percent if taken within the 72-hour window.

It is best to take it within the first 3 days of having P-in-V sex.

It’s also important to know that Plan B may be less effective if you weigh more than 155 pounds or have a body mass index (BMI) higher than 30. You can still take Plan B, but a 2011 study found that pregnancy risk was 3 times higher.

We chose the following options for Plan B because of a number of reasons.

We wanted all of the retailers and services on our list to be fast and efficient. These options allow you to stock up in advance and potentially lower your Cost with insurance or a prescription, in addition to being discreet alternatives to buying Plan B at an in-person pharmacy.

Other factors are taken into account.

  • Cost
  • They can accept or reject insurance.
  • Customer service.

“You can purchase Plan B at several retailers. You will have to pay full price if you don’t have options to enter insurance information.”

While you typically need to request EC from a pharmacy if you’re purchasing it in-store, you do not need a prescription or ID to obtain Plan B. Getting a prescription, however, may help you get Plan B at a lower Cost if purchased in person.

Generic versions, like My Choice and New Day, also tend to be cheaper, and you can often find them on telehealth sites, such as Wisp. Other platforms, like Nurx, allow you to purchase it ahead of time, though this requires a prescription.

The best places to get Plan B are listed below.

Best if you have insurance

Pandia Health

  • Cost: free with insurance, $53 without insurance

Through Pandia Health, an online birth control service, Plan B Costs $53 per pack without insurance and is free with insurance. It also offers generic brands My Way, AfterPill, and EContra EZ.

You can get it through the service, but you will need a prescription. You can fulfill an active prescription through the site.

To sign up for a prescription through the platform, you have to pay a $20 consultation fee and fill out an online health form. Pandia Health will send your information to your doorstep after a doctor reviews it.

Pandia Health has free delivery.

Best value


  • Cost: $17 for one pill, $30 for two, $40 for three

If you’re planning on paying out of pocket, Wisp, a telehealth and medication platform, is the best option for stocking up on multiple doses of generic Plan B.

It is not a good option for emergency cases when the medication is not delivered within 3 to 5 days. If you want to have Plan B on hand, you should order from Wisp.

Wisp also offers ella, another form of EC, for same-day delivery, although you need a prescription for it. Note that, unlike other options on our list, Wisp doesn’t supply prescriptions for EC.

Best for generic Plan B


  • Cost: as low as $0 with insurance, as low as $20 without insurance

New Day is a generic form of Plan B.

The medication management platform accepts various forms of insurance to bring your Cost down to $0, though your copay will vary depending on your coverage. However, you don’t need a prescription to place your order.

The platform has free shipping and unlimited messaging. You may be able to receive overnight shipping in some states.

Best drugstore option


  • Cost: $47.49

Plan B is an easy option to get at Target.

While you can’t enter insurance information online, you can call your local store to find out if you can obtain it at no additional Cost. However, you’ll need a prescription from a health professional.

“If you don’t have time to get a prescription, you can purchase it in-store or with same-day shipping for a flat fee of around $50.”

Accepts insurance? Cost Prescription needed? Free options?
Pandia Health yes $53 per pack without insurance, free with insurance yes yes
Wisp no $17 for one, $30 for two, $40 for three no no
Nurx yes depends on insurance coverage no yes
Target not online (but does accept insurance if you shop in-store via the pharmacy) around $50 not online no

Depending on your situation, you can decide where to purchase Plan B.

If you have insurance, it is a good idea to research an affordable option or a free option that accepts insurance.

You want to choose the fastest option if you need Plan B as soon as possible. That could be through an online retailer that offers same-day shipping or a pharmacy that sells it.

If you want to remain discreet, you may want to look into an online option.

Plan B can cause side effects.

Some of the most common ones include.

  • nausea
  • stomach ache
  • There are headaches.
  • dizziness
  • fatigue

Some people may also experience breast or chest tenderness and menstrual cycle changes, such as heavier, lighter, or irregular bleeding.

Plan B isn’t the only option for EC. Below are a few other options.

Next Choice

Next Choice is a pill that only contains levonorgestrel.

If the package comes with a second pill, you should take it within 12 hours of taking the first pill.


Ella is another EC option. Similar to Plan B, it’s a single pill dose. However, ella can be taken within 5 days of P-in-V sex, unlike Plan B, which has a 3-day window. Ella is a form of ulipristal acetate and requires a prescription.

If you are in a larger body, you may want to consider using Ella. Plan B is more effective in people with a body mass index over 30.


Paragard is a copper intrauterine device (IUD) that’s one of the most effective methods of long-acting reversible contraception.

It can be used for up to 10 years, and can also be used as a method of EC if it is inserted within 5 days of having P-in-V sex.

It’s also more effective than Plan B, reducing the risk of pregnancy by 99 percent, regardless of whether it’s being used as EC or as birth control.

Take Action

Take Action is a generic form of levonorgestrel EC that’s equally as effective as Plan B. The only real difference is that Take Action is slightly less expensive, as is the case with most generic versions of any medication.

If you took Plan B on time and haven’t gotten your period within 3 weeks of having P-in-V sex, you should take a home pregnancy test. You should also visit a doctor to confirm if you’re pregnant.

Do you need an ID to buy Plan B?

“Plan B has no age restrictions on who can buy it, so you don’t need to show a form of identification to get it.”

Can you purchase Plan B over the counter?

Plan B has been available to everyone. You will still have to request it from the pharmacy counter.

Having a prescription may help get it covered by insurance.

Can you get Plan B for free without insurance?

You can often get Plan B for free if you’re on Medicaid. Additionally, you may also be able to get it for free at Planned Parenthood or other low-Cost healthcare clinics in your area.

There are many different options when it comes to obtaining Plan B or other forms of EC. Many retailers offer them at a relatively low Cost, with or without insurance.

You can ensure you give yourself the best chance at efficacy by researching your options and educating yourself on how to properly take it.

A writer and editor, Emilia is based in Houston, Texas. She is a nine-time marathoner and frequent traveler.