A recent article in MIT Technology Review titled, “This App Will Be a Game-Changer for Getting Birth Control Without the ACA” by Julia Sklar discusses the exciting accomplishments of a new app that allows women to access birth control online. Nurx, modeled after the highly popular 1-800-contacts, a mail-order contact lens service, opens the door to countless women who do not live near doctors and pharmacies, are not able to take time off from work or lack the time to make an office visit, or who are disabled, making the trip to a physician’s office especially challenging. I agree with Julia Sklar, it is truly a game-changer because Nurx means that now all women, regardless of circumstances, even in the most remote and perhaps unsafe locations, will be able to access birth control and be in charge of their reproductive decisions.

Nurx is an Easy-to-Use and Efficient App

​Julia Sklar tested the app with a healthy dose of skepticism and found it to be extremely easy to use and very efficient. More importantly, she said that by using Nurx, she felt empowered, validated, and more in control of her birth control choices than ever before. This is what makes Nurx such an outstanding and vitally important app.

Nurx is designed for all women, whether it is their first time using birth control, or they are seeking a refill. Its platform is similar to what a woman would encounter in an actual doctor’s office. First, she must register, which is free. After that, she must complete a detailed questionnaire regarding her medical history. Finally, she is put in touch with a licensed healthcare professional for a brief number of personal exchanges after which she receives, via mail, her birth control of choice. The platform designers have been careful to mimic the typical process and exchange of information that would take place in an actual doctor’s office. There is no fee for the online “office visit,” no delivery fee, and if she has insurance coverage, there is no charge for the prescription. If she is uninsured, then she need only pay for the actual cost of the birth control.

Changes to the Affordable Care Act Could Place Nurx in a Pivotal Role

​The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unpredictable, but among the possibilities are changes to insurance coverage. One possible deletion might be the requirement of insurance companies to cover the costs of birth control. If so, Nurx, which is not a substitute for insurance coverage, would at least minimize the financial pain a little by providing birth control without the cost of a doctor’s visit and loss of time from work.

Nurx is Breaking the Mold for Online Birth Control Delivery

Launched a year ago with funding from Union Square Ventures in New York, Nurx is a great example of the importance of seed funding to enable technology to play a role as a change agent in the world. Currently Nurx has authorization to deliver birth control in six states and the District of Columbia, but it has plans to quickly expand to an additional six.