The Irish Government has announced today that they are extending the free contraception scheme to include people under 30.
Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, confirmed that the scheme is set to include anyone aged between 27 and 30.
The free contraception scheme has been open to women, girls and others who identify as transgender or non-binary since 2022, but initially was only available to those aged 17-25. It was later expanded to include 26-year-olds on January 1st 2023.
To avail of the scheme, you must be a resident in Ireland and have been prescribed it by a doctor. This includes the pill, the bar or the coil.
Minister Donnelly said: “I am delighted to announce the expansion of the free contraception scheme to those aged 27 – 30 years. Ireland has come a long way in terms of the supports it offers for sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equity and family planning. Increasing access to free contraception through the free contraception scheme and the National Condom Distribution Service (NCDS) is therefore a key priority for this Government, supporting positive sexual health and choice in family planning.
“In the context of the current cost-of-living crisis, given that the higher costs of prescription contraception are typically faced by women, the scheme impacts positively on gender equity, reducing costs for women, their partners and families.
“Women’s health continues to be a top priority for myself and this Government; today’s expansion further demonstrates our commitments to expand access to contraception and to fulfil the ancillary recommendations made by the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.”
The scheme also covers any cost of consultations with a GP, family planning, student health and primary care centres and prescriptions on the basis it is for contraceptive purposes.
The full range of contraceptive options covered is available on HSE’s Reimbursement List. They include long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs), which are injections, implants and hormonal and copper intra-uterine devices and systems (coils).
It also includes emergency contraception in addition to the oral contraceptive Pill, patch and ring, as well as LARC fittings, removals, injections and checks.
All prescriptions under this scheme are available from any pharmacy nationwide and the cost is covered entirely by the state.
Further information regarding both free prescription contraception and the National Condom Distribution Service is available through the HSE’s Sexual Wellbeing website.