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Pill Club Review: Are Pill Club’s products and services legit?

Our experts rate and review Pill Club in terms of quality, cost, privacy, and customer support, as well as current offers

Last Updated: Mar 9, 2020

Pill Club Review

Pill Club is an online resource and women’s healthcare provider that centers around contraception, specifically birth control. Its mission is to provide easy access to basic reproductive healthcare and help women make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

Based in California, Pill Club began in 2016 when Nick Chang, who holds a M.D. from Duke University and has experience with startups in the healthcare field, realized that he could create a service that would make access to birth control easy and cost-effective.

By starting its own pharmacy that can fill prescriptions online, Pill Club has changed the birth control experience. It’s easy to transfer an existing prescription to their pharmacy or get a new prescription via an online consultation with a Pill Club doctor or nurse practitioner.

Once you have a prescription, Pill Club will mail your birth control to your door (in a discreet package) on a regular schedule - no more driving to the pharmacy or calling in refills.

Since Pill Club also accepts most insurance plans, it’s worth considering whether this service is right for you. We thoroughly tested Pill Club to give you a breakdown of pros, cons and everything you can expect.

Review Summary

Pros

  • Convenience - the whole experience is completed online and via text message.
  • Over 100 brands of birth control to choose from.
  • Pill Club is covered by many insurance providers.
  • Pill Club makes it very easy to get refills or to transfer an existing prescription.
  • Privacy - packages are very discreet, and personal medical data is protected.
  • Free shipping to all 50 states.
  • All Pill Club doctors and nurse practitioners are licensed to practice medicine in the United States.
  • Registered nurses are available to answer medical-related questions throughout the process.

Cons

  • Pill Club takes longer than other online healthcare options to get a new prescription (about a week) and receive your first product (another week after getting your prescription).
  • Pill Club can only prescribe birth control in 38 of the 50 states. To see if you can get a prescription in your state, check out their list of approved states.

Bottom Line

Overall, Pill Club is a trusted option for women in need of birth control who are looking for the convenience of managing their contraceptive needs virtually. Pill Club is especially useful for women without easy access to reproductive healthcare providers and those looking for the convenience of easily managing their prescriptions online and having them shipped to their door.

Pill Club simplifies the process of both getting a prescription for birth control and getting that prescription refilled on a regular basis. Once enrolled in Pill Club, your refills are set up like a subscription, so there’s little you need to do to manage the process. Your birth control simply shows up at your door when it’s time for a refill. Pill Club also sends little gifts and fun treats along with your pills to make receiving your birth control a little more enjoyable.

What really makes Pill Club stand out from other online healthcare options is that it takes most major insurance plans, including Medi-CAL and Family PACT. Pill Club also offers competitive pricing for those without insurance or who choose to pay out-of-pocket.

In our testing, Pill Club’s online medical questionnaire took less than 10 minutes to fill out, receiving a prescription took about one week, and it was a little over two weeks before we actually received the medication.

Why you should trust us

Innerbody recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. Over the past two decades, we have helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

This review, like all medical-related content on Innerbody, is thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy. Additionally, we extensively analyze each medical service we review. We evaluate the entire experience from signing up to receiving medicine in the mail and then offer unbiased, marketing-jargon-free analysis based on the latest scientific evidence and medical standards.

How Pill Club works

With the ability to prescribe birth control in 35 states and ship to all 50, Pill Club makes it easy to bypass the doctor’s office and/or the traditional pharmacy and use your computer or mobile device either to transfer your current prescription and have your medication mailed to your door, or to get a new prescription from someone on the Pill Club medical team.

Whether you live in a “contraceptive desert” and need access to birth control or are just tired of driving to your local drugstore every month to pick up your prescription, Pill Club could be the solution. Providers can write prescriptions for over 100 brands of birth control, so they have the flexibility to determine what will work best for each patient and will likely have access to your current medication if you’re just looking to transfer your prescription.Unlike some of its competitors, Pill Club does accept many insurance plans and will do the legwork up-front to determine whether you’re covered. Although this process means it will take longer to receive your first prescription in the mail, it’s worthwhile for most insured patients because the cost savings can be significant.

Profile and questionnaire

We found Pill Club easy to use.

First, you fill out basic information to sign up, including email address, password, delivery zip code and mobile phone number.

Pill Club will ask whether you have a current prescription you’d like to transfer to their service or you need a new prescription from one of their physicians.

If you need a new prescription, you will be asked to build a profile by answering routine questions you’d expect from a doctor, including questions about your medical history. You’ll also need to provide a recent blood pressure by choosing from a few different ranges given.

Upon completion, you’ll have the option to indicate whether you have a preferred birth control medication or you’d like a Pill Club physician to recommend some options based on your responses and insurance coverage.

You’ll then be asked to provide a picture of the front and back of your insurance card if you have one.

Finally, if you’re planning to go through your insurance, and assuming your insurance will cover it in full, Pill Club will ask you whether you’d like to:

  • Receive one full year of your birth control prescription at once (select yes or a less frequent option).
  • Receive the EC (emergency contraception pill) to have on hand.
  • Receive FC2®, the female/internal condom.

Upon submission, you’ll get a text message to verify your phone number and a follow-up text that provides a timeframe for when you should expect to hear back from Pill Club’s medical team. In our case we were told we’d hear from a “Patient Care member” within the next three business days and that our package would ship out within the next 10 days.

In fact, it took a few days longer than Pill Club originally suggested to receive the prescription and medication. Their time frame is more likely to vary than that of other companies because they are working through different insurance providers and handcuffed by how quickly each individual provider responds.

Get a prescription from a nurse practitioner

After your profile, insurance information and preferences have been reviewed and verified, a Pill Club nurse practitioner will examine your health history and write you a birth control prescription.

If you don’t have insurance coverage, you’ll be charged a $15 prescription fee.

It generally takes one day to prescribe birth control, so this process can be very quick if you’re not using insurance. If you are going through insurance, it can take longer as Pill Club must wait until your insurance company processes the prescription request.

Your shipment arrives

Your Pill Club birth control arrives highly protected in discreet packaging, with each month’s supply individually wrapped. They also sent a sticker, pencil, small square of chocolate and condom as extra “goodies” with the medication!

The entire Pill Club process can be completed from the privacy of your home and the experience is also seamless on a mobile device. The end-result is typically the same as visiting a doctor and pharmacy, but in a fraction of the time.

What types of products does Pill Club offer?

Pill Club currently offers 3 different female contraceptive options:

  • Birth Control
  • FC2® Internal Condom
  • EC (emergency contraception pill)

Birth control

Most women are all too familiar with the hassle involved in obtaining birth control every month. Pill Club makes it simple, straightforward and frustration-free by allowing you to transfer a current prescription to their pharmacy or get a new prescription from someone on their medical care team.

If you already know what birth control medication you need, you can indicate your preference. If you’re not sure what’s best for you, a physician or nurse practitioner can recommend the best product based on your feedback and medical history after reviewing your medical questionnaire.

Pill Club offers over 100 different birth control choices, so they’re likely to have your current brand or be able to find something that works well for you.

Whether you’re looking to avoid your periods entirely or get progestin-only, triphasic, or combined hormonal pills, Pill Club has a solution.

Pill Club provides an easy-to-use guide to their most popular birth control brands as well as the option to search for a specific medication.

You can find the following birth control brands and more through Pill Club: Apri, Levora, Loestrin, Lutera, Mircette, Ortho-Cyclen, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Ortho Micronor, Seasonale, Seasonique, Yasmin, and Yaz.

EC (emergency contraception pill)

Also known as the “morning-after pill,” the emergency contraception pill is used to prevent pregnancy after having unprotected sex or in the event your birth control device has failed in some way.

This pill is called “emergency” contraception because it’s not intended to be a primary form of birth control. It’s not recommended for routine use, but as occasional, backup contraception. It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The emergency contraception pill does not terminate an established pregnancy, but prevents implantation of the egg in the uterine wall by delaying or preventing ovulation. It can also prevent the egg from fully developing.

EC pills contain either levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step, Aftera, etc.) or ulipristal (ella). Levonorgestrel is available over-the-counter without a prescription; ulipristal requires a prescription.

It’s best to have emergency contraception pills available before you need them. You should take one as soon as possible after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy, and within either 72 or 120 hours depending on the particular medication.

To purchase emergency contraception pills through Pill Club, simply sign up, then go to the “Personal” section on your “Dashboard” and click the pencil icon. Use the “EC” toggle button to submit your request.

FC2® internal condom

Everyone who is sexually active knows - or should know! - about male (external) condoms. They’re extremely effective at preventing not only pregnancy, but sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well.

Less common, but also effective at preventing pregnancy, STDs and STIs when used consistently and correctly is the FC2® female condom. Since it’s both hormone- and latex-free, the female condom can be a great alternative to the male condom for many sexual partners. It’s also effective during anal sex.

This “internal condom” prevents sperm from entering the uterus by creating a barrier. It’s a soft pouch with a ring on each end. The ring on the closed end of the condom is inserted into the vagina while the ring on the open end remains outside, which keeps the condom in place and is also helpful in removing the contraceptive device.

Some of the benefits of the FC2® female condom, aside from pregnancy and STI prevention, include:

  • It can be inserted in advance (up to 8 hours prior to sexual intercouse).
  • It rarely causes allergic reactions.
  • It has very little risk of side effects.
  • It doesn’t require your partner’s cooperation or an erect penis (the male condom does).
  • It’s often covered by insurance with a doctor’s prescription.

However, the failure rate of the female condom is higher than that of the male condom - 21 out of 100 women will become pregnant after one year of typical use. Possible concerns include:

  • The condom breaking or slipping out of the vagina.
  • The penis slipping between the wall of the condom and the vagina.
  • The condom getting pushed into the vagina during sex.

It’s important to understand how to use the female condom correctly and practice inserting it properly.

The female condom is a great way to supplement oral contraceptives and reduce the risk of STIs. To purchase female condoms through Pill Club, simply sign up, then go to the “Personal” section on your “Dashboard” and click the pencil icon. Use the “FC2” toggle button to submit your request.

The online doctor’s visit & the ordering process

As a Pill Club customer, you do not actually “speak” to a doctor. There is no video chat or phone call. But each treatment plan, if it involves a prescription, is reviewed by a doctor or nurse practitioner, both of whom have the authority to write a prescription. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up and activate your account through a link that is texted to your mobile phone.

  2. Complete a relevant online questionnaire about your health.

  3. Indicate whether you would like your doctor or nurse practitioner to recommend a course of treatment, or you have a preferred treatment option.

  4. Upload an image of both the front and back of your insurance card, if you have one.

  5. Submit your information.

  6. Receive a text with a timeline about when you can expect your prescription to be completed and medication to be shipped.

  7. Review your new prescription and text with a nurse practitioner if you have any questions.

  8. If your insurance doesn’t fully cover your prescription or you have a copay, enter payment information.

  9. Receive your birth control in the mail!

Based on your responses, Pill Club may also recommend that you see a doctor in person.

Is Pill Club for me?

Overall, Pill Club is a high-quality, trustworthy online reproductive healthcare provider for women. It offers quick and easy access to birth control, and makes the whole process a little more fun.

For busy women who want to avoid the time and headache of an in-person medical visit, monthly trip to the drug store, or long customer service call with your insurance’s mail-order pharmacy, Pill Club is a significant improvement to the status quo.

Pill Club sets up a subscription for your ongoing prescriptions, so there’s no need to keep calling in your refill, and they offer monthly, 3-month, or even annual shipping options, based on what your insurance provider will allow.

If you need a new birth control prescription and don’t want to go through the hassle of visiting a doctor in person or you’re looking for a more convenient way to fill your existing prescription, we highly recommend Pill Club.

What criteria do we use to evaluate home health products and services?

We customize our evaluation criteria depending on the type and nature of the health-related, sometimes known as “telemedicine” service. For most online healthcare services, we have five areas that we use for our evaluations, including:

Quality: Are the doctors on the service licensed to practice in the US? Are the physicians board-certified in the relevant practice areas? Do they have a high-quality medical review board with oversight? Are their treatment options FDA-approved?

Value: Are you getting your money’s worth? Are there any hidden costs or charges? Does the provider offer discounts or free services to our readers?

Customer Support: How well does the healthcare provider help you choose the best treatment? How clearly are the options presented? How well does the healthcare company help you understand options and get treatment if necessary?

Privacy: Are all treatments sent in discreet packaging? Will your data be stored securely? Could your data ever be shared without your permission?

Speed: How fast will you receive your treatment from the moment you click “buy”? Are doctors and medical professionals responsive to your questions and needs when you are messaging them? Are the waiting times stated by the telemedicine provider accurate and consistent?

HSA, FSA and health insurance

Pill Club takes most major insurance plans, including Medi-CAL and Family PACT. They even accept select Medicaid plans in certain states.

Unfortunately, closed network health plans, such as Kaiser, require patients to fill prescriptions at the pharmacies within their networks, so Pill Club medications won’t be covered under those policies.

However, Pill Club offers competitive pricing for those without insurance or who choose to pay out-of-pocket. They charge a $15 consultation fee and then medication pricing varies. You can call Pill Club’s patient care team directly at 44872 or (772) 217-4557 for a price quote for specific medication.

Privacy considerations

As a licensed pharmacy, Pill Club adheres to all of the patient information security practices for healthcare provider organizations in the United States, including HIPAA. Pill Club uses industry-standard Secure Sockets Layer (“SSL”) technology to encrypt data and enhance the security of data transmissions.

Pill Club subscription services

Pill Club will send you refills as soon as your insurance will allow, so it’s set up like a subscription service.

If you’re fully covered, there’s nothing to worry about, but if you’re paying out-of-pocket or have a copay, be aware that you’ll be automatically set up to receive refills on a recurring basis.

It’s convenient for many women to have their birth control shipped to their home automatically and, since birth control is an ongoing need, a subscription is often preferable - you don’t have to call in your refill each month. However, if you’re not good at managing subscriptions, you may want to sign up for a short-term plan to try the product and then cancel.

With Pill Club, you can cancel your subscription anytime and, in our testing, we found customer service prompt to reply and easy to deal with.

Pill Club texts you updates regularly and it’s easy to reply via text if you have a question or concern. You can also call Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm PST or send an email. In our testing they replied in less than one business day.