During her 16-year tenure as a nurse midwife, Kai Tao became acutely aware of the many obstacles that prevent modern women from getting contraceptive access. Busy schedules, financial concerns and a complex healthcare landscape can all conspire to make the prospect of getting birth control seem like more trouble than it’s worth.
“You may have coverage but you’re not sure how to navigate it: deductibles, copays, coinsurance—what does that all mean?” said Tao in an interview with WTTW Chicago. “People don’t want to take the financial risk, when they might end up getting a bill. They say, ‘I may as well just not do it.’”
That’s why Tao set out to find ways to make it easier for women to find reliable healthcare providers that can provide convenient long-term birth control options such as IUDs and implants. Today, she is the founder of Juno4Me, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that works with women to make the process of finding a birth control provider much easier.
The organization starts by giving a list of nearby reputable healthcare providers to their clients. After scheduling an appointment with the provider of their choice, the women can receive a free Lyft code to relieve the burden of finding transportation as well. In the event that a woman’s healthcare coverage doesn’t cover the basic cost of an IUD or implant, Juno4me will even cover the remainder of the cost through its fundraising efforts.
Kai Tao’s grassroots startup is only a few months old, but it’s already helping about three women find long-term birth control options each week. Thanks to the team at Juno4Me, women in Chicago have gained a valuable new ally that offers support and stress-free access to reproductive healthcare providers.