Controlling your asthma so it doesn't control you is a key part of staying healthy. Avoiding asthma triggers to prevent flare-ups is important. So is carrying a quick-relief rescue inhaler everywhere you go. Long-term control medicines help you prevent and control asthma symptoms.
But asthma medication can be expensive, whether or not you have insurance. If multiple members of your family have asthma, the cost is even greater. Your house may be stocked with different kinds of inhalers and pills for each person.
Here are some ideas to try to lower the cost of your asthma medicines:
1. Patient Assistance and Drug Discounts
These are resources offering information about free or reduced-cost asthma medications. Eligibility varies - make sure to follow specific directions for each type. Some offer discount coupons while others may offer free medication.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance – This program matches patients to assistance programs with one application. Call 1-888-477-2669 or follow the online directions.
RxAssist – This is another database of patient assistance programs.
Regional Chapters of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America - AAFA's Regional Chapters offer different programs. Some are unique to residents of the area:
- The Maryland, Greater DC Chapter has information about the Maryland Medicaid program.
- The New England Chapter has information for Massachusetts residents.
- The Michigan Chapter offers a local fund for Michigan residents.
- The St. Louis Chapter offers assistance to eligible children and young adults in certain Missouri or Illinois counties.
The Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin - This nonprofit lists every asthma drug offering assistance in an easy-to-use directory. (You do not have to live in Wisconsin to use this resource.)
Healthwell Foundation – This is an independent foundation for people who have health insurance, but still have trouble paying for treatment.
2. Talk to Your Doctor – There may be a lower cost asthma medication that is appropriate for your condition. Talk with your doctor about your treatment options.
3. Compare Pharmacy Prices – Call around to different pharmacies. Prices may vary, especially between large chain pharmacies and smaller independent pharmacies. Pharmacies at club stores, such as Costco and Sam’s, are generally available to non-members too. Try a price comparison tool like GoodRx. If you have prescription benefits, look into your plan’s mail order pharmacy options. This may give you a lower price or provide more medication for the same price.
4. Change Insurance Plans – If you are buying insurance on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, stay up-to-date with enrollment deadlines. If your family’s income is below a certain level, you might be offered Medicaid and/or your children might qualify under The Children's Health Insurance Program. This depends on your state. Visit www.healthcare.gov, or your state’s health insurance site. If you are privately insured through work, see if you can shop around during open enrollment.
5. File an Appeal – If your insurance refuses to pay for a medication, you have the right to appeal. Healthcare.gov has more information about how to appeal a denial.
Medical Review July 2016.
Updated April 2017.