What to Do If You Can't Afford Your Asthma Medicines


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

Patient assistance programs are resources that offer 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.

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 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.

It is important to stay up-to-date on news about asthma and allergies. By joining our community and following our blog, you will receive news about research and treatments. Our community also provides an opportunity to connect with other patients who manage these conditions for support.


Updated April 2017.

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