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Ask the Allergist

Ask the Allergist

What do I do if I have asthma but don't have health insurance?

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I lost my job and don't have health insurance. How can I get the asthma treatment that I need?

There are a few options that might work out:

1) Telehealth (phone or virtual) visit. There may be some companies that can provide telehealth visits for a flat rate. KHealth, for example, sets up a text chat with a doctor ($19) who can discuss problems and refill medicines. While I do not find this to be a great solution for your total care, it would be reasonable to get refills. Search your online options.

2) Free clinics or federally qualified health centers (FQHC). They often have a built-in pharmacy (340B pharmacy). An FQHC clinic with a 340B pharmacy will likely have sliding scale exam fees and special prices on medicine. This would be a good option for general care. You can use this link to find a free clinic near you.

3) You can get advice from AAFA's virtual insurance assistant on AAFA's Facebook page

4) Health insurance options

Asthma, Health Care Insurance
Answered by

Douglas T. Johnston, DO, FAAAAI, FACAAI, is an allergist/clinical immunologist at Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Assistant Professor at Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is a fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). He has lectured at national and international medical conferences and has publications in several medical journals, including “Clinical Immunology,” “World Allergy Organization Journal,” “Journal of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology,” “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” and the “New England Journal of Medicine.”

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