The Cost of Asthma: Are you financially burdened?

  • Annals of the American Thoracic Society recently published a study indicating that many asthma patients would like to talk with their physicians about the cost of caring for their asthma but often do not get the chance (1).  In fact, 52% of asthma patients reported that the cost of their medical care was burdensome.  I can totally relate to this problem as we have three asthmatics in our family of five.  

    If you feel like paying for your asthma medications is an issue keep reading.  Some of these tips might help you lower your cost!

    Talk with your physician.

    As the study showed, many patients want to talk with their physician about the cost of treating their asthma but they do not get the chance.  If this has been a problem for you there are better ways to keep from being rushed out of your doctor's office.  When you schedule your appointment mention to the staff that you have several questions so that they can allot the doctor more time for your appointment.  Make a list to take with you so that you do not forget the questions you have.  Ask your doctor if there are any coupons they have or samples that can help to offset the cost.  In some instances there may even be a generic or different medication they can switch you to in order to save some money without compromising your care.

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    Call the drug manufacturer.

    Most drug companies have coupons or copay programs.  Check out the manufacturer online or contact them by phone to see if this might apply to your medications.

    Check with your employer.

     A Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) has money your employer adds to apply to your medical bills.  This can be used toward your asthma care.  Employers may also divert your earned pre-tax dollars into Flexible Spending Account (FSA).  This money can also be used toward your care and now your prescriptions as well.

    Price out your medications.

    Don't assume the price you are charged for your medication is a standard one.  Pharmacies vary in their prices.  LowestMed, Prescription Saver and GoodRX are all apps that can help you to compare prescription prices in your area.  You may also want to look into some of the mail order pharmacies.  Buying several months worth of prescriptions at a time may also save you some money in the long run.

    If you are still having problems paying for your medications check with the Department of Human Services or health department in your area.  There are programs for people who exhibit financial need through the Affordable Care Act.

Published On: November 10, 2014