Before the Affordable Care Act, some 43% of people with asthma could not afford to pay for their inhalers at least once in a year. This improved access to care and brought health insurance to more families.
However, increased co-pays, deductibles and high premiums still make paying for healthcare very difficult for some. High co-pays put people off taking their medicine. When co-pays increase, asthmatic patients reduce their use of inhaler medication by 32%. A few choose only to use treatment in an emergency.
The unemployed and those who earn slightly too much to be eligible for Medicaid can still miss out. Retired people fall foul of this, as they may have too many assets to qualify.
How to Lower the Cost of Asthma
There are lots of ways to reduce the cost of medication without having to ration it:
Buy from an online pharmacy – Online pharmacies sell safe medicines cheaper and can offer even further reductions for bulk orders. Some insurance policies have a mail-order prescription plan that allows patients to purchase drugs for less through the postal system.
Ask the doctor for different medication – There are no generic inhaler drugs as the FDA phased them out in 2008, but the doctor can prescribe older drugs. Prednisone, an oral steroid, can be used to treat asthma.
Join a Prescription Assistance Program
Patients struggling with medical bills can also join a patient assistance program for ProAir asthma inhalant medication, a service provided by firms such as The Rx Solution. These programs give patients big discounts at a variety of pharmacies when they present a membership card.
Some programs offer prescription medications entirely free.
People who earn too much for Medicaid and retirees may find their insurance payments unaffordable but getting a mail-order prescription plan, using different medications or using a prescription assistance program can help them breathe easily again.