Financial Assistance Resources For People With Asthma

Along with the stress of asthma (do I have my rescue inhaler with me?), the financial aspect of asthma can be quite a burden. Prescriptions, doctor visits, and other expenses can make asthma tough on the wallet. The yearly medical cost per person with asthma is $3,266. This number includes prescriptions, office visits, and hospital costs.1

Skipping your medicine to save money is not an option. Doing so could lead to missed work and more medical visits. This only adds more financial stress.

However, there is good news for people with asthma. There are a number of financial assistance programs that may help lower your costs.

Federal and state programs

The U.S. government offers assistance through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These programs provide health insurance at a lower cost or for free.

Medicaid and CHIP can help people (and their families) who cannot afford coverage due to income. These programs can also help pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities. Each state has a website where you can apply for Medicaid or CHIP. You can also start at healthcare.gov to find out more about getting assistance through Medicaid or CHIP programs.

Community health centers

If you cannot afford health insurance but make too much to qualify for government programs like Medicaid or CHIP, there are other options available.

Community health centers throughout the United States offer lower-cost care to people. These health centers often charge on a sliding scale based on your income.

These community health centers usually provide primary care services. If you need a specialist, such as an allergist/immunologist or pulmonologist, the center can refer you to a provider.

You can search for a community health center in your community online. The site allows you to search for a location by state or zip code. You can also find centers that offer COVID-19 testing and telehealth services.

Hill-Burton Program

The Hill-Burton Act, under the Public Health Service Act, provides financial assistance to healthcare facilities. These facilities provide free or subsidized medical care to people who qualify.

Most hospitals that receive this financial assistance are nonprofit hospitals. They have to help people who live in the surrounding community in order to keep their status as tax-exempt. Providing care to uninsured people helps these facilities meet their community benefit requirements.

You can find a list of Hill-Burton facilities online. Scroll down to find locations in your community.

Patient assistance programs for drug costs

There are a number of patient assistance programs that can help you pay for your asthma medicines and other drugs you need. These resources also allow you to print a discount card to use at your pharmacy.

  • NeedyMeds can connect you to prescription assistance programs for specific asthma drugs. The site also provides information on a variety of nationwide and state-specific services for people with asthma, including testing/screening, medical supplies, and treatments.
  • RXAssist has information about free and low-cost drug programs. You can also find details on other ways to lower your drug costs.
  • RXOutreach is a nonprofit pharmacy that makes drugs more affordable for eligible people with asthma and other illnesses.

Patient assistance programs offered by drug companies

Many drug companies offer patient assistance programs (PAPs), which offer free or lower-cost medicines to people. Drug companies offer these programs voluntarily, and discounts will vary.

The Allergy and Asthma Network provides a list of asthma and respiratory drugs and their manufacturers. The list includes more details about reduced cost savings programs, drug costs, and contact information for the drug companies.

Talk to your doctor

If you take a brand-name asthma medicine, ask your doctor if free samples are available. Or, ask your doctor if there is a similar asthma medicine that may cost less money. For example, there may be a cost-saving generic inhaler that is similar to the name-brand inhaler you use.

Your doctor wants you to be as healthy as possible, and many doctors can help you find more affordable medicines or healthcare options. Don’t delay – if you need help, reach out to your doctor today.

Do you have any tips for people with asthma who are looking for financial assistance programs? Share in the comments below!

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