Choosing Health Insurance: Pay Now or Pay Later?



Patients and families with asthma know what an expensive disease it can be to manage. Recent news on the high cost of epinephrine auto-injectors shows managing life-threatening allergies is hard on the wallet, too.

During this year’s open enrollment season, picking an insurance plan that suits your healthcare needs – and understanding how to use the deductible to your advantage – has never been more important.

If you have moderate-to-severe asthma that requires frequent doctor visits and prescription refills, a low- or no-deductible health plan may be best. If your asthma and allergies are under control, and you expect only a few doctor visits and prescription refills, a high-deductible plan may work.

Keep in mind many people with asthma underestimate the severity of their asthma – it often reappears without warning, requiring unplanned healthcare costs.

Don’t Cut Corners

Recent studies show people with high-deductible health plans tend to skimp on healthcare. To keep costs down, they go to the doctor less and don’t get prescriptions filled.

This is risky. It’s important to follow your treatment plan, especially when it comes to managing asthma and allergies. Find out if there’s a less-expensive generic medication available. Prescription drugs can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, so shop around for the best price — use GoodRX.com to compare medication costs and get coupons. Check pharmaceutical company websites for more coupons and discounts.

Allergy & Asthma Network offers a free Prescription Drug Card to save on medications – downloadable at AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org/outreach/patient-resources.