World Asthma Day: Does Health Insurance Cover Inhalers?

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World Asthma Day will take place on May 7, 2024, as organizations and government agencies attempt to raise awareness about asthma including how widespread it is, what common triggers are and how it can contribute to higher health care costs in the United States and around the world.

Keep reading to learn more about the background behind World Asthma Awareness Day and whether health insurance covers inhalers for policyholders with asthma.

Key Takeaways

  • Various organizations celebrate World Asthma Day on the first Tuesday in May as a way to raise awareness about how widespread asthma is and to cut down on the number of needless deaths involving asthma attacks.
  • Nearly 30 million Americans have asthma and over 3,000 people in the United States die from the disease each year.
  • Private health insurance plans and government programs like Medicare generally cover inhalers if you have asthma, although exact coverage details and restrictions can vary from plan to plan.

What Is World Asthma Day?

World Asthma Day is an unofficial holiday dedicated to raising awareness about the prevalence of asthma and how it can cause students and employees to miss weeks of school or work, refuting common misconceptions about the disease and lowering the number of preventable asthma-related deaths. It takes place every year on the first Tuesday in May, which is Asthma Awareness Month.[1]

Why Is World Asthma Day Important?

It’s important to draw attention to asthma because the condition is prevalent throughout the entire world and is associated with numerous deaths annually. Across the globe, there are over 260 million people impacted by asthma and more than 450,000 asthma-related deaths each year.[2]

Within the United States, there are 5.5 million children and 19.2 million adults with asthma.[3] In addition, 3,517 people died of asthma attacks in 2021 despite the fact that most of those deaths could have been prevented with proper care.[4]

Meanwhile, the economic impact of asthma was over $80 billion per year in the United States from 2008 to 2013 when taking into account the costs of emergency medical care for asthma patients and other types of asthma care, prescription drugs, missed school and work days and final expenses for individuals who died.[4]

World Asthma Day History

World Asthma Day was created in 1998 to coincide with the first-ever World Asthma Meeting in Barcelona, Spain. The inaugural holiday was recognized in over 35 countries and it has become even more widespread in the years since then.[5]

Every year, the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) establishes a theme for World Asthma Day and distributes topical educational materials and other resources online. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Asthma Education Empowers.”[2]

How To Celebrate World Asthma Day

One of the best ways to celebrate World Asthma Day is to educate yourself about asthma and take steps to mitigate your own symptoms if you have asthma. For example, you should note that hay fever symptoms can lead to asthma attacks, meaning substances like pollen that trigger your spring allergies could also lead to worse asthma symptoms.[6]

In addition, you should be aware of the following common asthma attack triggers and try to avoid them if you are concerned about your breathing:[1]

  • Secondhand smoke
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Pests like cockroaches
  • Pet dander
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Outdoor air pollution
  • Chemicals
  • Wood smoke

Finally, you can promote asthma awareness by sharing facts and statistics about asthma on social media or discussing the topic with your friends and family members. You could also get involved with online and in-person communities that are devoted to spreading information and contributing to the prevention of asthma deaths year-round.

How To Get Health Insurance With Asthma Coverage

As you search for a health insurance plan that will cover inhalers and asthma-related hospital visits and doctor’s appointments, it’s recommended that you compare prices from three to five separate health insurance providers to make sure you are getting the best price possible.

To simplify the insurance shopping process, consider shopping with SmartFinancial. Simply provide us with a few details about the type of coverage you’re looking for and we’ll connect you with agents who can help you find the best plan for your circumstances. Click here if you’d like to receive a health insurance quote today for free.

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When is World Asthma Day celebrated?

This year, World Asthma Day will take place on May 7, 2024.

Does health insurance cover inhalers?

Major medical health plans generally cover inhalers for members with asthma but they may restrict how many times you can get your inhaler refilled within a certain time frame. For example, military personnel and family members insured through TRICARE can receive coverage for up to six inhalers per 90 days.[7]

Does health insurance cover asthma and allergy tests?

Coverage can vary depending on your plan and the type of test you undergo but, in general, many asthma and allergy tests are covered by health insurance.[8]

Are inhalers covered by Medicare?

Most Medicare prescription drug plans cover drugs you administer through an inhaler such as albuterol, while inhalers themselves and their accessories may be covered by Medicare Part D if they are packaged and sold together and mentioned in the New Drug Application or Abbreviated New Drug Application for the drug they administer.[9][10]


  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Asthma Awareness Month.” Accessed April 15, 2024.
  2. Global Initiative for Asthma. “World Asthma Day - May 7, 2024.” Accessed April 15, 2024.
  3. United States Environmental Protection Agency. “Asthma Awareness.” Accessed April 15, 2024.
  4. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “Asthma Facts.” Accessed April 15, 2024.
  5. Global Initiative for Asthma. “World Asthma Day 2021.” Accessed April 15, 2024.
  6. Mayo Clinic. “Allergies and Asthma: They Often Occur Together.” Accessed April 15, 2024.
  7. TRICARE. “Inhaler Coverage.” Accessed April 15, 2024.
  8. Allergy & Asthma Network. “Health Insurance for Asthma and Allergies.” Accessed April 15, 2024.
  9. GoodRx. “Albuterol Medicare Coverage and Co-Pay Details.” Accessed April 15, 2024.
  10. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Manual - Chapter 6 – Part D Drugs and Formulary Requirements,” Page 12. Accessed April 15, 2024.

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