Access to quality, affordable health care is critical to managing asthma and allergies and having better quality of life. Some of the barriers that can make it hard for people to get health care include:
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) supports policies that address these barriers. We work to ensure people in the U.S. have access to affordable, comprehensive health insurance coverage. Health insurance should not be limited by pre-existing conditions or socio-economic status, gender, age, race, or ethnicity.
Comprehensive coverage rests on laws and policies that preserve access in the private health insurance market, as well as in Medicaid, Medicare, and other public programs. AAFA supports policies that:
Within the Medicare program, AAFA supports the establishment of an out-of-pocket maximum for the Part D benefit. AAFA also supports policies that would reduce financial liability for people enrolled in Part D plans. This would include a price ceiling for each Part D drug and require more information about drug pricing and other options in Part D explanation of benefits (EOBs).
AAFA also opposes restrictions on drugs under Part D plans that can keep people from getting the medicines they need.
AAFA opposes the use of step therapy requirements that hinder medically appropriate access to medicine for asthma, atopic dermatitis, and other conditions.
Step therapy is a “utilization management” method used by insurance companies. Patients are required to try – and fail – one medicine or regimen before another can be covered. The approach is typically used to reduce plan costs by steering patients toward less expensive treatment.
Members of AAFA’s patient community need medicines to treat asthma, atopic dermatitis, and other related conditions. Often, patients have to work closely with their doctors to identify the right medicine for them. AAFA opposes step therapy requirements, in public or private insurance, which make it harder to access to the safest and most effective medicine as chosen by the patient and doctor.
The use of telehealth services has increased a great deal since 2020. Telehealth can help more people access health care. It can also reduce disparities for people living with asthma or food allergies. But they need appropriate coverage and access to technology.
AAFA supports easy access to telehealth that ensures equal and appropriate access to health care services.
How Can I Get Involved?
Advocacy is speaking out on issues that you care about or offering your opinion and suggestions for how to improve something to the people who are in control. It is important for policymakers to hear directly from you about your experiences.
Together, we need to find ways to address the complicated questions and issues related to asthma and allergies. You can take several steps towards advocating for access to affordable quality care right now.