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We can Help: Resources & Links    Print Page

It doesn’t matter if you are a patient who suffers from asthma and allergies, a patient's family member, member of the medical community, or just interested in making a difference in the lives of others, AAFA can be your resource to overcoming any obstacles, starting today.

Prescription Assistance Health Insurance Occupational Asthma
Disabilities Insurance Schools Airlines
Childcare Settings Work Place  

Prescription/Financial Resources

Millions of Americans with asthma and allergies have difficulty affording health care, including purchasing prescription medicines. Many lack health insurance and simply do not have the money to pay for the medicines and access to physicians they need. Patient assistance programs have helped many receive free or discounted medicines, but many more still need help.

To address this unmet need, multiple coalitions of pharmaceutical research companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations, and community groups have come together to form different prescription and financial resource groups to help patients who lack the coverage they need through the public or private program that they currently have.

For more information, and to see a list of all of these programs with contact information, please click here.

Health Insurance

When choosing a health insurance plan, there are special circumstances that should be considered by those with asthma or allergies. In addition to the general rules about what treatment for asthma or allergies is covered, many plans may have other rules, which are applied in certain circumstances. A pre-existing condition limit means that if you already have a medical condition when you sign up for an insurance plan, the plan rules will limit payment for that condition for a certain period of time. Some individual or small group plans have this rule, and it can be a major problem. Government plans usually don’t have this limit, and if you change plans that are employer-sponsored, the rule for pre-existing conditions generally can’t be used if the employer has at least 50 workers.

If a plan refuses to enroll someone, denies a claim, or if there are other problems with coverage, every health insurance plan has its own rules for appealing a denied claim. Claims may be denied for a variety of reasons. When you sign up for your insurance, you should receive some kind of printed material outlining the terms of the coverage. You should take time to read this material closely and know the rules.

If your claim is denied, sometimes the explanation for denial is that the treatment was not "medically necessary." This is a poor explanation, and many times it can be reversed. Your doctor or hospital office may also be able to help you with a denied claim.

Disabilities Insurance/Information

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a set of laws designed to ensure equal opportunity for persons with disabilities. Public entities and public accommodations must, under this law, ensure that individuals with disabilities have full access to and equal enjoyment of all facilities, programs, goods, and services.

The ADA applies to anyone who is disabled in some way, which is described as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities or who is regarded as having such impairments. This includes, for instance, breathing, eating, working, and going to school, all of which are considered to be major life activities and can be substantially impacted by asthma or allergies. Even when symptoms are controlled by medication, asthma and allergies are considered disabilities under the ADA.

If you feel that you may have suffered discrimination because of your disability, click here for a free guide to disability rights laws.

Asthma/Allergies in School or Childcare Settings

Asthma is a leading cause of school absenteeism and the school setting is an important place to help protect children with asthma and food allergies from life-threatening reactions. A variety of comprehensive educational materials are available to help parents and guardians, school staff, and administrators with school policies and procedures that can be implemented.

Section 504 is the abbreviation for Title 34 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. The law applies to all institutions, including public schools, which receive financial assistance from the federal government.

Asthma in the Work Place

The ADA prohibits discrimination against "qualified" workers with disabilities. The act includes private employers with 15 or more employees and all public entities regardless of staff size. The ADA defines a qualified individual as someone who meets legitimate skill, education, experience or other requirements of the job. That person must be able to perform the "essential functions" of the position with or without reasonable accommodations, i.e. being able to type if you're a typist or knowing how to drive if you're a bus driver. We're not only protected during hiring and firing but in applying for jobs, assignments, training, promotions, benefits (including health insurance) and all employment activities.

If you feel that you may have suffered discrimination because of your disability, click here for a free guide to disability rights laws.

Occupational Asthma

Occupational asthma occurs when irritants in the work environment aggravate a person and cause the onset of asthma. Occupational asthma has recently become very common, and has been implicated in 9 to 15% of adult asthma cases. Occupational asthma has serious medical and socioeconomic consequences, similar to asthma that develops in childhood. It is most likely the result of a combination of genetic, environmental, and behavioral influences.

If you feel that you may have suffered discrimination because of your disability, click here  for a free guide to disability rights laws


The two types of allergies that appear to generate the greatest passenger concerns on commercial aircraft are sensitivities to peanuts and animal allergens. In the case of life-threatening allergies, your doctor may advise you to carry an epinephrine auto-injector and oral liquid diphenhydramine to immediately and aggressively treat a reaction. If you choose to carry an epinephrine auto-injector, make sure that you have a professionally printed pharmacy label with the device to satisfy the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport security requirements.

There are some airlines that do not serve peanut snacks and there are some airlines willing to accommodate your request to serve a non-peanut snack on your flight. You can also carry peanut-free food with you. You should call an airline’s reservation number to get specific information for that airline. Even if no peanuts are served on your flight, no airline can guarantee a peanut-free flight.

Virtually all major airlines allow pets in the cabin, provided customers meet certain requirements. You can reduce the chance that there will be an animal in the cabin by asking the reservations agent for your airline if another passenger on the same flight has made reservations to travel with a pet. You will, however, still be exposed to animal dander on every flight even without any animals in the passenger cabin. This is because most animal allergens are carried into the cabin on the clothes of other passengers.

If you feel that you may have suffered discrimination because of your disability, click here for a free guide to disability rights laws.

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