Does Medicare Cover Asthma Inhalers?

Tamera Jackson by Tamera Jackson | Licensed since 2007
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This article was updated on: 09/10/2018

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If you have asthma, you have a lot of company. More than 18 million people – about 7.6% of adults – have asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

You may be wondering if Medicare covers asthma inhalers. Here’s some information for you.

What is an asthma inhaler?

The Mayo Clinic describes an asthma inhaler as a small device you can use to spray certain asthma medications into your lungs, through your mouth. These hand-held devices hold canisters that are pressurized so they can push the medication into your lungs.

Why would I need an asthma inhaler?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website says asthma is a condition that affects the lungs, and can make it hard to breathe. People with asthma sometimes cough or wheeze, or feel tightness in the chest.

How can an asthma inhaler help my asthma symptoms?

When you have an asthma attack, your airways become smaller and it’s harder to breathe, according to the CDC. An asthma inhaler delivers a medication to your lungs to temporarily relieve your symptoms.

Does Medicare cover asthma inhalers?

Medicare Part B (medical insurance) may cover inhalation devices, like nebulizers or asthma inhalers, to deliver asthma medications. A nebulizer is a small device that can turn liquid medication into a mist so you can breathe it in, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

If your doctor prescribes a nebulizer or an asthma inhaler, along with an asthma medication to use with it, Part B may cover them as Durable Medical Equipment (DME).

Medicare’s Competitive Bidding Program may affect your coverage of an asthma inhaler or nebulizer (and the medications used with it). This means that you may need to use a DME supplier that contracts with Medicare.

Would a Medicare Supplement plan help with the costs of an asthma inhaler?

Medicare Part B may cover 80% of the costs of a nebulizer and the asthma medication used with it. That typically leaves you paying 20% of these costs.

Medicare Supplement plans are designed to help pay the out-of-pocket costs of Original Medicare, Part A and Part B. Medicare Supplement insurance is available from private insurance companies. Learn about Medicare Supplement insurance.

Do you want to learn more about Medicare coverage of asthma inhalers? I’m available to answer your questions and explain your Medicare plan options to you. Want to arrange a phone call with me, or have me email you customized information about Medicare plan options?  Just follow the links below. Or, you can take a look at Medicare plan options with no obligation by clicking the Find Plans or Compare Plans buttons on this page.

The product and service descriptions, if any, provided on these Medicare.com Web pages are not intended to constitute offers to sell or solicitations in connection with any product or service. All products are not available in all areas and are subject to applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

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