Follow Us: Translate:


Loading
 
By: Amy Martin | AFAA Editorial Contributor
Every year, summer break comes to an end and food allergy parents get anxious. Along with packing school supplies, we dutifully assemble emergency kits with antihistamines and epinephrine. In additio
Every year, summer break comes to an end and food allergy parents get anxious. Along with packing school supplies, we dutifully assemble emergency kits with antihistamines and epinephrine. In addition to the set (or two) we send off to school, we keep another set at home or for after school child care. Depending on insurance, these double packs could cost nothing…or up to $300 each.

Because of cost, many families are forced to make the choice to carry beyond the yearly expiration or to even go without necessary life-saving medication. In some cases, parents will even divide up a set of injectors despite the fact that the The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recommendation to always carry two in case one fails or a secondary reaction occurs.

For us, in addition to epinephrine, my son also needs a preventative inhaler which our insurance only covers under our incredibly high deductible. Nothing has ever punched me in the gut harder than when I realized I couldn’t afford my son’s medically necessary medications. Obviously, he could not go without, but what would our family go without in order to pay for them? With three epinephrine sets expiring at the same time and this new preventative inhaler prescription,  I had to find a way to minimize the cost. As medicine and insurance costs rise and coverage declines, I highly doubt we are alone in our dilemma, so here are some tips that worked for our family that hopefully help others.

1. Coupons

The simplest and most popular way to save is to use coupons found on the pharmaceutical company’s website or even given to you by your allergist. Both Epi-Pen and Auvi-Q have $0 copay cards which cover up to a maximum of $100. For those whose copays are under $100, the injectors can be possibly be free. Check your coverage to determine how many injector sets are covered.

2. Income-based plans through drug manufacturer websites 

Both Auvi-Q and Epipen have income-based discount programs that could potentially cover epinephrine costs for an entire year. Each company has different guidelines, so watch carefully. If you still struggle but don’t meet all the requirements, try calling. Sometimes customer service can assist you in your application and even let you know if an appeal filed after a denial would be accepted.

https://www.auvi-q.com/prescription-coverage 

https://www.epipen.com/en/resources/paying-for-epipen

3.   Samples from your doctor’s office

Doctors are wooed by pharmaceutical companies with a supply of samples to hand out to patients as they see fit. I personally have never asked or been offered epinephrine, but we have received asthma inhaler samples that have saved us considerable amounts of money. 

*All advice is based on personal experience. Your experience may be different based on insurance coverage and income. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Amy Martin is a gypsy at heart, with the soul of an entrepreneur and the real, everyday life of a wife, mom, realtor, blogger and food allergy conquistador. She guest blogs and volunteers for AFAA. You can check our her personal blog at www.barefootnpearls.com or find her on Instagram as BarefootinPearls.

 
 
By: Beth Blankenship | AFAA Editorial Contributor
Have you ever wondered how to live with food allergies while also being on a budget?  Over the last few years I have tried to do just that. 
Have you ever wondered how to live with food allergies while also being on a budget?  Over the last few years I have tried to do just that.  I have helped my family learn to be healthier and kept them safe.  Here are a few tips that I hope will help you to live with food allergies and stay within your budget.
*  Be on the lookout for sales, close out prices, etc. of your favorite safe products.  For example, I recently bought shelf stable rice milk for my youngest at about 40% off at Target.  Scan sales and clearance areas and stock up when you can.
*  Sign up for emails, coupons, etc. for your favorite brands.  For my daughter who is gluten free (and for other allergies too), I have saved a lot just by finding coupons.
*  Freeze safe, healthy produce when it is on sale. 
*  Stick to your favorites.  When I was new to being a food allergy mom I tended to buy multiple varieties of the same kind of food.  
*  Don't be afraid to try new things, all while being careful of course.
It takes extra time to make these tips work, but it will be worth it.
Let us know if you have any other tips to share!