Illinois General Assembly Caps the Cost of Prescription Inhalers

CHICAGO, May 23, 2024 — RHA applauds the Illinois General Assembly for passing an amendment that caps the co-pay of an asthma inhaler at $25 per 30-day supply. Coverage for prescription inhalers will also be exempted from insurance plan deductibles. This helps people with lung disease afford the medications they need to stay healthy. Once signed by the Governor, the bill will take effect Jan. 1, 2026.

In Illinois, there are over 1.5 million residents diagnosed with asthma and COPD. Unfortunately, many have limited resources and are among the 25% of people nationwide who are unable to fill their prescribed medications due to costs.  Some patients require two or three inhalers a month. Yet a single inhaler can cost as much as $600 per month. Without affordable prescription inhalers, lung disease patients put their health at risk and face a greater likelihood of exacerbations, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and death.

“The passage of this amendment reduces a significant barrier for people managing chronic lung health conditions,” said Joel Africk, President and CEO of Respiratory Health Association. “This will increase quality of life for Illinoisans suffering from asthma, COPD, and other lung diseases.”

By making prescribed inhalers more affordable, residents should see a ripple effect across the state by reducing emergency department visits and hospitalizations which will result in significant healthcare savings. And as more children with asthma bring their now affordable inhalers to school this will allow them to remain in class after an asthma episode instead of missing school.

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About Respiratory Health Association

RHA has been a local public health leader in Chicago since 1906. RHA works to prevent lung disease, promote clean air, and help people live better through education, research, and policy change. To learn more, visit www.resphealth.org.