Strategies commercially-insured families use to manage the cost of asthma care: A qualitative interview study.

View Abstract

Families affected by asthma report difficulty adhering to care regimens because of high medication costs, coupled with increased cost sharing required by some insurance plans. To inform efforts to support adherence, we conducted a qualitative study to explore how families manage asthma care costs. We conducted phone interviews with commercially-insured, US adults ( = 59) who had asthma and/or a child with asthma. Our purposive sample included participants with high- and low/no-deductible health plans. We analyzed data using thematic content analysis to identify strategies for managing asthma care costs and to assess strategies' implications for adherence. Our analysis identified four overarching strategies for managing asthma care costs. First, participants used prevention strategies to avoid costly acute care by minimizing exposure to asthma triggers and adhering strictly to preventive medication regimens. Second, participants used shopping strategies to reduce costs, including by comparing medication prices across pharmacies, using medication coupons or free samples, and switching to lower-cost medications. Third, budgeting strategies involved putting aside funds, including in tax-exempt health savings accounts, or taking on debt to pay for care. Finally, some participants sought to reduce costs by forgoing recommended care, including by skipping medication doses or replacing prescribed medications with alternative therapies. Commercially-insured families use a wide range of strategies to manage asthma care costs, with both positive and negative implications for adherence. Our typology of asthma cost management strategies can inform insurance redesign and other interventions to help families safely reduce costs and maximize adherence to recommended care.

Investigators
Abbreviation
J Asthma
Publication Date
2022-01-17
Page Numbers
1-14
Pubmed ID
35037558
Medium
Print-Electronic
Full Title
Strategies commercially-insured families use to manage the cost of asthma care: A qualitative interview study.
Authors
Gilkey MB, Cripps LA, Przywara KM, Batista MI, Galbraith AA