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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Albuterol Inhaler

Albuterol Inhaler Cost


How Much Does an Albuterol Inhaler Cost?

 
low costWith Insurance: $5-$50average costWithout Insurance: $30-$60high costIn a Nebulizer: $200-$300
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Albuterol is a medication used to treat wheezing and other breathing difficulties among people with chronic lung conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The drug can also be used to prevent shortness of breath and wheezing during exercise. Brand names include Accuneb, Ventolin HFA, ProAir HFA and Proventil HFA. The generic drug is known as Salbutamol.

Typical costs:

  • Patients without insurance can expect to pay between $30 and $60 for their albuterol and the inhaler. The cost varies depending upon the dosage and brand of medication. Those with insurance will pay typical copays and coinsurance rates, which can range from $5 for the generic version to $50 for a brand name.
  • A refill will include both the albuterol and the inhaler device, so the cost will be the same as the original prescription.
  • Physicians will prescribe albuterol treatments through a nebulizer machine for some patients, including children under age four and those with severe asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Without insurance, nebulizers typically cost $200 to $300. Some hospitals, urgent care clinics and pharmacies will allow patients to rent a nebulizer. Cost for rental will vary.
  • Generic albuterol nebulizer solutions cost about $.40 for 10 doses and brand name versions can cost up to $12.10 for 10 doses, according to an analysis of national average sales prices by the Office of the Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Patients with insurance will pay typical copays and coinsurance rates.
Related articles: Allergy Testing, Allergy Shots

What should be included:
  • Each prescription will include an inhaler, which is a plastic device that propels the medication down into the lungs. Most inhalers include about 200 metered doses. The University of Illinois provides information on proper inhaler use[1] .
  • Some prescriptions require that a nebulizer be used. Nebulizers are machines that mix air with the medication, creating a fine mist that is easily breathed deep into the lungs. Nebulizers often come with a mask or mouthpiece, a cup to hold the medication and tubing through which the air flows. Treatments with a nebulizer can take between 5 and 15 minutes, depending upon the medication and the dose. Nebulizer solutions should include a dosage tool to determine how much medication to place in the nebulizer cup.
  • In 2008, pharmaceutical companies were required to switch from inhalers using a chemical called chloroflourocarbon as a propellant to a more environmentally friendly propellant called hydrofluoroalkane. Inhalers using the new propellant may taste different and the spray of medication may not seem as strong. This is normal and does not mean that less medication is dispensed.
Additional costs:
  • A peak flow meter, which measures how fast a patient can push air out of their lungs, is often needed to determine the appropriate albuterol dose. Most physicians recommend that patients take their peak flow before each use of the medication. Peak flow meters typically cost $20 to $70 at a drugstore or pharmacy. If a physician recommends that the patient use a peak flow meter prior to each dose, the device should be purchased before any medication is taken.
Discounts:
  • The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America[2] can provide assistance for people having difficulty affording their albuterol inhalers and nebulizers.
  • Prescription assistance for low-income individuals and families may also be available at your local health department.
  • National prescription assistance programs for low-income families include the Partnership for Prescription Assistance[3] and the Together RX Access Program. These programs will require that patients prove their income. Participation requirements vary.
  • For patients over age 55, the National Council on Aging provides a program called Benefits Checkup[4] to help people find the services they need, including prescription drug coverage.
Shopping for an albuterol inhaler:
  • Patients or guardians of patients with chronic respiratory illnesses should begin by consulting their physician regarding treatment options. Albuterol is a medication commonly prescribed to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. It is not usually necessary to see a specialist.
  • If a visit to a specialist is necessary, ask the patient's primary care physician for a referral.
  • Make sure that the prescribing physician knows about any other medications the patient might be taking or any drug allergies. Also be sure to tell the doctor if the patient is pregnant. These factors may make the physician consider another form of treatment.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Ventolin Cost
Amount: $100.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Raconto Mia in El Segundo, CA.Posted: September 22nd, 2013 09:09PM
Dosage: 90 mcgBrand: Ventolin
Insurance: United Healthcare
Caremark charged me $100 for 3 month supply in their mail order system
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insurance and Walmart proble,
Amount: $62.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: dondeeg in Sioux Center, IA.Posted: July 15th, 2013 02:07PM
Dosage: 2 puffs every 4hrs. as neededBrand: ProairHFA
Insurance: First Health Part D
My prescription was written for 2 inhalers a month. If you figure 200 metered doses that is only 25 days at every 4 hrs. When I went to get my script filled they wanted to copays of 35 each. I held out until the insurance company and Walmart got the glitch fixed. Now I get 2 inhalers every mo. for 1 copay.
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25 without insurence bcbs copay $65
Amount: $25.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: dbarrientes in sumter, SC.Posted: April 8th, 2013 01:04PM
Dosage: 2 puffs every 6 hours as neededBrand: ventolin hfa
Insurance: bluecross blue shield
i went to get my daughters inhaler refilled and the pharmist told me that they didnt bill my insurence because my insurence wanted $65 for the copay and the price withut insurence was only $25 warning to the wise if you have bluecross blueshiled ask question when getting your meds filled so that you dont get stuck over paying
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ProAir HFA 8.5 (small) inhaler
Amount: $121.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: momz in Minneapolis, MN.Posted: March 26th, 2013 06:03PM
Dosage: Brand: ProAir
Insurance: Blue Cross, Medco
Cost for my much-needed inhaler $121, NOT INCLUDING the $260 doctor visit (required yearly). We are constantly amazed at how much our so-called insurance, does NOT cover.
It's almost like not having insurance. We pay 100% until a few thousand dollars, which we never reach within the year. Then in January it starts all over again. What a racket.
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Profair HFA COST
Amount: $96.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: SteveO in Federal Way, WA.Posted: March 13th, 2013 04:03PM
Dosage: Brand: ProfairHFA
Insurance: None
Cost with insurance, $32.00
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Ventolin HFA albuterol inhaler
Amount: $43.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: susan jarrett in Archdale, NC.Posted: March 11th, 2013 05:03PM
Dosage: 90mcgBrand: Glaxosmithkline
Insurance: blue cross blue shield
when i went get my inhaler filled ,I couldn't understand why it went from 10.00 to 43.00 ! they told me blue cross blue shield did not cover it as ..United Healthcare had done for 10.00
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Ventolin HFA albuterol inhaler update
Amount: $42.70 not covered by insurance
Posted by: forward in Newton, MA.Posted: January 25th, 2013 01:01PM
Dosage: 90 mcgBrand: Glaxosmithkline
Insurance: Tufts Health Plan
Have not heard back from Tufts about whether they cover this med in the formulary, but we did check some other pharmacies (Walmart, Costco) and they are all slightly MORE than CVS, around $50 per inhaler, so our statement that CVS seemed more expensive, which was based on internet search, was not correct (apologies to CVS)
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Ventolin HFA albuterol inhaler
Amount: $42.70 not covered by insurance
Posted by: forward in Newton, MA.Posted: January 20th, 2013 10:01PM
Dosage: 90mcgBrand: Glaxosmithkline
Insurance: Tufts Health Plan
Tufts Health Plan seems not to cover ventolin inhalers for some reason. We are going to ask them about this. In recent years coverage for state employees has been deteriorating, and maybe this is part of that trend. It was purchased at a local CVS whose prices for these inhalers seem to be much higher than at local discount pharmacies (Target, Walmart).
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I denied paying and left it with the pharmacy
Amount: $25.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Lorelei Leslie in Canoga Park, CA.Posted: January 18th, 2013 09:01PM
Insurance: United HealthCare
I couldnt believe my inhaler that used to cost $5 was now $25 WITH maximum insurance coverage
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Albuterol
Amount: $44.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Widdle in Cortlandt Manor, NY.Posted: November 9th, 2012 05:11PM
Dosage: 8.5 gmBrand: proair
Insurance: Empire NYSHIP
I haven't gotten a perscription in quite some time because my asthma is not that bad. I'm going on a trip and want to be safe, so I got my script filled. I was shocked when he said $44.00 when the last time I got it filled it was $5.00. I figured it had something to do with obamacare and went home furious. I didn't know the generic albuterol no longer exist, and I'm sure this is why my insurance paid $0.00 on this script. No Primatene mist, no generic Albuterol so only people that have money can now get asthma medication?? This isn't right and needs to be changed..I'm pissed!!
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Albuterol Inhaler
Amount: $30.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: John Green in Kennewick, WA.Posted: September 18th, 2012 10:09PM
Dosage: GenericBrand: Albuterol
Insurance: none
I have been an Asthmatic all of my life just like my Dad was.I am 50 years old and I have no insureance and can not afford any either.I have Asthma attacks at least 2 to 4 times a week, some worse than others.The FDA has baned the sale of any over the counter inhalers.Without a doctor I can't even get a prescription,could you please help me.Thank You! Sincerely John Green.
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albuteral inhaler\'s brand or generic
Amount: $45.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: rjm in West Palm Beach, FL.Posted: July 10th, 2012 09:07AM
Dosage: genericBrand:
Insurance: none
Walmart is the lowest pharmacy in the south east and includes florida. A discount card will also reduce these cost by $3-5 dollars. I have researched all pharmacys, warehouse chains and online pharmacy's and no one can beat Walmart on any drug. Even if on medicare you would be wise to use Walmart to reduce the amount incurred by your insurance's maximum it will prolong the insurance coverage before reaching your donut hole if this is an issue for you.
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Albuterol Cost
Amount: $51.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: J.U in Potomac, MD.Posted: April 3rd, 2012 05:04PM
Dosage: 8.5gBrand: Proair inhaler
Insurance: none
Prices ranged from $48.99 at one pharmacy (with a saving card) to $61.99 (without the card which cost $25) Another pharmacy sold it for $51. The savings card is worth it if filling a larger number of prescriptions as it gives significant discounts on a lot of medications.
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Albuterol Cost
Amount: $10.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: joyjohn in New York, NY.Posted: February 17th, 2012 01:02AM
Dosage: 100MCGBrand: Generic Albuterol
1 inhaller costs $10. I got it online at International Drug Mart.
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GHI NY
Amount: $35.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Morticia117 in Bronx, NY.Posted: May 9th, 2011 08:05AM
Dosage: 200 meteredBrand: Ventolin HFA
Insurance: GHI NY
The generic brand cost was $5.00 for the co-pay. Since they took out the generic brand, I am left with the branded one while costs $35.00 with the insurance.
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Kaiser Permanente Prices
Amount: $67.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Russell Bevill in Fresno, CA.Posted: November 22nd, 2010 10:11AM
Dosage: 200 meteredBrand: Albuterol
Insurance: Kaiser
Cobra insurance is over 1200/month and I can not afford KP.org any more. I ordered this online and when I got to their pharmacy a few days later my membership had expired. So instead of $15.00 it will now be $67.00 per 8.5g net contents.
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Cost
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Stephen S Bierce in Houton, TX.Posted: October 19th, 2010 11:10AM
Dosage: Brand: Albuterol
Insurance: Medicare/united health
I called my MD to get an Rx for Albuterol. When I went in to pick it up they said my "co-payment was 35.00. I said you mean the cost or the co-payment. $35.00 was my part! What is the story?
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Free Nebulizer though Cigna
Amount: $5.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: yangzi in Indianapolis, IN.Posted: April 21st, 2010 10:04AM
Insurance: Cigna
We got a nebulizer machine for free though our insurance (Cigna) in 2008. Two boxes of medicines cost $5 after insurance (Cigna).
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External Resources:
  1.  www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/inhaler_use/inhaler_use.html
  2.  www.aafa.org/
  3.  www.pparx.org
  4.  /www.benefitscheckup.org/
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