Asthma is a breathing condition resulting from inflammation and sometimes mucus buildup in the lungs’ airways. This condition can be aggravated by things like dust or pollen in the air, but overall, people with asthma have narrowed airways at almost all times. Traditionally, severe asthma has been controlled using a rescue inhaler. This device would usually require priming and shaking before use, and in many cases, a spacer would need to be utilized along with the inhaler unit to reduce the concentration of the asthma medication being inhaled.
While rescue inhalers are often effective at treating sudden asthma symptoms, they don’t work throughout the day to make breathing easier. Additionally, some people come to rely on a rescue inhaler, leading to overuse. Another common problem with these delivery devices is that they can lead to problems with the heart and lungs with repeated use, especially when used too often. The medications contained in most rescue inhalers are known as corticosteroids, and while these drugs can strengthen certain tissue for a short period of time, too much of this type of substance can cause conditions like Cushing Syndrome. Today, however, people suffering from asthma have alternatives in medications like Qvar.
What is Qvar?
Qvar (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) is a prescription medication that is delivered using a special inhaler. This inhaler differs from a traditional rescue inhaler in that no spacer, priming or shaking is required. Qvar is also not used as a rescue medication for asthma symptoms. Instead, it is taken twice daily to control asthma symptoms before they become uncomfortable or dangerous. Side effects of this medication may include dry mouth and the development of oral infections, so it is important for individuals who have been prescribed Qvar to monitor their progress and alert medical professionals right away if new or worsening breathing problems develop.
Medicare Coverage for Qvar
Qvar and similar medications that include a delivery device often fall into one of two categories when covered by Medicare benefits. Durable medical equipment, which includes devices like blood glucose monitors, usually falls under Medicare Part B, but because Qvar is also a prescription drug, the medication portion would be covered by Medicare Part D. Most Medicare plans do cover Qvar for home use if prescribed by a physician.
Medicare Advantage plan members may be able to enjoy additional benefits on top of the Part A and Part B coverage provided by Original Medicare. Many MA plans include prescription drug coverage. Coverage and cost may vary between plans.
Additional Savings on Qvar Prescriptions
It’s worth noting that individuals who receive Original Medicare benefits or Medicare Advantage may also be eligible for additional discounts on their prescriptions through Teva Respiratory, the makers of Qvar. The company offers a savings card program that can help cover part of the cost of the medication for eligible insured patients. The savings vary based on a number of factors, so you will need to contact Teva Respiratory directly to discuss your unique situation and to determine eligibility.