Food allergy emergency visits cost more for low-income families

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A new study from Northwestern University shows that while low-income families pay less for food allergy supplies the price raises when it comes to emergency medical visits
By Jason Spencer | Apr 30, 2016
Children from low-income families face barriers in life that those from middle-income or high-income families just don't face. Add a food allergy into the mix and you have a whole new set of hoops low-income children have to jump through.

According to Parent Herald, a new study from Northwestern University shows that families with an income of less than $50, 000 face higher prices raising a child with a food allergy when it came to hospital visits. Lead researcher Dr. Richi Gupta noted that those from lower-income families spent more on emergency care as affording the necessary food and the medication was not always a financial option.

"The first line management for food allergy is prevention, but costs for special foods and epinephrine auto injectors can be a barrier for many families," said Gupta.

Researchers collected data from 1,643 caregivers across the United States. After compiling information, they sorted the data into three groups: those who earned less than $50,000, those tho earned between $50,000 and $100,000, and those who earned over $100,000.

Those from the lowest group were found to pay $1,021 each year for emergency medical visits, whereas those from the highest earning group paid only $416. However, this was the only area where a significant difference was noted with lower-income families paying more, as CBS News reported families from the lowest earning group spent less on specialized visits and non-allergenic food.

This is confusing," said Gupta, wondering just how low-income families paid less everywhere else yet more for emergency visits. If it is the cost of medicine, Gupta noted that there are ways to get the necessities for a lower price.

"The manufacturer also has programs to help those who cannot afford the medication," she said. "All families may not be familiar with these programs."


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