OBJECTIVES: To describe how the types of healthcare expenditures for patients with asthma have changed over the past decade. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional comparison between individuals from 1996 to 1998 and 2004 to 2006. METHODS: Expenditures among US individuals (aged 5 to 56 years) with asthma were compared using the 1996 to 1998 and the 2004 to 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys. Direct expenditures (medications, inpatient, outpatient, and emergency services) and changes in productivity (missed school and work days) were compared over this time frame. The adjusted analyses controlled for age, education level, race/ethnicity, gender, poverty, region, metropolitan statistical area, self-reported health, and Charlson Comorbidity Index. RESULTS: Mean annual per capita healthcare expenditures increased between 1996 to 1998 and 2004 to 2006 ($3802 vs $5322 inflated to 2010 US dollars, P <.0001). Annual medication expenditures doubled from $974 to $2010 per person (P <.0001) and outpatient visit expenditures increased from $861 to $1174 (P <.0001) while hospitalization and emergency department (ED) visit expenditures were similar over the same time period. Missed school and work days decreased between the 2 periods (9.23 days in 1996-1998 vs 6.39 days in 2004-2006, P = .001). CONCLUSIONS: An increase in total direct expenditures in individuals with asthma was largely driven by an increase in spending on medications comparing 2004 to 2006 and 1996 to 1998 data. However, this increase was not offset by lower spending on hospitalization and ED visits.