Transfusion dependence (TD) among myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) patients negatively impacts survival and health-related quality of life. We evaluated cost patterns of MDS care during TD and transfusion independence (TI). MDS patients were identified from a US claims database (2008-2013). TD was defined as ≥2 consecutive 8-week periods with ≥1 claim during each, and no interim 56-day period without transfusion; TI as 8 subsequent transfusion-free weeks; and transfusion frequency as the mean interval between transfusions during the TD period. 13,741 patients were included; 19% were TD and 70% had a mean interval between transfusions of ≤28 days. During a 2-year period, TD patients incurred a mean total cost of $17,815/patient-month; 53% higher for those with ≤28 days ($19,498) vs. >28 days ($12,717) between transfusions. Among patients who achieved TI, mean total cost was $7874/patient-month. For TD-MDS patients, cost increases are proportional to transfusion frequency and achieving TI yields economic benefits.