CPAP device prices range from $250 to $1000 or more (frequently run in the thousands of dollars), not including the cost of necessary accessories such as filters and masks.
Furthermore, most insurance providers require that you fulfill the following, in addition to meeting your annual deductible:
▪ First, you must have a prescription for CPAP therapy from your healthcare provider.
▪ Second, you must successfully complete a compliance period with the CPAP machine, to demonstrate that you are using the treatment regularly. Typically, at least 4 hours per night, on 70% of nights, in a consecutive 30-day period.
More recent PAP devices record your use via an app on your phone, while others use an SD card reader to collect the data. If you are unable to meet these requirements during the first 3 months, you may have to start the process again, or stop the treatment altogether.
There are supplies that need to be replaced over time, including:
- Mask components
- Chin straps
- Water chamber
You will need to contact a DME vendor in order to get your prescription filled and obtain the equipment. Once chosen, the vendor requires insurance information, prescription, authorization forms, and sleep study report.
The vendor will then get insurance approval for DME coverage, before shipping the apparatus to your home with further instructions. In some cases, the DME vendor may request additional information, such as a Letter of Medical Necessities.
When you choose to buy your PAP equipment without insurance, you avoid the requirements of treatment compliance, eliminate the possibility of restarting the process of getting a sleep test and prescription from your doctor. Paying for your equipment directly gives you the opportunity to compare products and choose the PAP equipment you find most suitable.
Don’t forget to budget the ongoing costs of tubes, filters, and other replacements, as well as additional accessories for more comfortable sleep and easier travel:
▪ Mask liners.
▪ Hose holders.
▪ Travel bags.
▪ Weight loss and exercise. Exercise itself is associated with significantly improved apnea hypopnea index (AHI) (mean change -6 events/hour), sleep efficiency, subjective sleepiness, and cardiorespiratory fitness with minimal change in body weight.
▪ Not drinking alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol relaxes throat muscles, which can trigger snoring. If you want to enjoy an evening cocktail, be sure to stop drinking at least three to four hours before bedtime.
▪ Sleeping on your side. When you lie on your back, your tongue falls backward, blocking your airways.
▪ Elevate your head. Propping up the head of your bed by four or more inches can take pressure off your airway so that it’s easier to breathe while you sleep.
▪ The American Academy of Sleep Medicine states that “medical cannabis and/or its synthetic extracts should not be used for the treatment of OSA due to unreliable delivery methods and insufficient evidence of effectiveness, tolerability, and safety”.
When people think of sleep apnea, they picture an obese male who snores, but that’s just a stereotype.