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Australian Health Card holders (pensioners)
#1
Hi all,

A newbie here so please be gently. 

I've recently had a sleep test and know that I do have sleep apnea. How severe etc I will find out next week from specialist, however I was diagnosed with SA some years ago and did nothing about it - now it has caught up with me and first appointment with specialist he did say that I am probably a candidate for a mask.

I have an Australian Health Card card (part pensioner) and I'm wondering if any one can advise if there are any sort of discounts/low cost options for card holders please?

I also have a hearing disability - deaf in one ear and not so good hearing in the other. I have 1 hearing aid and REALLY need that. There is a scheme for Health Card holders to get almost all of their hearing aid treatment for almost nothing (a once a year fee of just over $A40). I'm hoping there is something similar for SA's.

I'm probably going to be asking a few questions along the way and thanks in advance for assistance.

David
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#2
ring your local public hospital outpatient, to confirm that they normally provide a basic machine when on a health care card. There is a wait list to be titrated for it. your other option is to self fund with second hand or a new unit.
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#3
G'day David. Welcome to Apnea Board.

As ajack said, you might be able to get subsidised assistance through your local public hospital. Some state health authorities provide subsidies for CPAP (eg in Victoria there is the Statewide Equipment Program SWEP) for people who qualify.

You can also apply to Centrelink for an electricity subsidy $147 pa towards the cost of running the machine https://www.humanservices.gov.au/custome...nt-payment

If you have private health insurance, that will make a one-off payment which ranges between $300 and around $800 depending on which fund you're with and which ancillaries table you're on.

Despite the fact that CPAP machines were invented in Australia and the Resmed models are made here, they are far more expensive than in the United States. Many Apnea Board members have privately imported machines. There is some risk involved (in terms of warranty coverage) and you need to take into account the full cost including exchange rate, postage, customs ($50 handling fee) and so on. If you're confident in your own ability to manage the situation, this may be an attractive option, but of course it's not for everybody. Your local provider will probably tell you it's illegal to import medical equipment - it's not.
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#4
Thank you both for your replies.

I've got extras cover on private health insurance (expensive!!!!!) and qualify for a $500 rebate per claim - maximum is $800.

Reading the link sent, the SWEP seems to be for those in the Ballarat and region - I'm in Melbourne, so no good. The Centrelink is a good one and so too is the local public hospital idea - thanks again.

One Melb supplier offers a re-conditioned unit package - any comments please.

Still early days for me - thanks again

David
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#5
I live in NSW and I get an electricity rebate from my supplier as the CPAP machine is classed as medical equipment, so that is worth looking in to. I am retired, but do not qualify for any Govt assistance or pension. The rebate does not depend on being a pension recipient with my electricity supplier.

James
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#6
Hi sirgaw,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Good luck to you as you start CPAP therapy and also in dealing with insurance.
trish6hundred
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#7
(05-08-2017, 06:43 PM)JamesW Wrote: I live in NSW and I get an electricity rebate from my supplier as the CPAP machine is classed as medical equipment, so that is worth looking in to. I am retired, but do not qualify for any Govt assistance or pension. The rebate does not depend on being a pension recipient with my electricity supplier.

James

I wonder if they do the same here in QLD? I'll ask Origin.
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#8
(05-09-2017, 04:45 AM)holden4th Wrote:
(05-08-2017, 06:43 PM)JamesW Wrote: I live in NSW and I get an electricity rebate from my supplier as the CPAP machine is classed as medical equipment, so that is worth looking in to. I am retired, but do not qualify for any Govt assistance or pension. The rebate does not depend on being a pension recipient with my electricity supplier.

James

I wonder if they do the same here in QLD? I'll ask Origin.

It will be on their website https://www.originenergy.com.au/for-home...bates.html
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#9
The link above to Human Services is the Commonwealth Centrelink and NOT state based. Also the subsidy has increased to $152 per year, which seems a good deal for those who qualify. Anyone know the cost of running a CPAP machine over a year please?

Thanks again to everyone. Thanks

David 
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#10
(05-09-2017, 04:45 AM)holden4th Wrote:
(05-08-2017, 06:43 PM)JamesW Wrote: I live in NSW and I get an electricity rebate from my supplier as the CPAP machine is classed as medical equipment, so that is worth looking in to. I am retired, but do not qualify for any Govt assistance or pension. The rebate does not depend on being a pension recipient with my electricity supplier.

James

I wonder if they do the same here in QLD? I'll ask Origin.

I am with Origin in NSW and the rebate is $29.10 per quarter for a CPAP machine. Qld looks to be different, and the rebate is funded by the government. It seems CPAP machines are not covered. I filled out a form and sent a copy of a letter from my sleep specialist and "Bobs your uncle." Only NSW, ACT and SA give a rebate for CPAP machines.

James
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