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Buying CPAP from overseas
#11
I can't believe this, I have been sitting here all week reading, too nervous to write!
Then when I finally write all you great people are full of the best information. I have been sitting here so confused.
I am not booked in for my RX until end of January but am on cancellation list so hoping something will come up sooner, I'm getting desperate.
I will study all of your valuable information and probably continue to get back to you with more questions.
I would love to hear from any Australians that could perhaps recommend a decent place with good prices in our country if possible please.
I am just a bit nervous about buying from U.S. in case anything goes wrong, as much as I need to save money.
I think it is great that you can help me set my machine.
I loved the advice about asking for the Autoset RX.
I loved all of the advice.
As I mentioned before, this whole sleep apnea business is a minefield.
Thanks again to all you wonderful people who have taken the time to give me your valuable advice.

Cicero, you didn't talk too much, and it looks like New Zealand give out a better free machine than the Australians do! Good luck at your appointment. Would love to hear how you are going, seeing as you are a newbie like myself.
Sleep Tight...
Gabby
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#12
(12-15-2013, 05:53 AM)Gabby Wrote: I would definitely buy the mask in Australia. I will have a look at the Phillips if it is $300.00 cheaper, that is nothing to be sneezed at. You think it is comparable to the Remsed Autoset S9?
If I did buy machine overseas, when I get the first prescription, who would put that in to the machine? I like that you said Tez62 that after the initial script was put in, that people here would be able to help me, is that right?
Thank you for giving me info on my AHI, it now means something to me and I have an idea of how long I stopped breathing for.
No wonder I want to sleep all day long. I just want to get hooked up to a CPAP so I can start to live some sort of normal life again, I hope.
I don't suppose you can head me in the direction of any where decent to buy my machine from in Australia? Also what do you think about 2nd hand machines?
Surly, good thinking about Escape as back up. Will think about that. Still have to buy humidifier and mask and rent for two months before they give it to me.
This is all such a minefield. I am completely overwhelmed by it all. Thank goodness there are good people like yourselves willing to help the uninitiated.
I am sorry for all the jumbled questions.

Gabby, I was going to write back last night but lucky I left it, thinking more about it, if you are renting the Escape for 2 months, it maybe better to do that first and see how you go rather than lashing out and buying a more expensive machine straight up. You will still be able to see your hours of useage and AHI on the screen, so maybe write down your results each day and keep a record, that way it will give you time to get used to it and time to look around to get a bargain CPAP. If you get the Escape for free after the rental period and you then decide to get either a Elite or Auto set as jgjones said you can use the humidifier which will save you more money.
Can you tell me if you are going through a hospital, sleep clinic or someone else like a Chemist?
It sounds like you have you have only had the first sleep study so the next step is to have a second one with a mask or multiple masks on to work out the pressure that you will require or you may have already done this.
If you have you need to look at the type of mask you will want to use, as I mentioned there are 3 types nasal pillows (like small prongs that go up your nose), nasal mask (only goes over your nose) or if you are a mouth breather a full face mask (covers your nose and mouth).
This is all very daunting and will take time but you have plenty of time, you will more than likely be on it for the rest of your life and soon you will be helping and suggesting things to other newbies.
Relax, be patient and most of all stay positive about your new treatment soon you will be feeling normal again.
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#13
(12-15-2013, 05:03 PM)me50 Wrote: I haven't ever heard of an insurance company that would only pay for an Escape. My insurance company paid for the S9 Elite back in 2011 (no rental; paid outright per contract with my employer). Then my new insurance company paid for the S9 Auto Set but is renting it. As others have said before, a lot of times, the DME says things like this because they make more money from providing the Escape and that is probably the only reason they stock them. Insurance companies have to pay for the script as written in the case of CPAP devices as long as the patient has coverage for that. I had a DME tell me one time that I had to pay an additional $70 for a separate item because they claimed it was an upgrade. I became concerned about that as I had talked to a different DME and what I had gotten was not an upgrade (special order as the DME claimed) but was a stock item. So, I went to that DME and ordered mine and the insurance paid for it and I did not have to pay $70 over and above what my insurance paid. I then reported the DME to my insurance company and the insurance company reimbursed me for 2 of the 3 items. BUT, they did not do anything to the DME provider. We have to be careful and there are some things that are hard to verify. When I was told I had to pay $70 more than insurance paid, I called my insurance company and all they could tell me was that it was filed as a special ordered item and that is why I had to pay for it. The insurance company wasn't paying attention to this as what I got was not a special ordered item or a custom item.

me, things work very differently in Australia to to US in some ways we are way behind the US, in Australia if you have insurance, you get 20% ofF the cost of the machine only back, thats pretty much it. Our machines and masks are extremely expensive, my Autoset and mask cost $2,500 Australian (add on another 10% for the fall in the Australia dollar). If you go public (no insurance) you can sometimes be waiting years and get the basic CPAP. We have to buy our own masks and parts so we can't afford to change them as often as you guys do. I just bought a Quattro Air for $300, it will need to last me a couple of years. Even filters cost around $10 for a pack of 3. We do get ripped off and thats why we try to buy over the net as much as possible now a days. Online shopping is booming in Australia as most products can be bought from the US for less than half the price we pay in Australia, even if you add shipping it works out a lot cheaper.
The only benefit is our wages are higher than the US. Just wanted to try to explain the difference.
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#14
I am curious what happens if you get the Escape and the auto set and find out that it is hard to tolerate and you need a BIPAP (for our Aussie friends).
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#15
(12-15-2013, 05:28 PM)me50 Wrote: I am curious what happens if you get the Escape and the auto set and find out that it is hard to tolerate and you need a BIPAP (for our Aussie friends).

You would pretty much have to pay for it yourself and they are a couple of thousand dollars more than the Autoset. I think most people wouldn't bother they would either cope with what they had or give up. Personally I would take out a loan if I had to because I know the benefits, but everyone is differentSmile
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#16
(12-15-2013, 05:24 PM)Tez62 Wrote:
(12-15-2013, 05:03 PM)me50 Wrote: I haven't ever heard of an insurance company that would only pay for an Escape. My insurance company paid for the S9 Elite back in 2011 (no rental; paid outright per contract with my employer). Then my new insurance company paid for the S9 Auto Set but is renting it. As others have said before, a lot of times, the DME says things like this because they make more money from providing the Escape and that is probably the only reason they stock them. Insurance companies have to pay for the script as written in the case of CPAP devices as long as the patient has coverage for that. I had a DME tell me one time that I had to pay an additional $70 for a separate item because they claimed it was an upgrade. I became concerned about that as I had talked to a different DME and what I had gotten was not an upgrade (special order as the DME claimed) but was a stock item. So, I went to that DME and ordered mine and the insurance paid for it and I did not have to pay $70 over and above what my insurance paid. I then reported the DME to my insurance company and the insurance company reimbursed me for 2 of the 3 items. BUT, they did not do anything to the DME provider. We have to be careful and there are some things that are hard to verify. When I was told I had to pay $70 more than insurance paid, I called my insurance company and all they could tell me was that it was filed as a special ordered item and that is why I had to pay for it. The insurance company wasn't paying attention to this as what I got was not a special ordered item or a custom item.

me, things work very differently in Australia to to US in some ways we are way behind the US, in Australia if you have insurance, you get 20% ofF the cost of the machine only back, thats pretty much it. Our machines and masks are extremely expensive, my Autoset and mask cost $2,500 Australian (add on another 10% for the fall in the Australia dollar). If you go public (no insurance) you can sometimes be waiting years and get the basic CPAP. We have to buy our own masks and parts so we can't afford to change them as often as you guys do. I just bought a Quattro Air for $300, it will need to last me a couple of years. Even filters cost around $10 for a pack of 3. We do get ripped off and thats why we try to buy over the net as much as possible now a days. Online shopping is booming in Australia as most products can be bought from the US for less than half the price we pay in Australia, even if you add shipping it works out a lot cheaper.
The only benefit is our wages are higher than the US. Just wanted to try to explain the difference.

sorry for the confusion. My post was directed to drgrimes post. I heard how high it is for those in your neck of the woods!
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#17
(12-15-2013, 08:00 AM)jgjones1972 Wrote: If you get the freebie Escape, you can buy an AutoSet with a humidifier from here in the US and use the same humidifier on either machine...all S9 machines use the same H5i humidifier, so you can switch it back and forth. If you want a spare humidifier you can just buy another from here as well.

If you find out what pressure your machine is supposed to be set to (prescribed) we can walk you through the "clinical settings" of just about any machine so you can set it yourself. If there is no pressure specified or just a broad range like 4-20 on the Rx, then you are intended to have an Auto anyway and the freebie will probably be an Escape Auto, which is a little better than a regular Escape, but still no data - data is very important for making sure your pressure is adjusted right.

Phillips Respironics System 1 60 series Auto is every bit as good as ResMed S9 AutoSet, but the two machines do differ in the way they determine therapy pressure in Auto mode. Some prefer PRS1, some prefer S9 AutoSet...but I think it mostly just has to do with which one you get used to first - then the other feels strange. The only problem I can see with getting a PRS 1 is that then the humidifier would not be able to be interchanged between your main machine and the back-up Escape freebie.

Check supplier number 2 for good deals on used machines as well as new "open box" machines. They are also a good place to find deals on used humidifiers. I've never had a problem with them and I think they do a really good job of cleaning up and only selling stuff in tip top shape.

If you are willing to take the risk there are many perfectly good CPAP machines for sale on http://nh.craigslist.org/ . Many people try cpap for
a few months and give up and then try to sell their brand new machines so you can get a machine for $200. But it is somewhat of a risk. You do not need a prescription for craigslist.
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#18
(12-15-2013, 05:32 PM)Tez62 Wrote:
(12-15-2013, 05:28 PM)me50 Wrote: I am curious what happens if you get the Escape and the auto set and find out that it is hard to tolerate and you need a BIPAP (for our Aussie friends).

You would pretty much have to pay for it yourself and they are a couple of thousand dollars more than the Autoset. I think most people wouldn't bother they would either cope with what they had or give up. Personally I would take out a loan if I had to because I know the benefits, but everyone is differentSmile

so, initially, it would be better to try the Escape and see if one could tolerate it, right? If you can't, would they pay for another sleep study on a BIPAP to see if you would be better with a BIPAP? Hopefully, they would so the patient would be ensured they are getting the proper machine for their OSA.
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#19
(12-15-2013, 05:28 PM)me50 Wrote: so, initially, it would be better to try the Escape and see if one could tolerate it, right? If you can't, would they pay for another sleep study on a BIPAP to see if you would be better with a BIPAP? Hopefully, they would so the patient would be ensured they are getting the proper machine for their OSA.

The answer is pretty much yes, again it's this public versus private insurance thing, if you go public it's free but you wait, you can see Gabby has to wait till the end of January for her next appointment, if you go private you don't wait as long but you pay a large percentage of the sleep study yourself, our sleep studies are around $1,000 per study and then you pay for the overnight stay and you get a percentage back, I think my last one including my sleep specialist appointment cost my about $500 all up.
We have a confusing health system.
If it was an emergency you would get in quicker, but that is really for life or death situations.
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#20
(12-15-2013, 05:47 PM)Tez62 Wrote:
(12-15-2013, 05:28 PM)me50 Wrote: so, initially, it would be better to try the Escape and see if one could tolerate it, right? If you can't, would they pay for another sleep study on a BIPAP to see if you would be better with a BIPAP? Hopefully, they would so the patient would be ensured they are getting the proper machine for their OSA.

The answer is pretty much yes, again it's this public versus private insurance thing, if you go public it's free but you wait, you can see Gabby has to wait till the end of January for her next appointment, if you go private you don't wait as long but you pay a large percentage of the sleep study yourself, our sleep studies are around $1,000 per study and then you pay for the overnight stay and you get a percentage back, I think my last one including my sleep specialist appointment cost my about $500 all up.
We have a confusing health system.
If it was an emergency you would get in quicker, but that is really for life or death situations.

is it either or? by that I mean is it either public or private and not both?
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