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FSA/HSA Funding/Budgeting for 2014
#1
For folks here in the US that have a FSA or HSA account, what do you budget for sleep apnea supplies?

I have a high deductible plan which means I basically pay for everything. I don't think I'll get my explanation of benefits for all the CPAP stuff I got last week until after enrollment ends next month. So I'm wondering about what I should plan on to cover expenses just for CPAP stuff. I have an HSA so money can roll-over year to year and I can take it with me.
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#2
Well, as a newbie, you may wish to budget more the first year or two. The reason why is trying different masks, growing pains and possibly breaking or having kids/pets break/chew masks, headgear, hoses, etc...

I've found that after 10+ years, I buy 2 filters a year, and plan on one mask / headgear every other year, and one mask rebuild kit every other year. While I make sure I have a full spare set of everything, I believe my current hose is like 4-5yrs old. My water chamber is at least 3yrs old (vinegar is great).

I pay cash for everything, so I try to make pieces/parts last. Others may get a new mask, headgear, hose, water chamber every six months, and new filters monthly.

Only you will know what pattern will work best for you. I would say (example) most of us started out cleaning everything daily, then over time slowly drift into our pattern - like me, I wash my mask every 2-3 weeks, rinse my chamber daily, but soak it monthly (rinse my hose then), only wash my headgear when it gets skanky.
*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional.  My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
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#3
Peter_C is correct in that it may be beneficial to budget more money initially. There is a limit to the amount you can set aside for an HSA/FSA. I do not have one of these so I do not know what the maximum amount is. Sleep-well
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
Filter use will depend on your house. We have an old house with high ceilings and wood floors. We also have dogs and cats. I have to change my filters once a month. But the packs I get from the supplier come in a pack of 2 so really, I only use 6 packs a year. But if I travel, I change before I leave and when I get back. If I stay at hotels, I change after each hotel due to the stinky cleaning stuff they use.

Headgear lasts forever. I wish we could buy just the parts and not the entire set. Depending on the type of mask you use, the type of skin you have, how often you clean the mask, etc., the longevity of it can be a long time. With Medicare, I could get a new mask every 3 months but I don't call but every 6 months. With nasal pillows, there's so little that can go wrong (tear, get too nasty, etc).

Hoses can last much longer but I don't push them. They are what get the most humidity but get the least amount of adequate cleaning. I get a new hose every 6 months. I keep the one I am replacing and toss the one from the time before that. That way I always have a spare. Each winter I get a new ClimateLine as well. Since they are darker, I don't keep those since I can't see if anything is growing on the inside.

Other than the mask, the rest is relatively cheap. Don't skimp on filters as it helps to keep the machine working. Since you are paying out of pocket, shop around for the best deals.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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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#5
Thanks guys. My DME said that I'll get an automated call asking me if I want to order new supplies when it's time to order them. She said just say yes to it all because it will only ask me for what insurance will pay. However, while I may meet the deductible this year, I usually don't meet it until the end of the year and pay cash (or HSA cash) for everything until then, so it's not like this stuff is free to me. Maybe I should email the tech and ask her. They are supposed to be giving me a follow up call within a few days I could ask then too. I saw the price of the mask listed on the order sheet she gave me and asked if that was how much it really cost. She said no, the real cost is how much the insurance company will pay for it. So I know I pay the insurance company price, but that's hard to know until I get the EOB back.
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#6
I would insist on knowing my price on each item i have to pay for or make a copayment for.
I would also price shop with the suppliers list here. Some DMEs can get nuts with the pricing. Trust but verify, than fight for the best price you can get
If you can use the HSA to pay any supplier, use that negotiating tool to your advantage.

Good luck
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#7
Oh yeah, know the price up front. If they aren't telling you now, go to another.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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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