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Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
#1
Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
New member here. Hi everyone!

I've just recently been diagnosed with OSA and prescribed CPAP.  I'm reasonably familiar with the topic due to my wife using a machine for about 15 years.

All the local DMEs are quoting 8-10 weeks lead time to get an AirSense 11 (auto-set).  "It's supply chain issues" -- "It's hard to get computer chips" -- PLUS the recalls... OK, I believe it.

Given that I'm eager to get started on this therapy, I was wondering if there isn't another path I could try.

For example, does it make sense to buy an AirMini (and get reimbursed via my HRA) to use while I'm waiting for my AirSense to arrive?  Or, would that machine (slightly less quiet, different mask, humidification that's only effective for some people) be a poor choice as an introduction to CPAP?

As another alternative: There SEEM to be sites online (even authorized ResMed dealers) who have the AirSense 11 AutoSet in stock.  I wonder if my insurance provider would reimburse for the purchase?  Are there other downsides to using one of these online sources -- The local DMEs don't seem to offer much "support" in terms of helping you choose a mask, other than asking you a few questions and sending you one to try.

What do you experienced folks counsel?
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#2
RE: Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
I wouldn't recommend an AirMini as a 'starter machine' not only because of the items you mention: "(slightly less quiet, different mask, humidification that's only effective for some people)" but mainly because there is no data capture for OSCAR, so you can't get good feedback on how your therapy is working (or not). The ResMed phone app is only good for collecting virtual gold stars.

Other people may be able to advise about insurance.
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#3
RE: Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
As an alternative, have you considered a used machine?
Crimson Nape
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#4
RE: Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
I wouldn't buy an AirMini either.

As far as insurance goes, I'm sure you realize that coverage can differ not only person to person but state to state. (Talking US only)

What I recommend is to call your insurance and ask if they reimburse for a online CPAP purchase. Most online DME's don't process that paperwork for you. You would have to do it on your own. They should however supply you with a billing invoice that you can submit to your insurance with the correct insurance codes listed.
OpalRose
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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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#5
RE: Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
Thank you, folks.

Your advice is very helpful to me.
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#6
RE: Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
While I love my airmini for traveling, my AirSense 10 is what I use on a regular basis. It's also worth noting there are some insurance providers that will not cover "travel" CPAPs like the airmini.
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#7
RE: Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
That's correct, my Insurance did not cover 'travel CPAP' machines, only the primary tableside CPAPs. So if you choose to go with the AirMini as an interim solution while you wait for the DME supplied device, it may be an out-of-pocket expense.

I bought my AirMini while I waited for my DME CPAP last October, and glad I did because the 8 week wait turned into 19 weeks. I was eager to begin my therapy at whatever expense.
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#8
RE: Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
I bought an AirMini to get myself through that supply chain wait until my ResMed AirSense 11 came in (about 4 weeks in my case). I have no regrets about getting the AirMini as it is perfect for travel and uses less power when running off a battery (good for power outages).  It is a bit noisier than my new AirSense 11 but it’s still very usable.  I should add I am a long term CPAP user so I did not have to adjust to therapy.  The cost of the Mini came out of my own pocket, but then it kept me alive until my AirSense 11 arrived.  I need the backup.
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#9
RE: Get an AirMini While Waiting? Or... Buy Online?
Once again, thank you for the very helpful comments.

It's a tough decision -- I could afford the out of pocket expense (I guess)... what I don't want is to have a bad experience sleeping with CPAP for the first time.. and then having to overcome that when my full-size machine comes in.

Anyhow... again... many thanks for sharing your experience.
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