(10-11-2015 12:39 PM)DWaldman Wrote: Insurance will buy outright, no lease required, at least that is what they have told me so far. Their rules seem simple, 80% in network, 60% out of network. The problem appears to be that the in-network providers will only allow a lease to own. So then I have the problems of deductible rollover, etc. Buying outright from an on-line supplier seems like the way to go, I will have to provide more up-front money, but the total cost out of pocket will be less, even though I get only a 60% reimbursement of my real cost.
Sounds like you are closing in on it and you got it from here
A few final thoughts to consider that might fill in any remaining gaps ...
My initial setup (Resmed A10 Auto CPAP machine, F-10 mask, heated hose, and filters) costed out at about $1300 from the DME.
Unknown what your in-network DME will charge you for non-auto machine, but let's say this is a ballpark number.
If you are trading off 80% versus 60% then the diff is 20% or approx $260.00.
If they rent-to-own there would probably some additional cost just for paying over time which might close the gap or even make the in-network more expensive to you.
The fact that your insurance will buy outright is a big deal. It likely means you won't have to deal with demonstrating compliance which is the primary reason for the rent-to-own options (ie if it doesn't work out the insurance can turn it back in for the cost of a few months lease versus being stuck for the entire cost of a machine that nobody will use). So you can pull that rug out from under the DME when they tell you they must do a rent-to-own.
If you look around you might be able to beat the in-network purchase cost by buying online, but maybe not since the in-network price will already be a discounted contract price not retail price.
Lot of other things might come into play here, such as a separate out of network deductible not counting against your in network deductible, out of network "reasonable and customary" limitations falling short of actual machine purchase price, etc.
If I were considering your options and I had the money to pay now and get reimbursed, I might pursue the following:
1. try and get the Dr to write the prescription specifically for the machine you want. If that makes your in-network DME have to give you the machine you want, then you should have some leverage to buy outright versus lease. At that point it's not hypothetical and they can agree to sell you a machine or they can walk away with nothing. Who knows what they will do, but at least you will be holding all the cards.
2. Failing that, look around online for an in-network provider you can order over the internet. IDK, but maybe there are DMEs in big city locations in your state that are in network to you who would be happy for the business and ship stuff to you.
3. Failing that go out of network for the machine. One place you might start is the suppliers list (see link at the top of the page). I don't think they are "endorsed" per se, but it's a starting point.
You will likely have to live with the machine you get for a 5 year service life. So a couple hundred dollars over five years is a small price to ensure you get a good data-capable, automatic machine you can live with for a long time. And as you said going out of network to buy might actually be cheaper out of pocket versus in network rent-to-own. all things considered.
I got the A10 but the S9 auto machine is preferred by some people on this forum, so what I'm suggesting is you might find the slightly older S9 model which they still sell brand new to be less expensive and yet fully capable. I don't know since I didn't compare them, just mentioning what I read in some discussions. Sounds like you might already be there since you mentioned a DME told you they wouldn't buy an S9 Auto.
Also, might make sense to buy your mask, hoses, and supplies in network even if you buy the machine itself out of network. That would knock that hypothetical $1300 down to under $1000 (actually the A10 is listed for $883 on Supplier #1
web site) making for a little smaller gap between 60% and 80%. And the in-network purchase of mask, hoses, and supplies will be a recurring cost so if you do the initial purchase out of network for simplicity, consider doing the recurring in network later on.
Sounds like the hassle factor is already getting beyond a couple hundred bucks by now.
Hope you can line up your strategies so you can execute quickly once you have the prescription and get to feeling better soonest.