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Please help! I don't have any insurance to get a sleep study done, what can I do?
#1
Sad 
I am really scared because I don't have insurance but I am constantly wake up exhaused, keep waking up throughout the night with my heart racing, and a swollen uvula. I've had someone video tape me while I'm sleeping and I have moments of 10 - 12 seconds or more without breathing until I finally wake up to breath.

I am going through a full time nursing program right now that is VERY demanding so I cannot work while going through my program (very little money, no insurance) so I was wondering: Does anyone know of anything I could do in my situation? Is there a place to get a free sleep study done for those with no money and not working? Can I just self diagnose myself and get a cpap machine? If so which one?

I've thought about asking my parents for what little help they can give me with a few hundred $ and buy a CPAP machine for myself but I don't know much, if anything, about the different options and what I would need Huh

I would really appreciate any knowledge you could give me as I don't know much about the disorder beyond what I've read online and I don't know any options for people like me that don't have insurance. Sad

I don't have the $3,500 for a sleep study and I'm genuinely concerned for my life. Any advice or options you guys know of I would be grateful for.
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#2
Hmm... Need a bit more info...

1. What is your age?

2. Do you have other health problems that could cause these symptoms? The symptoms you state could have completely different causes - and you can't assume that it's sleep apnea.

3. Who told you a sleep study costs $3,500? That's extremely high.

4. Being enrolled in nursing program, are there not qualified, experienced nurses and other medical professionals teaching you that can point you in the right direction? Seems they would be more knowledgeable concerning health care in your area for those who are low-income, at least moreso than strangers in a forum...

5. Most states have health care programs for low-income families. What state do you live in?

6. How long have these symptoms been going on?

7. Has anything changed in your lifestyle or other areas that might be contributing to these symptoms?



SuperSleeper
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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#3
(04-21-2012, 10:47 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: Hmm... Need a bit more info...

1. What is your age?

29, turning 30 in November

(04-21-2012, 10:47 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: 2. Do you have other health problems that could cause these symptoms? The symptoms you state could have completely different causes - and you can't assume that it's sleep apnea.

No other health problems outside of a BMI at 32+

(04-21-2012, 10:47 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: 3. Who told you a sleep study costs $3,500? That's extremely high.

I went to my free medical clinic in the area to see my doctor about my sleep apnea and he said he didn't know much I could do without insurance and gave me the information of a few sleep clinics in the southern california area which quoted an average of $3,500 for a sleep study without insurance.

(04-21-2012, 10:47 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: 4. Being enrolled in nursing program, are there not qualified, experienced nurses and other medical professionals teaching you that can point you in the right direction? Seems they would be more knowledgeable concerning health care in your area for those who are low-income, at least moreso than strangers in a forum...

I asked my professor, the nursing office, and health center of the school but they were more or less apathetic to the whole situation. Basically they didn't know since they've never had to deal with a student having sleep apnea without insurance and didn't know what to tell me =/

(04-21-2012, 10:47 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: 5. Most states have health care programs for low-income families. What state do you live in?

California, specifically in the riverside/orange county area

(04-21-2012, 10:47 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: 6. How long have these symptoms been going on?

I've had the LOUD snoring for years and years, along with always being tired no matter how much I sleep. I never really looked much into it before and just kind of shrugged it off but I recently had a friend video tape me while sleeping and with the things I've read about it now I'm really worried and want to do something about it.

(04-21-2012, 10:47 PM)SuperSleeper Wrote: 7. Has anything changed in your lifestyle or other areas that might be contributing to these symptoms?

Nothing really has changed since I've started the nursing program, just a bit more stress is all.

Thank you for the reply SuperSleeper, I wanted to post on the board since the members would most likely know about sleep studys, machines, and perhaps someone who has been in my situation before without insurance could direct me on options available.
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#4
It is not unheard of for a doctor to prescribe a CPAP machine without the patient going through a full sleep study, if they have good evidence to believe you have sleep apnea. When this is done, it is usually preferable to prescribe an Auto-CPAP that adjusts pressure automatically, based upon your ongoing needs. Any doctor can write a prescription for CPAP or APAP (Auto-CPAP) - they don't have to be a sleep doctor. If you can find a doctor who will do that, you'll only have to pay for the cost of an office visit, then you can get a used auto-CPAP for around $400-500 or so.

Did you tell the health center the full details of what you posted here, or did you simply tell them that you suspect you have sleep apnea? If you told them that you wake up each night with heart racing, and a swollen uvula, I find astounding that they would simply ignore such symptoms with an "apathetic" attitude, especially when it comes to heart issues like you describe (which could be symptomatic of a much more serious and pressing problem than sleep apnea). If you didn't tell them of the swollen uvula and the heart racing issues, go back and tell them this. If they simply ignore you, that's a very serious breach of medical ethics and probably a violation of some law in your state.

The State of California has some of the most generous health care programs available in the nation for the uninsured. Heck, these days they even give free health care to non-US citizens and children of illegal aliens. I suggest you start calling around to the numerous agencies and ask to be informed of what programs you might be eligible for.

You can start here at California's website for the uninsured:

http://www.hmohelp.ca.gov/dmhc_consumer/...sured.aspx

Many of the health care programs listed on that site will pay for a sleep study and CPAP machine if you qualify as low-income.



SuperSleeper
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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
Hi No insurance
American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) may help and have several A.W.A.K.E (Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic) support groups in California.
Google it for the location and phone numbers.
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#6
My stepson was in a very similar situation (no insurance). His doctor sent him home with some kind of apparatus that he strapped on for a few nights then returned to have the data read. I don't know what the thing was, but his doc prescribed a bipap based on the results. IIRC there was no charge for the use of the device...
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#7
Some sleep centers offer discounted rates for the uninsured. Getting tested is important as there are other sleep disorder beside sleep apnea and only a sleep study can determine. Don,t ever think all it take getting a machine and mask its not that simple. Yes it works but for most it need a lot determination and hard work and really cpap therapy isn't some picnic in the park.
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#8
I've had studies from 1100 to 2400 and most drs require 1 to diagnose and 1 to titrate. Some Drs will really stick it to you and lets be honest most folks do not express a normal nights sleep with 50 wires belts mics video oxymeter hooked up and inability to roll over and relax. The best hope is you dose off an hour or two and get in the door to some level of treatment. Maybe you can find a Dr to let you try an autoset? Try o2? There are good Drs out there..You can learn a lot online
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#9
There is a home test product by Test Country available on amazon and probably other places for about $80. Armed with a positive test your GP may order a CPAP. Get a data capable machine with a humidifier. Second hand units are available. I suggest you also get software. Sleephead is free. We can help you titrate from there. Good luck.
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#10
Surprised 
[quote='No insurance =(' pid='7626' dateline='1335064885']
I am really scared because I don't have insurance but I am constantly wake up exhaused, keep waking up throughout the night with my heart racing, and a swollen uvula. I've had someone video tape me while I'm sleeping and I have moments of 10 - 12 seconds or more without breathing until I finally wake up to breath.


I too have no insurance. i have been tired during the day for a long while now. but lately it feels I can't even keep my eyes open. I would like to know where to get help


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