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When to buy new mask, hose, heater, etc
I did a couple of searches which came up empty. This would seem like a FAQ so if there is another thread or link please feel free to post that instead of taking time to compose a reply.

I am about 90 days into therapy now, and allowed by insurance schedule to replace mask, hose, and filters.

Are these all maintenance items that you want to replace on schedule to prevent problems, or are they things that you replace when they wear out (and how do you know that)?

Paper filters is a no-brainer maintenance item.

I think I read somewhere that you want to replace hoses on a schedule in order to avoid any cooties growing in them.

I may have seen something about headgear stretching out as an indicator that it's time for new headgear.

With a mask I am just now getting properly adjusted to work without major air leaks, it might be worth continuing to use it versus replacing it.

I am thinking I may take this opportunity to acquire a backup mask, and perhaps try out the new Amara View mask.

It's an out of pocket thing in any case. The insurance schedule simply allows me to count what I spend out of pocket towards my deductible, but they're not paying for it.

So this is not about how soon can I score a new mask from my insurance. I'm really interested in what you all in this community actually do and recommend.

FWIW, my DME provider thinks it's a good idea to buy some new stuff from him as often as the insurance allows Smile Looking for info and reviews on the Amara View, I noticed my DME charges fully double the cost for the Simplus I currently use vs Supplier #1. hmmm.

thanks for any pointers or advice

Saldus Miegas
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You just answered the question as to why there is not really a FAQ anywhere about it. Because everyone's insurance is different and everyone's personal tastes are different. Some folks will use a mask until there is naught but duct tape holding it together. Others will regularly change out the entire thing just because of germ thoughts or their money greedy DMEs convince them of the germ fears. Since you are just starting, take advantage of your insurance and gather a stockpile of the basics. Filters, hoses, mask parts. Even if you don't use them. Once you have a decent supply (only you know what that amount is), then just tell them you are fine and to not send them. Some insurance companies follow the Medicare replacement guidelines, some don't. Ask your DME to send you the replacement schedule your insurance company follows.

Go with what you are comfortable with. Your mask is working? Comfortable? Not leaking? Keep it. Insurance willing to pay for another? Go ahead, get a backup. When you have to start using the backup, get the next one. Rinse, repeat.

The hose is the one thing I am personally a little germ phobic about. Past experience and inability to clean it the way I want means I change that thing out every 3 months. I probably change it more than I do my filters! I keep the one I am exchanging, toss out the one from last time. That way I have a backup or two.

Filters are cheap. So is clean air. Don't be lazy like me. Change 'em. Some times of the year they'll need to be changed more often. Pollen, dust, air movement (or lack of it), etc.

Humidifier tub - keep it clean and it should last for freakin' ever. I use tap water so the mineral deposits build up after a while. I change it out every 6 months but keep it as a backup.
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My opinion only, it's a good idea to have a backup of mask, hose, etc. Filters are a must.
I have two hoses, when I wash one and hang to dry, I just use the other hose.

Like you said, it would be a good opportunity to try a different mask.

It all depends on how high your deductable is. Sometimes the deductable cost is higher than buying outright online. But then, in time, you would at least be meeting your deductable.

And yes, you will find DME's cost double or more what you can pay elsewhere. An example, after 90 days, I ordered a new P10 nasal pillow mask. I knew that it would go toward deductable, but was amazed to see them bill my insurance almost $300.00 for it. Granted insurance only reimbursed them about $175.00, but it sells for around $100.00 everywhere else.

It's a crazy system; in the end you just have to figure out what benefits you most.
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One thing that wasn't mentioned - be sensitive to the condition of your mask at the mask/face interface. It can deteriorate enough to increase leaks even while it still looks OK.
if you can't decide then you don't have enough data.
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Thanks Paula02, OpalRose, and MobileBasset for the thoughtful feedback and ideas.

Saldus Miegas
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If the mask is working well for you, I'd build up a supply of cushions. Just like pantyhose, it's not an if, it's a when. You can get microperforations in the hose. So even if you don't see anything wrong with it, you probably should replace it annually. But, if you keep a cozy on it, the only issue is going to be at the ends only and you can see damage there. Lots of tiny perforations may effect your pressures. I have no issue with the germy thing. I wash stuff and we only have high humidity issues for a brief time.

Keep in mind that the schedule is generous. Some people travel and are harder on stuff than others.
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I guess I saved my insurance companies lots of money. Used my original REMStar Plus for a decade. I broke 4 FFMasks over that decade. Just kept getting new masks and cleaning things up. What a dork. . .My sis gave me her old APAP machine w/humidity, heated hoses, three new masks and cushions. Compared to my old brick, new machine is auto and silent. The mask cushions are a delight, can hardly tell I'm wearing it. I think now that I may have carried this old man doesn't like change stuff alittle too far.

Love your family, treat your friend(s) well, and don't waste your time. Everything else is just so much BS. Sleep-well
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