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Thank goodness for good health insurance

September 18th, 2008 at 02:47 am

My otherwise fit and healthy husband, recently found out that he has severe sleep apnea, which causes him to stop breathing for brief periods of time throughout the night (in his case 42 times per hour) -- plus snore so loud that the neighbors across the street can hear him.

Today, we met with a respiratory therapist to fit him for a CPAP machine. There was another patient who also was meeting with the therapist at the same time.

The first thing the therapist did was go over the cost of the machine. She informed my husband and I that our insurance would cover 100 percent of the cost for any equipment. Then she explained to the other woman that her insurance only covered 70 percent of the cost. The basic CPAP machine costs $1,000, plus the hose and mask and filters and all this other stuff has to be replaced at a minimum every 6 months. There's also an optional humidifier that you can add onto the machine, and there are certain medications they recommend if you're prone to sinus problems in our extra dry climate. All of this adds up to a lot of extra medical expense each month.

So as the therapist went over all this, I could just see the other woman's face begin to melt into that horrified look that one gets when they realize their insurance sucks.

The clincher was when the therapist explained to the woman that she would have to leave a $200 deposit today. We, on the other hand, were free to go on our merry way.

I felt really bad for the lady. This is a machine that could ultimately save -- or, at the very least -- prolong her life.

I'm assuming she paid her deposit because I later saw her in the parking lot carrying the machine and a bag of supplies that went with it.

As we were leaving, I was thinking how glad I was we do indeed have good insurance, because otherwise the only thing keeping my husband from stopping breathing 42 times an hour tonight was my elbow into his ribs everytime he woke me up with his snoring....

6 Responses to “Thank goodness for good health insurance”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hehe, glad you have a good sense of humor about it to go with that good insurance.

  2. fern Says:

    Is there any way to diagnose sleep apnea without having to go through one of those overnight stays at a sleep clinic?

    And with all that paraphenilia, how in the world can you actually sleep, or roll over on your side, say?

    Just curious. I always seem to wake up a lot during the night and i'm pretty sure i snore.

  3. littlemama Says:

    My DH has sleep apnea also.

  4. compulsive debtor Says:

    Fern, they now have a kit you bring home so you an be tested at home instead of at a sleep clinic. I was amazed that my husband did not actually snore once last night. He did say he woke up a few times, but he thought it wouldn't take long to get used to the mask and all that. The mask actually just covers his upper lip/nose area, so it's not as obtrusive as it sounds. He also slept on his side all night and it didn't bother him.

  5. sillyoleme Says:

    Well, look at it this way, at least the other lady HAD health insurance, and she didn't have to pay the other 70%. Maybe it was at least an amount she could come up with.

    I don't think BF has sleep apnea, but he does snore occasionally, and it drives me up the wall.

  6. MileHighGal Says:

    I had a BF with sleep apnea. While his insurance paid for the machine, it was a hassle, and now he is forever blacklisted. He applied for insurance with his new employer and was charged a higher rate because of his "pre-existing condition".

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