Without insurance and were you to have no other resources to draw from, he should expect to pay out at least $5,500 minimum for the care and equipment he likely needs at present. An overnight attended-lab sleep study runs around $7,500 these days.
snuzyQ wrote:Hi Jen and welcome to the Forum.
It does appear that your fiance has sleep apnea, but this cannot be confirmed without the sleep study. I would think the VA would be very interested in getting him a sleep study...even an overnight at-home study would get the job done.
All this needs to be supervised by a doctor specializing in sleep medicine. The VA healthcare has such specialists, I'm sure. Does your fiance have a primary care physician? If he does not, it would be wonderful for him to get established with one. All he needs to do is to tell his PCP (primary care physician) that his fiance is complaining about his very loud snoring and gasping at night. The PCP will take it from there and order a sleep study for him...probably the at-home one.
Once your fiance has his diagnosis and if he does have obstructive sleep apnea, his PCP will order a titration (usually a one-week trial on CPAP with a loaner machine). From this, the doctors will derive and prescribe his best treatment pressures and a machine will be ordered for him.
It would be good to find out exactly what benefits his VA healthcare coverage provides. Contact the VA for this information. You will need to find out whether his VA healthcare covers doctors visits, diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea, durable medical equipment and whether or not he has any deductible and/or out of pocket expenses associated with these services.
If it is true that he does not have coverage beyond inpatient hospitalization, then it will make sense for you to find out what resources are available to you to help you to pay for the care he so obviously needs. It may make more sense for you both to just bite the bullet now and get yourselves some quality healthcare insurance. Without insurance and were you to have no other resources to draw from, he should expect to pay out at least $5,500 minimum for the care and equipment he likely needs at present. An overnight attended-lab sleep study runs around $7,500 these days.
The ASAA (American Sleep Apnea Association) runs a program for financially-challenged OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) patients. This might allow him to obtain the equipment he needs at substantially reduced cost. You might want to look into this, too.
Knowledge is power. It wouldn't hurt to arm yourselves with an ample supply of knowledge right now...about sleep apnea and about treatment on CPAP. He would be wise to study up on the different masks and try to determine which one might work best for him. He will get to choose his own mask. Research the different machines. Resolve now that he will not accept a "brick" (machine that records only usage data) if one gets pushed under his nose by a DME (Durable Medical Equipment provider). The DMEs like to hand these out bedause they can make such a nice profit on them. His sleep doctor will appreciate a fully-data-capable machine as this will allow him/her to monitor your fiance's condition and treatment much more effectively.
Dig into this forum. There is a wealth of good information here and plenty of encouragement and support for folks starting out on CPAP.
Good luck to you both. Please post us back with your progress.