av8r wrote:Be sure to ask them for an Auto or APAP machine with a heated humidifier. Respironics M series is one of the most popular. The medical goods vendor is going to overcharge your insurance company by at least 150% (no, I'm not joking) so demand the machine you want. DO NOT SETTLE FOR A CRAPPY MACHINE.
I have had sleep apnea for years, have had three different machines, and the above is by far the best and the quietest I have had. Also it is the first I have had with an integrated heated humidifier, which I highly recommend. The auto-adjusting feature works well. The sleep lab recommended such a high pressure for me that it would lift the full-face mask right off my face and cause massive mask leaks so the whole thing was almost impossible to use. It turns out that the high pressure is needed only very rarely; the auto-adjust feature senses the need and ramps the pressure up and down appropriately. The M series also is available with a-flex and/or c-flex to momentarily reduce pressure when you begin to exhale, which is helpful.
CPAP.COM and other sites will sell you equipment over the Internet (prescription required). I have a high co-pay on my insurance, and it was actually cheaper for me to ignore the insurance and buy from cpap.com than to use the insurance and cover the co-pay. There is some kind of shady dealing that goes on (surprise!) between the pharmacies and the insurance companies. On my second machine, the pharmacy tech told me if I walked in off the street with no insurance, he would sell me the machine for $550 cash. Once he knew that I had insurance, and that his employer (pharmacy) had a contract with the insurance company, he was REQUIRED by the pharmacy to charge $1150 for it, and they would likely fire him if they found out he did otherwise. My co-pay alone would have been more than the $550 cash price, and the Internet price was the same $550, so that's how I bought it. Same price ratio and discrepancy applied to masks, tubing, etc.