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ObamaCare: Health Care Reform and its Effect on Sleep Apnea
Date:1/6/2014

BOSTON, Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Health insurance is a fast changing landscape in the United States with the implementation of ObamaCare, also known as The Affordable Health Care Act.  Health insurance companies are doing something called cost shifting where the cost of care gets shifted onto the patients.  For people who suffer with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), this is can be a costly shift.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140107/MN40354)

According to the World Health Organization approximately 100 million people worldwide have OSA or sleep apnea.  Treating sleep apnea is crucial. The most common and lifesaving treatment is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, which is an assisted breathing machine that keeps airways open while someone is asleep.

Before this new insurance legislation, the health insurance companies would replace CPAP equipment hoses and masks every 3-months with a mandatory replacement every 6-months according to manufacturer recommendations.  But now, some health insurance companies are not paying for the 3-month replacements; they will only cover the 6-month replacement.  Additionally, some health insurance companies will not be replacing their CPAP machines as often as patients are used to.  And while some insurance companies might replace machines, the patient has to pay more in order to get their supplies.  Cost Shift and Uncertainty.  Since this shift will be affecting patients' pocketbooks, it is even more crucial to keep CPAP equipment and accessories as clean and well-maintained as possible.  

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