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Ginny Edmundson replied to Ginny Edmundson's discussion Scheduled for evaluation and possible procedure next day
"As of now I no longer have to use a chin strap.  I am anxious about the sleep study.  Wondering if I will be able to sleep WITHOUT the CPAP….even thought I hate it it is a part of every night now and is what I am used to.  "
Sunday
Clueless in Redwood Shores replied to Ginny Edmundson's discussion Scheduled for evaluation and possible procedure next day
"I had it on the same outpatient basis.  Much pain, no long term gain.  I did not have the annual repetition - that might or might not have made the difference. "
Sunday
Mary Z replied to richard graham's discussion mouth breathing
"glad to hear it, Richard.  Keep us posted."
Apr 13
Mary Z left a comment for richard graham
"Glad to hear it's working, Richard."
Apr 11
richard graham replied to richard graham's discussion mouth breathing
"The chin strap is helping. Been having better sleep. Thanks Ginny and Mary for your help"
Apr 11
Ginny Edmundson replied to Ginny Edmundson's discussion Scheduled for evaluation and possible procedure next day
"Thanks, Mary~  Fingers are crossed.  My pressure is one point lower than when I began (7) and AHI is some lower (7 day average).  I am anxious about sleep study as I have not slept without CPAP in 2.5 years!   "
Apr 6
Mary Z replied to Ginny Edmundson's discussion Scheduled for evaluation and possible procedure next day
"Good job, Ginny Hope the sleep study shows some good results."
Apr 6
Ginny Edmundson replied to Ginny Edmundson's discussion Scheduled for evaluation and possible procedure next day
"Last procedure done!  This time he gave me meds to take before so less anxiety while waiting!  For the first time I was able to eat normal food on the way home after the procedure.  No pain after 12 hours.  If it only works.…"
Apr 5
Mary Z replied to richard graham's discussion mouth breathing
"Some folks run their humidifiers in passover mode- not turning on the heat just letting the air blow over the water.  That would not give any heat though. "
Apr 5
richard graham replied to richard graham's discussion mouth breathing
"Interesting, I actually feel a little better when I don't use the humidifier, but the humidifier helps with sinuses. The cold air stuff's me up. Gonna try running heat and a nasal spray"
Apr 4
Mary Z replied to richard graham's discussion mouth breathing
"Good luck with it- let us know how you do, Richard."
Apr 4
richard graham replied to richard graham's discussion mouth breathing
"I just picked up a new chin strap and will use it with my ultra mirage."
Apr 4
richard graham posted a discussion

nasal sprays

Just wanting some suggestions for some good nasal sprays to dry up sinusus. Thank you
Apr 3
richard graham replied to richard graham's discussion mouth breathing
"Thanks Mary"
Apr 3
Mary Z replied to richard graham's discussion mouth breathing
"I have both.  I use the chin strap with my Wisp and I also have a FFM if I choose to use that one. I'm a mouth breather.  I find nasal masks are easier to fit without leaks"
Apr 3
Mary Z replied to Mary Z's discussion Using comfort features
"Nasacort is now available without a prescription.  I personally use Afrin on the rare nights I need it for being stuffed up."
Apr 3
richard graham replied to Mary Z's discussion Using comfort features
"Mary, do you recommend a good nasal spray?"
Apr 2
richard graham replied to richard graham's discussion mouth breathing
"Wondering if mouth breathers do better with FFM"
Apr 2
richard graham posted a discussion

mouth breathing

I'm a mouth breather, and am wondering weather to get a chin strap or affm
Apr 2
richard graham replied to Mary Z's discussion Using comfort features
"I've been thinking about trying a nasal spray. Thanks that's useful info."
Apr 2

How can I bring the monthly cost down for oxygen with my Bi-pap?

When I use my Bi-pap with oxygen every night my electric bill is so high I can't afford to pay for it. If I don't use the oxygen my blood level falls to a low level. I contacted the electric company and they said I bring in just a little too much money monthly to qualify for a discount. I don't know what to do right now.

Is anyone else in this situation?

Does anyone have any creative ideas for me?

How do people afford the monthly cost of the oxygen?

Views: 149

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Replies to This Discussion

It might help to let us know your location. I don't use oxygen so don't have any personal knowledge.

I know some have talked about different programs, etc. but it depends upon your region. I know where I live our electric company only offers help to those that are unable to leave their homes as far as power outages, etc. If you are mobile then you don't qualify for priority when restoring power. Other electric companies are far more lenient and some even offer discounts for medical devices, which cpap qualifies.

I know you have said you don't qualify for assistance but there maybe someone that can offer suggestions to help you out.
keep on asking until you find the right people
it may be a government department that you need to approach
with your script in hand
maybe you need a script for the electrical company just in case they will not accept your word
Are you using a concentrator? What flow of oxygen do you need? Maybe a liquid oxygen set up will be better. How long do you you sleep at night? You might benefit from tanks instead of a concentrator.

Linda
Copy of my notes on a another thread:

"...3. Regarding the oxygen concentrator: I just got an exchange of my unit from my DME to a new unit that has a 25% lower energy consumption as well as being a little quieter. The original unit was rated at 390 watts at 3 lpm usasge compared to 280 watts for the new unit. The DME tech originally mentioned that some clients had stated their using a concentrator made an increase to their electric bill of about $20 per month, so any savings here is appreciated. I am also wondering if using a lower lpm setting, say 2 or 1 would have a significant effect on energy consumption by the concentrator. Of course changing this setting would have to be with consultation with my doctor."

Also: "RT...did get me the improved oxygen concentrator they just got in, right away. BTW - this is an Invacare IRC5P and I think it may be a new model."

Also: "I would still like to know what the criteria is for determining the O2 level for Rx, at least as it relates to the apnea & CPAP therapy if anyone can point me in the direction of such an explanation I could read."

Sorry to hear you're having this type of problem. I imagine you're not alone, but most people in this situation would probably not be looking for answers on the internet, so good for you.

I think you should talk first with your RT to see if they have any oxygen concentrators that use less energy that they could trade for you. Are you renting your unit or own it? Does your insurance cover the rental fee? Also talk to your doctor about your need for the oxygen and whether a lower level of oxygen might work for you. I say this because I think that the lower the level, the lower the power consumption by the concentrator, but check that with the RT as well. It could be a good option to use liquid oxygen tanks instead, as mentioned by Linda B. , if your insurance will cover that, since that uses no electricity at all.

It would be helpful if you could calculate just how much energy and cost is added to your monthly bill for this, so as to determine how much of a difference in energy use you need to balance your budget. You might want to talk to your energy supplier again, maybe talk to a manager, stressing the medical necessity and explain the energy cost of this particular appliance. Also maybe check with state social services or not-for-profit social service agencies that might have some way to support. I can only imagine that it could be difficult with California under severe budget crisis right now to get help from them, but it doesn't mean it is impossible. I know that some HUD subsidized housing apartments include all energy costs in the rent, and charge your rent based on your income, so maybe long term, something like that might be practical, too.

Best of luck to you for finding the solution best for you.
Some power companies give discounts for off peak hours. Night time should qualify. Maybe your power company has such a program. Barring that, an extention cord to a neighbors outside outlet buried in the ground in PVC pipe might not be noticed . Hope something comes along that works for you. The big H tanks may be an affordable alternative. Also if it takes you awhile to go to sleep you could use a timer and set it nightly to give you that extra 15 or 20 minutes with the concentrator off.
Good Luck,
Mary Z.
You may also want to explore the O2 generators electrical capabilities. If you are using the unit on standard 110-vac and the unit is also capable of operation of 220-vac, you may want to consider installing a 220-vac outlet so you can operate the unit at that voltage. Operating the unit at 220-vac should reduce the power consumption dramatically, maybe up to 1/2. Check the owner’s manual for the operating voltages and consumption ratings.

(Basically the same as a window AC unit. A 110-vac unit uses twice as much power to achieve the same cooling as a 220-vac unit does.)

Then consult a qualified electrician to determine the viability.
Oh Dan, you're an angel!
This is wonderful news to my ears. I was worrying about this every time I used the Bi-pap which was not every night because I couldn't afford it. I am moving to a new place soon and installing the 220 outlet will be a priority to me. Of course I will make sure my unit can take 220 before calling the electrician.
You have made much more than my day.My appreciation is immense.
Thank you.
Carol
Thank you SleepyCarol for responding. I spent significant time with my electric company personnel talking about the programs they have to offer and, unfortunately, none were a match for me. I do have my location in my profile and it is Grass Valley, CA. I don't think contacting them again would be beneficial for me at this time. I am moving soon to a different county so maybe they have different programs. I will check that out for sure. Carol

sleepycarol said:
It might help to let us know your location. I don't use oxygen so don't have any personal knowledge.

I know some have talked about different programs, etc. but it depends upon your region. I know where I live our electric company only offers help to those that are unable to leave their homes as far as power outages, etc. If you are mobile then you don't qualify for priority when restoring power. Other electric companies are far more lenient and some even offer discounts for medical devices, which cpap qualifies.

I know you have said you don't qualify for assistance but there maybe someone that can offer suggestions to help you out.
As I said above, I am moving soon to a different county and if I'm lucky they will have a program for me. If not, I will consider escalating as you suggest. I know it will be no problem getting a script for the need for oxygen. Thanks for the suggestion. Carol

99 said:
keep on asking until you find the right people
it may be a government department that you need to approach
with your script in hand
maybe you need a script for the electrical company just in case they will not accept your word
Yes, I am using a concentrator and my level is 4. I sleep anywhere from 0-12 hrs. a night. I suffer from chronic low back and hip pain that, sometimes, causes me to be awake all night. When I have a few nights with diminished sleep I might then have a 12-hour night. I don't know much about the tanks, in terms of how long they last, so I don't know if that is a good solution for me or not. I will check into the number of hours on their largest tank. Thank you so much, Carol

Linda Birnbaum said:
Are you using a concentrator? What flow of oxygen do you need? Maybe a liquid oxygen set up will be better. How long do you you sleep at night? You might benefit from tanks instead of a concentrator.

Linda
Thank you, RL, for the many suggestions. I got my unit exchanged already for the one you referred to and it does use less energy and it is quite a bit quieter. I am going to check into using tanks instead of the concentrator. The need to use O2 with my Bi-pap was determined by a combination of many readings with an oximeter at home and at the sleep study clinic over different days. My O2 level fell into the 70s many times (can't remember exact number of times right now). My level was again measured at the clinic, with the O2 included, and my level was over 95. The O2 level of 4 was determined to be the proper number, to increase my level sufficently, by the results of these studies. I will talk to my doctor about lowering my level but my feeling is that it can't be lowered and maintain a healthy blood O2 level but I might be wrong. I don't know what the correlation between my need for O2 and my sleep apnea is and sorry but I don't have anything for you to read regarding any of this. It may be a common occurrence or not I don't know. I am interested to know if it is common or not so if you find something on it would you please consider emailing it to me?
Soon, I am moving to a house that should have a smaller heating area thus effecting my bill. It has a pellet stove which I am told is an inexpensive method for heating. Again, thank you for your considerate and kind response. Carol

RL said:
Copy of my notes on a another thread:

"...3. Regarding the oxygen concentrator: I just got an exchange of my unit from my DME to a new unit that has a 25% lower energy consumption as well as being a little quieter. The original unit was rated at 390 watts at 3 lpm usasge compared to 280 watts for the new unit. The DME tech originally mentioned that some clients had stated their using a concentrator made an increase to their electric bill of about $20 per month, so any savings here is appreciated. I am also wondering if using a lower lpm setting, say 2 or 1 would have a significant effect on energy consumption by the concentrator. Of course changing this setting would have to be with consultation with my doctor."

Also: "RT...did get me the improved oxygen concentrator they just got in, right away. BTW - this is an Invacare IRC5P and I think it may be a new model."

Also: "I would still like to know what the criteria is for determining the O2 level for Rx, at least as it relates to the apnea & CPAP therapy if anyone can point me in the direction of such an explanation I could read."

Sorry to hear you're having this type of problem. I imagine you're not alone, but most people in this situation would probably not be looking for answers on the internet, so good for you.

I think you should talk first with your RT to see if they have any oxygen concentrators that use less energy that they could trade for you. Are you renting your unit or own it? Does your insurance cover the rental fee? Also talk to your doctor about your need for the oxygen and whether a lower level of oxygen might work for you. I say this because I think that the lower the level, the lower the power consumption by the concentrator, but check that with the RT as well. It could be a good option to use liquid oxygen tanks instead, as mentioned by Linda B. , if your insurance will cover that, since that uses no electricity at all.

It would be helpful if you could calculate just how much energy and cost is added to your monthly bill for this, so as to determine how much of a difference in energy use you need to balance your budget. You might want to talk to your energy supplier again, maybe talk to a manager, stressing the medical necessity and explain the energy cost of this particular appliance. Also maybe check with state social services or not-for-profit social service agencies that might have some way to support. I can only imagine that it could be difficult with California under severe budget crisis right now to get help from them, but it doesn't mean it is impossible. I know that some HUD subsidized housing apartments include all energy costs in the rent, and charge your rent based on your income, so maybe long term, something like that might be practical, too.

Best of luck to you for finding the solution best for you.
Again, I have pretty much exausted my possiblities with this electric company but I am moving and, hopefully, the new one will have more programs for people in my position. The extension cord suggestion was very funny and my neighbors are probably not in any better position to pay than I am.
Do you know how many hours one big H tank will hold? Is that the biggest tank? I can research a little and see if the tanks are exchangeable with the concentrator. I am not sure whether I own the concentrator or not yet. It seems like I have been paying long enougth to have paid for it completely but I bet they are pretty expensive.
I appreciate your help, Mary. Thanks, Carol

Mary Z said:
Some power companies give discounts for off peak hours. Night time should qualify. Maybe your power company has such a program. Barring that, an extention cord to a neighbors outside outlet buried in the ground in PVC pipe might not be noticed . Hope something comes along that works for you. The big H tanks may be an affordable alternative. Also if it takes you awhile to go to sleep you could use a timer and set it nightly to give you that extra 15 or 20 minutes with the concentrator off.
Good Luck,
Mary Z.

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