Your workplace benefits just got a bit better – part one

December 13, 2017

In part one of our three-part series, the focus is on special machines that treat sleep apnea.

The Board of Trustees has approved an increase to the benefit for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. These devices treat sleep apnea.

The reasonable and customary amount of a CPAP machine and the necessary accessories (including compliance packages, filters, head gear, humidifiers, masks, nasal pillows, smart cards, tubing, and water chambers) is $2,000.

Plan members used to qualify for this benefit only once per lifetime, but now they and their eligible dependents qualify once every five years.

Darren's story

A good night's sleep is now possible.

Back in 2011, Darren would rarely get a good night’s sleep. He was constantly waking up at night, with a surge of adrenaline running throughout his body. The next day he usually felt tired and sluggish.

Since his family has a history of sleep apnea, he decided to get checked out. After taking part in a clinical sleep study, Darren learned that he did, in fact, have sleep apnea. The question then became what to do about it.

“That was when I got my first CPAP machine,” explains Darren. “Right from the start, it made all the difference.”

Darren says that because of his CPAP machine, not only does he fall asleep quickly, but he also stays asleep the entire night.

“I couldn’t believe the effect it had,” says Darren. “I have what’s called obstructive sleep apnea. That’s where your soft palette closes off part of your airway, which means you wake up gasping for breath. The sleep study confirmed I was waking up at least 40 times in a night because of the obstruction.

“But thanks to my CPAP machine, that never happens anymore.”

After noticing he had more energy during the day, Darren started becoming more physically active. Then the weight started to come off. “Since I got my machine and started sleeping better, I’ve shed 40 pounds!”

And now that coverage for CPAP machines is up to once every five years instead of once in a lifetime, beneficiaries like Darren get some much needed peace of mind.

“Now I know that if something ever goes wrong with my machine, I will be able to replace it on a more regular basis.”

That, along with his machine, should help Darren (and his wife) sleep well at night.


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