OK

I don't have a lot of time today, so I will make this quick. There are more details in "Life Without CPAP" which is still available free today at Amazon for kindle and which I will still send you free as a word document any time you send me your email address.

In 2008, we went into a huge recession/depression that the GOP/Bush/Banksters started. Companies took advantage of the downturn to trim "deadwood". Deadwood turned out to be lots of workers in their 40s and 50s who were almost vested in their pensions and who had some health issues and who also were getting a little bit slower, showing up at work a little bit later, occasionally were forgetting things in a way that they did not do in the past---and basically, fit the profile of the one in twelve Americans over 40 who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) but who do not know it. Their employers did not know it either. They just knew that they would save money by firing these folks and hiring someone younger to do the same job under a different title.

If the above description fits you---if you were always a most valued employee, but you were slowing down a bit around 2008-9 and you had some heart issues or some diabetes issues or you put on weight or you had a mini-stroke---and your employer laid you off and you lost health insurance and you never got a good job with benefits again like the one you lost, you have a more than one in 12 chance of having a sleep disorder. I say this, because so many of these folks in our community ended up at our "free" clinic and so many of them turned out to have an underlying sleep disorder than no one suspected but which contributed to the sometimes subtle change in their job performance and personality that turned them from most valued employee to "deadwood."

Now that you have ACA insurance, your new doctor may notice that you have a sleep disorder. You have been off work. You have gained weight. You are six years older. Doctors have gotten better at diagnosing sleep apnea.

Unfortunately, the bean counters at your ACA plan may do what the bean counters at the free clinic did. They may see this sudden stampede of new patients, all of whom are being diagnosed with sleep disorders, all of whom need sleep studies, and some bright young thing may say "Hey, if we make it all but impossible for our members to get a sleep study we can save a gazillion dollars---and the members will switch to a competitors insurance."

Moral: there are two of them. If you want to work but you just aren't at the top of your game and can not figure out why, at least consider the possibility of a sleep disorder. And two, you are not hurting your insurer by insisting upon diagnosis and treatment of your sleep disorder. If you sit at home and do nothing, your insurer will go broke treating the consequences of failure to treat your sleep disorder such as heart attack and stroke---the bean counters just don't realize it yet. So, do yourself and your health plan a favor. Be proactive. Take care of your health.

In another ten years, we are going to look back and say "I can't believe there was ever a time we debated the economic merits of treating people's sleep disorders. Boy, were we foolish." And any health insurer in this for the long haul should realize this.

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