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Is it better to rent or purchase your first CPAP

This area is for CPAP Mask and CPAP Machine Related Questions used in the treatment of Sleep Apnea.


Is it better to rent or purchase your first CPAP

Postby Vaderette » Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:07 pm

I will be getting my first CPAP- hopefully soon. I have heard it is better to rent prior to the purchase. (That way you can find the machine that works the best) What is your opinion?
I would assume it would also depend on insurance coverage. I would doubt insurance would pay for the rental.
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Postby Ridge Runner » Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:56 pm

Dear Vaderette,

If you get a mask from a local supplier (a "DME" - for durable medical equipment), it seems to be standard that you rent to buy. I don't think there's a surcharge for rent-to-buy, but a local DME's price will be significantly higher than prices you see on the internet. Insurance pays for CPAP rental/rent-to-buy, without any trouble. The advantage is that if you decide CPAP isn't for you, you can give it back without paying for a piece of equipment you're not going to use. Also, if you need a different type of machine, as you indicated, you have the freedom to get what you need during that first year.

My mother's been told that if you have Medicare, it's actually it to your advantage to rent, without ever buying. I think the reason is that Medicare never pays for a repair, but it'll pay for you to rent forever - so if your machine breaks down, you can get a loaner or a new machine, because the service provided is equipment rental.

May you get your equipment soon, and may your transition be smooth!

- Ridge Runner
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Re: Is it better to rent or purchase your first CPAP

Postby Daniel » Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Vaderette wrote:I will be getting my first CPAP- hopefully soon. I have heard it is better to rent prior to the purchase. (That way you can find the machine that works the best) What is your opinion?
I would assume it would also depend on insurance coverage. I would doubt insurance would pay for the rental.


Yes, I think if you have the option you should rent for the first 3 months or so. It allows you to get used to the equipment and to have a look around, and browse through posts here to see if there is another machine you might prefer, before making a final decision.

Don't know what the costs are, on your side of the pond. Over here in Ireland, I rent (all the time), but get a full refund of the rental (in arrears) through a complicated state run medical compensation fund.

Best of luck.

Daniel.
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Postby christine » Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:18 pm

RidgeRunner-

Medicare changed its policy earlier this year and now the person owns their machine after a year or so (I can't remember exactly how many months- 12 to 15, I think). Before with CPAP & regular BiPAP, you had an option of taking ownership part way through the second year or allowing the DME to retain ownership with Medicare paying a standard 'service fee' per year equal to 2 months rent that covered all service & repairs. If you took ownership, Medicare only covered 'medically necessary repairs', which most DME's didn't want to deal with the hassle I guess; though now they will have to since the other option has been discontinued. BiPAP ST use to be truely rental for life under Medicare, with a hefty $650+ a month rental fee- which could leave someone with a monthly $130+ co-pay forever if they didn't have a co-insurance. I've only been on BiPAP ST for a few years, but by the time I actually own mine, Medicare & my secondary insurance will have paid 1000% of what it can be purchased for at on-line DME's.
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Postby pvyrus » Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:52 pm

I rented my first unit for a month and was able to get a discount on a refurbished unit because of the rent. The rental unit worked beautifully, but my bought machine is so loud I no longer use it. Just a warning.
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