If you have some experience shopping for CPAP supplies, you may have noticed that many insurance companies require that patients rent their CPAP machines. This rental schedule replaces the ability to buy the CPAP machine outright. Instead of paying one lump sum price, the machine will be bought in monthly installments, usually over the course of about 10 months. While it may seem like an unnecessary step, it makes sense from the insurance company’s perspective.
Why do Some Insurance Companies Require Rental of CPAP Machines?
By renting the machine, insurance companies have the ability to ensure that the patient using the machine remains in “compliance” with Medicare’s Compliance CPAP therapy guidelines. This may sound overwhelming, but staying compliant is not as hard as you may think!
Compliance entails the use of PAP devices for 4 or more hours per night on 70% of nights (21 out of 30 nights) during a consecutive 30 day period. Many newer machines will have the ability to track CPAP nightly usage through an app that connects to the patients phone. Older machines often have SD cards that record CPAP therapy data, and these can be used to prove compliance to your insurance provider.
Proof of compliance is required in almost every CPAP machine purchase that insurance pays for. This is where the monthly installment aspect comes in to play; insurance companies may (depending on the company policy) return the CPAP machine to the DME provider that sold the machine. Now instead of paying full price for a CPAP machine that was not used up to their standards, they pay 10-30% of the original cost.
What are the Benefits of Renting a CPAP to the Patient?
Depending on your insurance plan, like if you have met your deductible, paying using your insurance will likely be significantly cheaper than paying with cash.
If you have never used or purchased a CPAP machine before, rental can be a great way to try out different models without paying full price and being stuck with a machine. Also it allows you to break up a relatively expensive purchase into monthly installments that can be easier on the wallet.
What are the Cons of Renting a CPAP to the Patient?
The rental option has some aspects that are positives for some, and negatives for others; this depends heavily on your personal insurance plan. If you have a high deductible plan and are not close to reaching it, there is a good chance that you will want to buy your machine using cash. Generally cash providers price their machines cheaper than insurance providers to remain competitive. If you would like to delve deeper into this dilemma, read Health Sqyre’s Cash vs. Insurance Guide.
This occurs because buying the full CPAP machine can be cheaper than all of the payments over the rental period. Once again, this is heavily reliant on your personal health insurance plan.
Find Out What is Best for You!
If you would like to find out whether you should buy CPAP supplies using cash or insurance based on your personal health plan, sign up for a free Health Sqyre account! We will give you dynamic and transparent pricing of any product based on where you are in your plan.