Individuals who are unable to purchase a CPAP machine or unsure about which device is best for them might find that renting a CPAP machine meets their needs. Renting a CPAP machine can be a good option for sleepers new to PAP therapy. Rental options can provide treatment flexibility, allowing sleepers to test several machines to determine what works best for them.
People who plan to use health insurance for their CPAP machine may be required to initially rent a device in order to obtain coverage for the machine.
We’ll take a look at who might benefit from a CPAP rental, what to expect from a rental program, and whether insurance covers rental machines.
Is Renting a CPAP Machine Right for Me?
A machine rental may be a good option for sleepers using a PAP device for the first time. When deciding to rent or purchase a machine, there are several factors sleepers should keep in mind. It’s important to determine the rental cost – including the deposit, minimum rental periods, and other potential expenses – and compare it with the total purchase price of a machine.
Renting Is Ideal For:
- People who have a Medicare or Medicare replacement plan
- Individuals who are new to CPAP therapy
- Sleepers who need encouragement to use the device regularly
Buying May Be Better If:
- You have a non-Medicare, commercial health insurance plan
- You have successfully used a CPAP in the past and have minimal issues with compliance
- You can afford to pay for the device upfront and prefer not to have a monthly payment schedule
Why Would You Want to Rent a CPAP Machine?
Apart from insurance requirements and encouraging compliance, renting a CPAP machine can provide sleepers with flexibility.
If you are buying a device for the first time or are looking to upgrade your current machine, renting allows you to test different options so you can find the best fit for your needs. Likewise, packing your usual CPAP device may be heavy and cumbersome while traveling. With short-term travel rentals, you can use a lighter and smaller machine for the duration of your trip.
Are You Able to Try Out a CPAP Machine Short-Term?
Several medical equipment companies offer short-term CPAP machine rental options. Some companies offer a trial period for CPAP machines and certain accessories, such as masks. This allows individuals to try out multiple machines before determining what works best for their needs.
Can You Rent a Travel CPAP Machine for Work Trips or Vacations?
You can rent a travel CPAP machine for work trips and vacations. Some suppliers have a minimum rental period and charge upfront, even if your trip is shorter than that period. Other suppliers charge on a weekly or monthly basis. You may also be asked to make an initial deposit that can be refunded after the machine is returned in its original condition with complete packaging and functional parts.
Are There Rent-to-Own Options Available for CPAP Machines?
Rent-to-own CPAP device options are available. In fact, Medicare requires people using their coverage to rent a CPAP for a fixed number of months before covering the machine entirely. Many private insurance companies have similar policies, which require sleepers to use the device a certain amount in the first few months in order to maintain coverage. However, sometimes renting-to-buy a machine through insurance ends up costing more overall than buying a machine out-of-pocket directly from a supplier. The cost of upfront fees, minimum rental periods, and cost of damaged or lost parts can add up quickly.
How Does a CPAP Machine Rental Work?
CPAP rentals often require a deposit. The supplier may ask you to pay a certain percentage of the total value of the machine upfront. Once you've paid your deposit, a device is rented to you for a specified period of time.
After the trial period, you can either extend the rental period or return the device and receive your deposit back, minus fees for damaged or missing parts. If you do not return the machine or extend the rental period in time, you may be charged for the remaining value of the machine.
Where Can You Rent a CPAP Machine?
CPAP machines can be rented online or in person through durable medical suppliers. Although many online retailers offer generous shipping and return policies, they may not be the best choice for individuals who need more information regarding device quality, materials, and fit. In this case, a salesperson at a brick-and-mortar store can provide insight into particular models and help you find a machine that’s right for your needs.
What’s Included in a Typical CPAP Machine Rental?
In addition to the device, certain CPAP machine accessories are often included with rentals. Common examples include a humidifier, water tub, and standard tubing. You typically need to purchase your own mask separately, and heated tubing may be available for an additional fee.
Does Health Insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare Cover the Cost of a CPAP Machine Rental?
Health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid often cover CPAP machine rentals. If you are on a Medicare or Medicare Advantage Plan, they will cover 80% of the cost associated with a three-month trial rental and a 13-month rent-to-own program. People with Medicaid must first complete a 12-week CPAP trial period before the machine is covered.
For those with private insurance, it’s best to consult your specific provider for details on CPAP rental coverage and purchase options, since these may vary among companies and plans.
Can You Use an FSA or HSA Account to Rent a CPAP Machine?
Many suppliers accept payment from a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) for CPAP machine and supply rentals and purchases.
Most suppliers do not offer CPAP mask rentals. While many suppliers provide essential CPAP accessories with the rental machine, such as tubing and humidifiers, customers are usually asked to use an existing mask or purchase one separately to fit the rental device.
Borrowing a CPAP machine isn't recommended. Before renting out a CPAP machine, the supplier takes great care to make sure it is in good working order, properly disinfected, and fitted with compatible accessories based on machine size or brand. A device from someone you know may not have been properly cleaned and maintained, which might lead to infections or machine malfunction.
Additionally, when you first receive a CPAP machine, a sleep technologist calibrates it to the prescribed pressure settings unique to your needs. Using a borrowed device could mean you do not receive the proper airflow, which may lead to less effective therapy.
You do not need rental insurance when renting a CPAP machine. Check with your health insurance company prior to traveling or renting to see what might be covered in the event of damage.