It Happened to Me

CPAP Cost Breakdown

I’ve received a lot of email resulting from my CPAP article. Many emails asked me about the costs of a CPAP machine. I’m only too happy to provide a breakdown for the curious.

When reading the table below, please keep in mind that it covers only the cost of the machine and a service plan; you need to be titrated (that is, have the CPAP’s pressure calibrated specifically for you) at a sleep lab. Depending on where you live, this may or may not cost you more. If you buy a unit with a humidifier, there’s also the regular expense of distilled water, which is relatively cheap.

Item Amount
Fisher and Paykel HC604 SleepStyle CPAP system (comes with Acclaim 2 basic CPAP mask) $1040
Mirage Activa Nasal CPAP mask $200
ThermoSmart heated CPAP tubing kit $200
Advacare’s five-year clinical support plan (includes consultations, telephone support, pressure changes, machine verification, loaner equipment for use during repairs, machine downloads if applicable $50
Subtotal 1 $1490
Ontario healthcare plan’s “Assistive Devices” coverage – $780
Subtotal 2 $710
Expected reimbursement from b5media’s rather nice employee benefits plan from Empire Life (100% of the cost of the mask and accessories per benefit period; up to $2000 for the CPAP machine per 60 months) – $710
Total $bubkes
(That’s “zero”)

10 replies on “CPAP Cost Breakdown”

Note that most companies have benefits that cover the remaining 100%, but best to check with your specific plan to find out.

Not sure what happens if you’re unemployed, but the dealers who sell the machines are often willing to figure out inventive ways to get a discount (e.g. selling a demo mask or machine), and your doctor is sure to provide advice.

In general, I find that those in the medical community are more than happy to make sure they can do ANYTHING to get you on CPAP (assuming you need it).

I think it’s based on the assumption that “an ounce of prevention today will afford us a pound of cure tomorrow.”

The people who sold me mine were doubleplus awesome. A lot of student plans only cover 80%. The other thing is that health canada will fork over that fee again to cover a replacement machine every few years as well.

Although I went with the resmed machine, after a night of cold water going STRAIGHT UP MY NOSE in a freezing hotel room, i’m incredibly jealous of the heated tube 🙂 – I just made an insulating cover out of a couple layers polar fleece.

@darryl: In addition to the preventative benefits of CPAP (espeically in the cardiopulmonary area), I think a reason the medical profession happily promotes CPAP is that it gives visible results after the first night for many people. There aren’t too many treatments like that.

@Eilonwynn: A couple of people had me sold on the heated tube even before I’d set foot in Advacare’s office. It was an easy sell.

The guy at Advacare showed me an insulating jackeet by ResMed, then steered me towards the heated tube. I resisted the urge to say “I’ll take the jacket; I could use one for my bong.”

It’s been ages since I’ve been put in an ice cold hotel room (a newly-constructed but not-exactly-ready-for-occupancy Ramada Inn, Seattle, early 2001), so I figure I’m due for one soon.

You’re lucky Joey. A year later and I’m still trying to find the reason why I can’t keep mine on for more than 75 minutes. My nose gets congested. No amount of cleaning, nasal rinsing — and I’m not an allergy sufferer — can solve the problem. Even the manger at the CPAP store is mystified. Her son has had the same problem for over a year.

But, it’s true, my situation is rare. Most see results in the first night.

@ Darryl – this has almost definitely been suggested, but what my doctor told me was to just crank the humidity as high as it would go. Did the trick for me.

I’ve been wearing mine for almost 4 years now, and most nights I don’t have a problem keeping it on.. although early on I often found it tied in a knot on the floor in the morning!

I had no luck with a mask, even a nice one like the Mirage as I found turning my head would break the seal. I use a Nasal-aire ‘mask’ and I found it much more comfortable and less intrusive.

@Darryl – As a bonus, I found that when I had a bit of a cold, the airflow directly in the nose tends to open my nasal passages. Sometimes I only know I’m stuffed up when I take the device off in the morning.

@Darryl: if I’m feeling a bit stuffed-up, I take a Listerine Breath-Strip just before putting the mask on. I find the eucalyptus-menthol-whatever-else-is-in-those-things clears things up just enough to allow me to get to sleep… and then the positive pressure itself is enough to keep things cleared up through the night.

I just got diagnosed as well. Purchase a CPAP for over $2K minus the $780 subsidy. I honestly thought my benefits at Manulife would cover a good portion of the difference. Like you, several other people told me theirs was covered. I was sadly mistaken, not one penny was covered and was stuck with the $1,300 bill. The irony is I work for a Healthcare institution that has a sleep study facility. The lesson learned here is check with your benefit provider beforehand. There are other options available that are cheaper. For example, had I purchased my CPAP machine via the web, I could have save a considerable amount of money even without the subsidy.

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