NPR / Propublica: How Insurers Dodge The Costs Of Popular Sleep Apnea Devices


From, “This story is part of a series from ProPublica and NPR investigating little-seen aspects of the health insurance and health care industries.”

Don’t know how wide-spread this issue is, but CPAP users should keep themselves informed.


I’m sorry, but I’ve known from the first day I got a CPAP machine that the data had to be uploaded to the doctors office. The second machine I got, a Resmed air sense 10, uploads automatically. Insurance companies need to know that you’re actually using the replacement equipment that they send to you every few months. If you’re not using it, why should they send it to you? I don’t feel like I’m being’s “spied on”. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see why that is a problem.


I totally agree with you. Of all the stories that ProPublica & NPR could investigate–and there are many–this has got to be one of the least important. I am sure there are abuses in the insurance industry, but the mere fact that my BiPAP is sending compliance information via the internet (for just 3 months, then the machine is mine) does not strike me as an invasion of privacy. This is clearly “a tempest in a teapot.”

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My machine was charged at $90 a month for three months until my deductible was used up, and $9.97 per month after that up to 10 months. After 10 months, the machine is mine. I too don’t see a problem with sharing the data, and I have known since the beginning the doctor and insurance company would be keeping tabs on me through the modem on the machine. Folks with higher deductibles will run into problems with costing out the machine, because I have seen used versions of my $1,500 DreamStation available for $600. My central sleep apnea actually caused my atrial fibrilation/heart problems. The afib is completely gone in the last 5 months I have been using the machine. I actually want all of the high-tech recordkeeping that goes with the machine that is essentially keeping me alive. The stats on my iPhone DreamMapper app are great!


It’s great that some people are aware that their insurance providers monitor their usage. It’s great that some people have been aware from the start. But not all equipment providers are up-front about this. Also, as the article pointed out, the “rental” charges on these units sometimes end up totaling more - sometimes much more - than they’re worth.

I think there are users out there who might like the info. It was interesting to me, and I have some questions to ask my equipment provider about its practices.

By the way, I’ve had my machine for four months now and my provider is still monitoring my usage. So apparently three months is no industry standard.