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Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy Equipment

Buyer’s Information

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Continuous positive a​irway pressure (CPAP) therapy is a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (also called OSA or sleep apnea). This information will help you understand your options before you buy your own CPAP therapy equip​​ment.

Talking with Children

What should happen before I buy CPAP therapy equipment?

Before you buy CPAP therapy equipment, you:

  • should have a diagnosis of OSA​
  • have talked to your doctor about your symptoms
  • understand your treatment options
  • have tested CPAP therapy to see if it works for you
  • have talked to your doctor about testing CPAP therapy equipment and that it made your symptoms better
  • agree that CPAP therapy is right for you
  • have a prescription from your doctor for your CPAP therapy equipment settings

How do I pay for CPAP therapy equipment?

You can buy or rent CPAP therapy equipment. The price of CPAP therapy equipment is different depending on the type of equipment and if you need extra parts (accessories) or CPAP-related services.

At this time, Alberta Health doesn’t cover the cost of CPAP therapy equipment and accessories.

If you have health insurance, CPAP therapy equipment and accessories may be covered like other health services. The following programs may also cover the cost of CPAP therapy equipment:

  • Alberta Works
  • Seniors Assistance Program
  • Non-Insured Health Benefits program (NIHB)​
  • Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH)
  • Veterans Affairs (VAC)

Ask a CPAP provider in your area if they offer payment options or payment plans.

Why is the cost of CPAP therapy equipment different depending on where I buy it?

In Canada, CPAP therapy equipment and accessories cost between $1600 and $2800. The price depends on:

  • if you need support from a registered respiratory therapist
  • the CPAP therapy equipment manufacturer’s warranty
  • the types of settings or options on the CPAP therapy equipment
  • the type of CPAP therapy equipment package you buy such as one with a humidifier, extra masks, tubing covers, or other accessories
  • the type of CPAP therapy equipment you need, such as fixed pressure equipment (where the pressure stays the same) or auto-adjustable pressure equipment (also called auto CPAP or APAP, where the equipment changes pressure depending on your needs)
  • where you buy your CPAP therapy equipment – Some places may get better prices than others depending on how much equipment they buy.

Bi-level pressure units (BPAP) are a different type of therapy equipment. This type of equipment has different prices than CPAP therapy equipment. Many patients who need BPAP therapy can get government funding to help pay for the cost of the equipment. Talk to your healthcare team about your options to pay for BPAP therapy equipment if you need this type of treatment.

Where can I buy CPAP therapy equipment?

You can buy CPAP therapy equipment from a provider in your area or online. It’s important to understand the differences between buying from a store or online, to decide which option is best for you.

Local CPAP providers

If you are new to CPAP therapy, it’s best to rent or buy CPAP therapy equipment from a local CPAP provider that:

  • follows the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta’s Sleep Medicine Diagnostic (SMD) accreditation standards that protect patient safety and quality of care
  • will tell you where to get help with filling out applications to help cover the cost of the equipment
  • will fit you for a mask, let you try on masks before you buy, and help you with your equipment if you have trouble using it
  • will give you information about how to keep your equipment clean and working well
  • will talk to you about what their costs include such as respiratory therapist support, how long support is offered, and if they will give you new equipment if yours wears out
  • will share how you’re doing with your healthcare team and clinics (with your permission)
  • will loan you CPAP therapy equipment if your own equipment needs to be cleaned, checked, or repaired (so you don’t have to stop your therapy)

Look for a provider who offers follow-up to see how well your therapy and the equipment are working.

Online CPAP providers

If you choose to buy CPAP therapy equipment online:

  • Look for an online provider that asks for a ​prescription from your doctor before they sell the equipment.
  • Do research to make sure you are buying from an online company with a good reputation and service.

Ask an online company:

  • What services do you offer and what are the costs? For example, do they offer:
    • support for setting up your equipment and how to use the equipment
    • repairs
    • follow-up
    • to share the results of your treatment with your healthcare team
  • Will the equipment work with Canadian computer systems? Does it store at least 200 days of information? – You may need to share this information with your healthcare and insurance provider.
  • Can I try a mask first before I buy it? If so, how long can I try it for?
  • What is your equipment warranty? – Equipment bought in Canada usually has a warranty of 3 years and should have a CSA stamp on it.

Using second-hand equipment

You should only use CPAP therapy if you have a prescription from your doctor. Each CPAP machine must be set for the person using it. Using a machine that is set for someone else could be harmful to your health.

Think about the following before you decide to use second-hand CPAP therapy equipment:

  • It can be hard to know if a second-hand machine works well and if there is still warranty on it.
  • To protect your health, always clean the equipment before you use it.
  • Using second-hand CPAP therapy equipment may save money, but if you don’t have support for using it, it may not work or work as well for you.
  • It’s important to understand how the equipment works and that it can give you the right therapy you need.

If you decide to use second-hand CPAP therapy equipment, it’s a good idea to have it inspected and cleaned by a CPAP provider in your area. You will need to pay for this service.

What do I need to know if my child needs CPAP therapy equipment?

Make sure your child has fixed pressure CPAP therapy equipment. Auto-adjustable pressure CPAP equipment should not be used in children.

Make sure your child is fitted for and tests a mask for children (called a pediatric mask) instead of an adult mask.

Get help from professionals who work with children needing CPAP therapy equipment. The use of CPAP therapy in children and follow-up care is different than for adults.

For more information​

Current as of: December 10, 2018

Author: Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services