In Ireland, there are three methods of financing your CPAP equipment.
Medical Card Holders:
Those patients who hold a Medical Card, are covered by the Health Service Executive (HSE), who have Service Level Agreements with a number of Service Providers (CPAP). One of these companies will be appointed to supply equipment and/or services to the patient. Once contact has been made by the supplier and the patient is suitably set up with treatment therapy, they can give their Medical Card details to the Service Provider. The Service Provider will then handle all the necessary paper work and submit the relative forms to The Health Service Executive to ensure payment. Payment for replacement masks is handled similarly. While payment for homecare or equipment provision is covered by the HSE, the patient should read the contract or agreement that they sign with the service provider and be aware of any conditions that relate to them.
Patients who opt for this method will normally attempt to negotiate the best possible deal with the Service Provider and pay them for the machine. Some Private Health Insurers make a small contribution to those insured. You should check with your insurer to see if there is any coverage. Any such payments are usually subject to confirmation from your Medical Consultant. The Health Service Executive (HSE) do not contribute to equipment purchases. It may be possible to negotiate some form of contribution with some of the smaller Health Insurers (St. Paul’s, ESB etc).
Tax relief is available for all equipment costs. Receipts should be included on the Med 1 Form.
Mask/hose/filter replacements are covered under the Drugs Payment Scheme (see below).
In the case of outright purchase, there should be some form of warranty (12 months, or in some cases 24 months). Before purchasing we recommend that warranty details (who provides cover, and what it entails) be agreed. In this regard, it is a good idea to determine if replacement filters are provided over the term of the warranty.
Some equipment providers have a Service Agreement facility whereby they monitor/service/repair treatment equipment for a monthly cost. It is a service worth examining. Individual Agreements may differ.
Drugs Payment Scheme:
This scheme covers service/rental agreements (monthly payments), and consumables (masks, headgear etc). It is effectively a ‘co – pay’ scheme whereby the patient pays the first €144 per month of the total cost of all pharmacy, monthly payments and consumables, with any excess refunded by The Health Service Executive.
The onus is on the patient to initiate the claim, by sending the relevant claim form and receipts (pharmacy, homecare monthly payment, mask/tubing/filter purchases) to the DPS office at:
PO Box 12012
Call save 1890 252 919
Full details, with downloadable Claim Form are available at:
Claim progress can be monitored online.
The ‘co – pay’ element (€144 per month, or portion thereof) may be claimed against income tax using the Med 1 Form.
In the event of a claim being refused, the patient should immediately lodge a formal appeal against the decision. This process should take no more than 3/4 weeks.
RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR TREATMENT EQUIPMENT OR SERVICE PROVIDER
Whether you are a Medical Card Holder or a patient availing of equipment rental/homecare or other service from a Service/Equipment Provider you will be presented with a contract/agreement document which you will be asked to sign. Regardless of what you believe or may be told by others, this is a legally binding document and you should be fully aware of the terms and conditions therein.
If you have any doubts, the following points should be clarified for you:
The length (time) of the contract (12/24/36 months, or indefinite)
Is the contract a fixed price contract or variable
The exact nature of the service being provided (equipment/service etc). EG: Does the service include help in getting you compliant with the treatment therapy
What exactly do you get from the Provider
Does the contract provide for support at your home, or do you have to travel to a designated location
Does the contract include provision of consumables/disposables (masks/filters/hoses)
Does the contract include provision of replacement equipment in the event of breakdown, and how quickly will the replacement be with you (within 12 hours of reporting breakdown)
Does the contract provide for a 24/7 type service for support
Should any of the equipment provided be unsuitable for you, does the contract include provision for supply of equipment from a different company/manufacturer
Will there be a delay in providing such equipment
Who has responsibility for insurance of the equipment, bearing in mind that the patient doesn’t own it (you can’t insure something you don’t own)
Is the equipment insured during any stays outside Ireland
You should also ask if there is a cheaper alternative available from that Provider
In order to ensure continuous supply we strongly recommend that you register for ‘Priority Support’ with Electric Ireland. Just download the form at this link:
It should ensure that supply is not cut off, or should be restored as soon as possible in the event of a broken supply.
Complete the form and post it (FREEPOST) to:
Register for Priority Support
Electric Ireland (F4354)
PO Box 10969