WRHA announces changes in funding for Continued Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy equipment

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Posted Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Following an extensive review of Canadian provinces and health regions, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) is amending the coverage of Continued Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy equipment and supplies for adults to better align with the funding models of most other jurisdictions, the region announced today.

"Most provinces across Canada require individuals to pay the full costs of both CPAP therapy equipment and supplies," said Krista Williams, chief health operations officer, hospitals, acute care programs, access and transition with the WRHA. "Manitoba will offer one of only three copayment models in Canada, alongside Saskatchewan and Ontario, requiring individuals to cost-share the purchase of equipment with the region."

CPAP therapy is a common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. A CPAP machine uses a hose and mask, or nosepiece, to deliver constant and steady air pressure. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where an individual has one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while they sleep. Effective April 23, 2018, adults receiving the therapy in Manitoba will be responsible for a $500 copayment for the purchase of new and replacement CPAP therapy equipment.

Individuals will also be responsible for the costs of ongoing supplies associated with the equipment and will remain eligible for a WRHA copayment of replacement equipment every five years. The WRHA will continue to fund the balance of the cost of CPAP therapy equipment, administrative fees for the initial equipment purchase and service fees associated with a 60-minute consultation with a client's vendor of choice, mask fitting and education around equipment use and care. Services for children receiving treatment for sleep disorders remains unchanged.

"Services offered through the clinical program at the Sleep Disorder Centre, including patient consultations, appointments and ongoing clinical support related to sleep breathing disorders are unchanged and continue to be available to Manitobans," said Williams. "We recognize there may be clients who cannot afford the equipment copayment and who have exceptional circumstances for consideration. An appeal process has been established to ensure they are heard."

Many private insurance programs offer some financial support for CPAP equipment and supplies which may reduce an individual's copayment and individuals currently receiving Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) may be eligible for coverage for required healthservices. Impacted individuals are encouraged to contact their insurer or EIA representative for information on their coverage.

Read more about the Sleep Disorder Centre Equipment Funding Changes