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Does medicare cover sleep studies?

Does Medicare Cover Sleep Studies? A Detailed Guide

Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome, can significantly impact your overall health and quality of life. If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, your doctor might recommend a sleep study to diagnose the issue. But if you’re on Medicare, you may be wondering whether these potentially costly studies are covered. This article provides a comprehensive overview of Medicare coverage for sleep studies, helping you navigate the specifics of your benefits.

What is a Sleep Study?

A sleep study, or polysomnography, is a medical test conducted to diagnose sleep disorders. During a sleep study, various physiological parameters are monitored, including brain activity, eye movement, heart rate, breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, and body movements. These studies can be conducted in a sleep center or sometimes at home, depending on the type of study required.

Types of Sleep Studies
  1. Polysomnography (PSG): Typically performed overnight in a sleep lab, PSG monitors various body functions during sleep.
  2. Home Sleep Apnea Testing (HSAT): Conducted at home, HSAT primarily focuses on diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea.
  3. Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT): This test measures how quickly you fall asleep in a quiet environment during the day and is often used to diagnose narcolepsy.
  4. Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT): This test measures your ability to stay awake during the day and is used to evaluate daytime sleepiness.

Medicare Coverage for Sleep Studies

Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient medical services, generally provides coverage for sleep studies if they are deemed medically necessary. Here are the details:

  1. Medical Necessity: For Medicare to cover a sleep study, it must be ordered by a doctor who deems it medically necessary based on your symptoms and health condition. Common indications include suspected sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and other significant sleep disorders.
  2. Types of Sleep Studies Covered: Medicare covers polysomnography (PSG) conducted in a sleep lab and home sleep apnea testing (HSAT). Other sleep studies like MSLT and MWT may also be covered if they are medically necessary and ordered by your physician.
  3. Coverage Criteria: Medicare has specific criteria that must be met for a sleep study to be covered. For example, for sleep apnea testing, you must exhibit signs or symptoms such as daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, or observed episodes of breathing cessation during sleep.

Costs Associated with Sleep Studies

Medicare Part B covers 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for sleep studies, and you are responsible for the remaining 20%, as well as any applicable Part B deductible. If you have a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, it may cover some or all of your out-of-pocket costs.

Cost Breakdown:
  • Medicare Part B Deductible: You must pay the Part B deductible before Medicare starts to pay its share. For 2024, the Part B deductible is $233.
  • Coinsurance: After meeting the deductible, you are typically responsible for 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the sleep study.

Steps to Ensure Coverage

To ensure your sleep study is covered by Medicare, follow these steps:

  1. Consult Your Doctor: Speak with your primary care physician about your sleep issues. If they determine a sleep study is necessary, they will provide a referral.
  2. Verify Medicare Enrollment: Ensure that the sleep clinic or facility where the study will be conducted accepts Medicare. Not all providers may accept Medicare assignment, which can affect your out-of-pocket costs.
  3. Preauthorization: Some sleep studies may require preauthorization. Check with Medicare or your healthcare provider to see if this step is necessary.
  4. Documentation: Make sure all necessary documentation and medical records supporting the need for the sleep study are properly submitted.

Medicare Advantage Plans

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), your coverage might differ slightly. These plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare and often provide additional benefits beyond Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans are required to cover everything Original Medicare covers but may have different rules, costs, and coverage restrictions.

Key Points for Medicare Advantage:
  • Network Restrictions: You may need to use network providers to get the lowest costs.
  • Prior Authorization: Your plan might require prior authorization for a sleep study.
  • Additional Benefits: Some Medicare Advantage Plans may offer additional benefits related to sleep disorders, such as coverage for CPAP machines or other treatments.


Medicare does cover sleep studies, provided they are deemed medically necessary by a physician. Understanding the types of studies covered, the criteria for coverage, and the associated costs can help you better navigate the process. Always consult with your healthcare provider and verify details with Medicare or your Medicare Advantage Plan to ensure you have the necessary coverage for your sleep study. With the right information, you can take proactive steps toward diagnosing and treating your sleep disorder, improving your overall health and quality of life. 

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