I was recently faced with the decision on sending my old RemStar M off for repairs ( machine was 3 1/2 years old) or try to replace it. The machine was past the 2 year warranty, and the cost of freight both ways and repair was on me.
I am on medicare. Medicare will help pay for a new machine every 5 years. While Medicare will pay 80% of the cost, I have to go through a local medical equipment provider, which charges roughly twice what the machines sell for online. Also Medicare didn't help pay for the humidifier, so I paid for it out of pocket in addition to monthly rentals.
Not to get off subject, a two year warranty can get you in a bind.
I recently bought a machine online. It has a 5 year warranty on the APAP itself and a 3 year warranty on the humidifier.
The machine cost $490, and the humidifier $50 if purchased at the same time, but a whopping $150 if purchased separately. So I bought 2 humidifiers at $50 each. If nothing else I have a spare water chamber.
I am not touting my new APAP here. I am just writing about the benefit of a 5 year warranty and how it helps me.
I am still breaking the new machine in, but I like it so far.
Congratulations on your new machine, codger! I believe you will really enjoy the flexibility and advanced reporting features of an Auto machine compared to your old Remstar M, the same machine I was using prior to my newer APAP. And the five-year warranty on your new Intellipap Auto does seem to be unique from a quick comparison with machines like my ResMed with its more typical 2-year warranty. Naturally, DeVilbiss uses their longer warranty in its sales pitch/machine description.
Meanwhile, my experience with prices disagrees with what you mentioned. I have not found my machine selling (new) online for about half the price of what my DME charged. My DME's pricing is similar to what I see online. New ResMed machines are not inexpensive either way.
About the humidifier, my DME charged $327 for it, with my post-Medicare cost being $54. From that, I conclude that Medicare does pay its share of the humidifier. So, if someone told you otherwise, it looks like they were mistaken.