How We Found The Best Medical Alert Systems
10 Companies Selected
23 Companies Considered
5 Experts Consulted
35 Metrics Examined
400+ Hours of Research

At a Glance: The Best Medical Alert Systems

We created this guide to help seniors and their loved ones choose a reputable and affordable medical alert system, which is often also referred to as life alert systems or fall alert devices. Our team spent over 400 hours researching medical alert devices, conducting hands-on testing, and consulting with experts to determine the best medical alert systems available today. Below, we provide details about the top 9 medical alert companies and their devices, explain common medical alert features, offer advice for choosing the right life alert system, and answer frequently asked questions so you can feel confident you’re choosing the best device for you and your loved ones to be protected in the event of a fall or medical emergency.

Overview Of The Top Recommended Medical Alert Systems
Bay Alarm Medical
  • Starts at $19.95
  • In-Home, Mobile GPS, & Smartwatch Options
  • Free Shipping + Free Month on Select Plans
See Packages → Read Our Review →
MobileHelp
  • Starts at $19.95
  • Free Lock Box
  • No Landline Required
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Aloe Care
  • Starts at $24.99 monthly + one-time equipment fee
  • In-home and mobile devices available
  • Hands-free system with motion detection
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Medical Guardian
  • Starts at $29.95
  • Free Shipping & Lock Box
  • Caring.com Special: 1 Month Free
See Packages → Read Our Review →
MedicalAlert
  • Starts at $18.28
  • Up to 800 Feet of Range
  • Starting Fee as Low as $0
See Packages → Read Our Review →
LifeFone
  • Starts at $20.79
  • Up to 1,300 Feet of Range
  • Starting Fee as Low as $0
See Packages → Read Our Review →
GetSafe
  • Starts at $24.95
  • 1,000 Feet of Range
  • Monthly Fall Detection At Just $10/mo
See Packages → Read Our Review →
MedicalCareAlert
  • Starts at $29.95
  • Up to 1,000 Feet of Range
  • Monthly Fall Detection At Just $10/mo
See Packages → Read Our Review →
ResponseNow
  • Starts at $29.95
  • Up to 500 feet of range
  • No initial fees
See Packages → Read Our Review →
Lifenet
  • Starts at $29.95
  • Up to 1,000 feet of range
  • Free fall detection for mobile device
See Packages → Read Our Review →

How We Chose the Best Medical Alert Systems

Our team identified the top 23 medical alert companies based on device offerings and online reviews and evaluated them for cost, feature and device availability, and reliability and reputation. We divided our criteria into five main categories (“core metrics”) and 28 subcategories (“sub metrics”) to determine a score for the companies and then ranked them in order of the scores. We included those that ranked in the top ten places as the ten medical alert companies on our list to deliver a data-driven compilation of the best medical alert options for seniors and their loved ones. Our guide was then reviewed by Christopher Norman, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, for accuracy. 

Core Metric Overview

  • In-Home Systems Cost and Capabilities: 25%
  • Mobile Systems Cost and Capabilities: 25%
  • Reliability and Reputation: 20% 
  • Extra Features and Add-On Devices: 15% 
  • Fees and Contracts: 15%

Read our full Methodology for a detailed explanation of how we ranked and chose the nine best medical alert systems.

Compare The Best Medical Alert Systems

While all companies listed on this page offer high-quality medical alert systems and monitoring service, there are some differences between them all. Importantly, the available features will vary depending on which company you choose. Beyond emergency monitoring and 24/7 live support, the other capabilities of the systems do differ. We created this table below so you can easily see which companies offer systems equipped with the features you’re looking for. For a further explanation into the various features offerred by life alert devices, check out our section on Understanding Medical Alert System Features.

Fall Detection
GPS Location Tracking
Activity Tracking
Caregiver Portal/App
Medication Reminders
Multilingual Support

Expert Reviews of the Best Medical Alert Systems

Best for Customer Service

bayalarm medical device

Bay Alarm Medical currently has four medical alert systems available. If you’re looking for budget-friendly life alert systems, Bay Alarm Medical might be a good fit as it offers competitively priced devices  and top-notch customer service. Bay Alarm Medical is a great pick if you have a landline because it offers one of the lowest monthly monitoring costs for landline-based in-home systems among the companies we reviewed. The In-Home basic package starts at $19.95 per month without activation, equipment, or installation fees.

The company provides excellent customer service, and has a LiveChat box on its website so you can receive immediate assistance and support. Additionally, you may call Bay Alarm Medical’s customer service team seven days a week. When you call, you’ll speak to U.S.-based, trained customer representatives to provide you a positive, pleasant, and consistent customer experience.

bay alarm medical logo

Best For Customer Service

Best for

Customer Service

View Packages

bay alarm medical

View Packages

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Geofencing available
  • Monitoring service is available in 170 languages
  • On the Road provides excellent coverage for seniors who drive
  • Change or cancel plans at any time

Cons:

  • Limited accessories compared to other companies
  • Most plans include basic coverage and will cost more as features are added on

Pricing and Plans

Features
N-HOME (LANDLINE)
ON THE GO
SOS SMARTWATCH
Monthly Cost
$19.95
$29.95
$29.95
Type of Device
In-home system
Mobile system
Mobile system
Connection
Landline
Cellular
Cellular
Battery Life
32-hour backup
3 days
8-24 hour
Water Resistant
Yes
Yes
Yes
Range
1,000 feet
N/A
N/A
Fall Detection
$10 a month
$10 a month
Not available

*Automatic crash detection is included

Bay Alarm Medical’s four devices range from $19.95 per month for the Basic In-Home system to $29.95 per month for the SOS Smartwatch device. All Bay Alarm devices have monthly payments, but you may choose to pay every quarter or annual without discounts. You may cancel anytime, and if you’re on quarterly or yearly billing, the company will refund you for the unused months. There’s a risk-free 30-day trial period where you can use the device, return it if you decide it’s not for you, and receive a full refund minus shipping costs.

Monitoring and Cellular Provider

Bay Alarm Medical provides complete monitoring services nationwide via the U.S.-based call centers located in Utah and Idaho. Bay Alarm Medical’s emergency monitoring centers are UL-Listed and CSAA Five Diamond Certified.

Cellular-enabled devices use the AT&T and Verizon cellular networks to connect with Bay Alarm monitoring centers. You can use the 24/7 emergency medical monitoring centers anywhere in the United States with cellular coverage.

Contact Bay Alarm Medical for a Quote Get Quote

Our in-depth review on Bay Alarm Medical Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Most Affordable In-Home System

mobilehelp medical device

MobileHelp offers a large selection of reliable personal emergency response systems, ranging from basic in-home units to high-tech portable devices. If you’re looking for affordable medical alarm solutions, MobileHelp is worth looking into because it offers the most affordable in-home and mobile devices. Moreover, it won’t charge you extra for cellular in-home systems. In addition, the company offers a mobile app called MobileHelp Connect, a suite of free online tools that provides you with valuable features like medication reminders, activity tracking, and location services.

MobileHelp has excellent customer service and an informative website. Its monitoring center is staffed with highly-trained operators with quick response times. Overall, MobileHelp is a superb option if you’re looking for a good balance of quality service and affordable medical alarm devices.

mobilehelp logo

Most Affordable In-Home System

Most Affordable In-Home System

View Packages

mobilehelp logo

View Packages

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No need for a landline with any device
  • No extra charge for cellular connection
  • Range of premium features

Cons:

  • Some customers will need to pay an activation fee
  • Fall detection not available for all devices

Pricing and Plans

Feature
Classic
Wired Home
Touch Classic
Solo
Micro
Duo
Mobile Duo
Touch Duo
Monthly Cost
$19.95
$24.95
$54.95
$37.95
$33.95
$41.95
$44.95
$54.95
Type of Device
In-home system
In-home system
Mobile tablet
Mobile system
Mobile system
In-home and mobile system
Mobile system
In-home, mobile, and tablet
Connection
Cellular
Landline
Cellular and WiFi
Cellular
Cellular
Cellular
Cellular
Cellular
Battery Life
24-hour backup
30-hour backup
24 hours; 12-hour backup
24 hours
4 days
24 hours; 24-hour backup
24 hours
24 hours; 12-hour backup for tablet
Water Resistant
Yes*
Yes*
Yes*
Yes*
Yes*
Yes*
Yes*
Yes*
Range
1,400 feet
1,300 feet
150 feet
N/A
N/A
350 feet; 1,400 feet
350 feet
150-350 feet
Fall Detection
$10 a month
Not available
$10 a month
$10 a month
Optional built-in for $60 a year
$10 a month
$10 a month
$10 a month

*Base stations and wall buttons are not waterproof. The fall button and mobile device are water-resistant for wearing in the shower. The neck pendant and wrist button are waterproof.

The price range for MobileHelp’s systems starts from $19.95 to $54.95 a month, and you can make monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payments. You can get free shipping by opting for quarterly, semi-annual, and annual payments. Otherwise, you’ll pay $15 for shipping if you go for monthly plans. Note that in addition to offering free shipping, long-term payment plans are also cheaper than monthly payments overall due to slight discounts.

Although the MobileHelp Classic starts at the low monthly price of $19.95, you’ll have to pay an additional one-time processing fee of $49.95. The processing fee only applies to the MobileHelp Classic monthly plan; other plans (i.e., quarterly, semi-annual, annual) don’t have such a fee. All customers are eligible for MobileHelp’s 30-day free trial period for all devices.

Monitoring and Cellular Provider

In partnership with Rapid Response, MobileHelp ensures best-in-class emergency services whenever you need urgent help. Your medical alerts are answered from two state-of-the-art facilities in Syracuse, NY, and Corona, CA, by highly-trained U.S.-based emergency response operators.

MobileHelp devices use the AT&T network to connect to the monitoring center. All mobile devices will work anywhere there’s an AT&T cellular coverage.

Contact MobileHelp for a Quote Get Quote

Our in-depth review on MobileHelp Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Best for Seniors Who Don’t Want to Wear a Pendant

aloe care basic system

Aloe Care offers highly-advanced, hands-free medical alert systems for independent older adults. Its voice-activated system keeps seniors safe and connected to their caregivers without the need to wear a medical alert necklace each day. Its device options include an in-home, motion-sensing base station, a small mobile unit that you can put in your pocket or purse without wearing it, and a lightweight emergency alert button that you can wear around your wrist. Aloe Care also has a mobile app that you can use to monitor the wearer’s activity levels, check in with other members of the care team, and more. 

Aloe Care Health logo

Best for Seniors Who Don’t Want to Wear a Pendant

Best for Seniors Who Don’t Want to Wear a Pendant

View Packages

Aloe Care Health logo

View Packages

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Hands-free, voice-activated system and no wearable required
  • State-of-the-art privacy protocols and personal data protection
  • Mobile app makes caregiver collaboration easy
  • Built-in temperature and air-quality sensors

Cons:

  • All customers must pay an up-front device purchase fee of $100 or more

Pricing and Plans

Mobile Companion

Essentials

Essentials Plus

Total Care

Monthly Cost

$24.99

$29.99

$39.99

$49.99

Type of Device

Mobile system

In-home system

In-home and mobile system

In-home and mobile system

Connection

Cellular

Cellular

Cellular

Cellular

Battery Life

4-5 days

4-6 hour backup

4-5 days mobile, 4-6 hour backup

4-5 days mobile, 4-6 hour

Water Resistant

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Range

Nationwide

30 feet voice range; 200 feet button range

Nationwide

Nationwide

Fall Detection

Included in monthly cost

Not available

Included in monthly cost

Included in monthly cost

Aloe Care’s plans range in price from $24.99 to $49.99, which users pay on a month-to-month basis. In addition to the monthly service charge, Aloe Care users purchase their equipment for an initial one-time fee of $100-$300, depending on which plan they choose. There are no additional startup fees for installation or activation, but customers may need to pay for shipping. 

Monitoring and Cellular Provider

Aloe Care devices are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the professional emergency response center. The center is Five Diamond Certified by The Monitoring Association. 

All Aloe Care systems come equipped with 4G LTE cellular service, so no landlines are required to use an Aloe Care device. WiFi is not required for the Essentials plan, but is needed for the Smart Fall Sensor included in the Total Care plan.

Contact Aloe Care for a Quote Get Quote

Our in-depth review on Aloe Care Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Editor’s Choice

guardian medical device

Medical Guardian is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a healthy selection of devices and advanced features. On top of standard emergency monitoring, the company can also provide you with premium features like voice-to-text messaging for more accessible communication and activity tracking for measuring your fitness metrics like step counting and heart rate. Medical Guardian also offers a technologically advanced medical smartwatch, the MGMove. This wearable device features 24/7 monitoring and activity tracking.

medical guardian logo

Editor’s Choice

Editor’s Choice

View Packages

medical guardian logo

View Packages

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Large selection of systems with prices starting as low as $1/day
  • Availability of premium features
  • Lightweight and waterproof devices

Cons:

  • Mobile systems are pricier than the industry average
  • Some customers must pay for shipping

Pricing and Plans

Features
Classic Guardian
Home 2.0
Mini Guardian
Mobile 2.0
MGMove Smartwatch
Monthly Cost
$29.95
$34.95*
$39.95*
$39.95*
$39.95-$44.95**
Type of Device
In-home system
In-home system
Mobile system
Mobile system
Smartwatch-style device
Battery Life
32-hour backup
32-hour backup
5 days
5 days
24 hours
Range
1,300 feet
1,400 feet
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Fall Detection
$10 a month
$10 a month
$10 a month
$10 a month
Not available

* One-time device cost of $124.95
**One-time device cost of $199.95

Medical Guardian lets you choose from five different devices, ranging from $29.95 to $39.95 per month. Then, every device gives you three different payment options: Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual plans. Choosing the Annual payment plan will get you a few dollars off the base monthly price, one free month of service subscription, and free ground shipping. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay $12.50 for shipping.

However, some devices like the Home 2.0, Mini Guardian, and Mobile 2.0 require a one-time equipment fee ranging from $124.95 to $149.95. Similarly, the MGMove smartwatch package comes with a $199.95 equipment fee.

Monitoring and Cellular Provider

Medical Guardian uses a U.S.-based, third-party monitoring service. It is certified by The Monitoring Association (TMA) and is a member of the Electronic Security Association.

Medical Guardian cellular devices use AT&T’s network to connect with the monitoring center. You can connect with the monitoring center anywhere in the United States with cellular service. 

Contact Medical Guardian for a Quote Get Quote

Our in-depth review on Medical Guardian Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Best Value

medical-alert medical device

As one of the largest providers of medical alert systems, Medical Alert is a solid choice if you’re looking for a reliable company that offers the best value. It only offers three devices, but they’re all high-quality. Unlike other companies, Medical Alert won’t charge you extra for activation, installation, and equipment fees – except for the one-time programming fee in the Mobile System package.

Medical Alert is one of our top picks for medical alert companies because of the high value it offers. To help you stay safe while sticking to your budget, the company provides 24/7 monitoring and advanced features like GPS location tracking at a reasonable cost.

medical alert logo

Best Value

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Free lockbox provided with annual subscription plans for in-home systems
  • International coverage (U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands)
  • No extra one-time fees
  • No long-term contracts or cancellation fees, and offers prorated refunds

Cons:

  • Limited extra features and accessories
  • Fall detection not included in monthly cost for any devices

Pricing and Plans

Features
AT HOME LANDLINE
AT HOME NO LANDLINE
ON THE GO
Monthly Cost
$22.95
$32.95
$42.95
Type of Device
In-home system
In-home system
Mobile system
Connection
Landline
Cellular
Cellular
Battery Life
30-hour backup
30-hour backup
5 days
Water Resistant
Yes**
Yes**
Yes**
Range
Up to 800 feet*
Up to 800 feet*
N/A
Fall Detection
$10 a month
$10 a month
$10 a month

*Pendant coverage is subject to device location, environment, equipment and facility conditions.
**The help buttons and fall detection buttons are waterproof.

Medical Alert’s products range from $22.95 to $42.95 a month when you opt for monthly payments. You can save a few dollars more when selecting the semi-annual and annual payment plans. Plus, the semi-annual plan comes with free shipping, while the yearly payment option offers free shipping, a free lockbox, and one free month.

Medical Alert provides a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of its systems. If you’re not satisfied with your device, you can get a full refund if you return the product within 30 days. Furthermore, you may cancel your plan at any time without penalties and receive a refund for all unused months.

Monitoring and Cellular Provider

Medical Alert’s devices are monitored around the clock by trained operators. The monitoring centers are entirely redundant and UL-approved. In addition, the emergency operators use the International Language Line for translation services, enabling them to offer emergency support in over 140 languages.

Medical Alert uses the AT&T wireless cellular network to connect its On the Go and At-Home No Landline users to the monitoring center. The portable On the Go device works in all fifty states and Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

Contact Medical Alert for a Quote Get Quote

Our in-depth review on Medical Alert Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Best Mobile App

lifefone medical device

LifeFone is easily one of our top picks due to its competitively priced systems and reputation for reliability. The company offers five state-of-the-art medical alert devices plus the optional VIPx Caregiver Mobile App. The mobile app adds several premium features to check your current location, track your steps, manually ring the device, and more. 

On top of your medical devices, you may also use the app to alert the call center whenever you need help. The VIPx Caregiver Mobile App works in tandem with VIPx devices to provide you and your loved ones more peace of mind.

lifefone logo

Best

Mobile App

Best

Mobile App

View Packages

lifefone logo

View Packages

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Large range on in-home devices
  • Variety of services help users feel protected in every situation
  • No long-term service contract or extraneous startup fees
  • Free monitoring for a second family member/person who lives in the same household

Cons:

  • Additional fees apply for add-ons that some other companies offer for free
  • Shorter than average battery life

Pricing and Plans

Features
At-Home Landline
At-home Cellular
At-Home & On-the-Go
At-Home & On-the-Go, Voice-in-Pendant
VIPx
Monthly Cost
$24.95
$30.95
$36.95
$39.95
$41.95
Type of Device
In-home system
In-home system
In-home and mobile system
Mobile System
Mobile System
Connection
Landline
Cellular
Cellular
Cellular
Cellular
Battery Life
32-hour backup
32-hour backup
24 hours mobile; 30-hour backup in-home
30 days
16 days
Water Resistant
Yes*
Yes*
Yes*
Yes
Yes
Range
1,300 feet
1,300 feet
1,400 feet in-home, 600 feet mobile
N/A
N/A
Fall Detection
$5 a month
$5 a month
$10 a month
$5 a month
$5 a month

*The help button and fall detection pendant are water resistant.

LifeFone offers an impressive selection of five medical alert devices. Each device comes with three different payment plans: monthly, quarterly, and annual. If you’re planning to use the device long-term, you should opt for the quarterly and yearly plans since they include minor discounts and freebies. The quarterly payment option includes free shipping and one free month, while the annual plan gives free shipping, one free month, and a free lockbox.

LifeFone also provides a 30-day risk-free trial where you may return its products within 30 days and receive a full refund. You’re free to cancel your plan at any time without penalties.

Monitoring and Cellular Provider

LifeFone has redundant monitoring centers in New York and California, where highly trained agents are on standby round-the-clock in the event you need urgent assistance.

LifeFone’s cellular devices work with AT&T’s Nationwide Cellular Network, enabling you to use your device whenever you are in the states with cellular coverage.

Contact LifeFone for a Quote Get Quote

Our in-depth review on LifeFone Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Best Hands-Free System

getsafe medical device

Unlike most companies featured on this list, GetSafe doesn’t offer landline-based medical alert systems. Instead, the company provides a 2-way communication device that you may call, press, and pull to get immediate assistance.

For example, GetSafe’s unique wall buttons only require you to say “Call 911” twice to initiate a two-way call with emergency responders. If you’re unable to talk, you can push a button or pull a cord to call for help. It’s a great alternative if you don’t like wearing a medical alert button, but that’s an option too if you prefer wearables.

getsafe logo

Best Hands-Free

System

Best Hands-Free

System

View Packages

getsafe logo

View Packages

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No need to wear personal emergency alert button
  • Easy self-installation means no installation fees
  • Low monthly monitoring fees
  • 30-day free trial period

Cons:

  • Larger packages have high startup costs
  • No on-the-go coverage is available

Pricing and Plans

Starter

Standard

Select

Monthly Cost

$24.95

$24.95

$24.95

One-Time Device Fee

$79

$179

$279

Type of Device

In-home system

In-home system

In-home system

Connection

Cellular

Cellular

Cellular

Battery Life

32-hour backup

32-hour backup

32-hour backup

Water Resistant

Yes*

Yes*

Yes*

Range

20 feet voice range; 1,000 feet pendant range

20 feet voice range; 1,000 feet pendant range

20 feet voice range; 1,000 feet pendant range

Fall Detection

$10 a month

$10 a month

$10 a month

*The wearable buttons and wall buttons are water-resistant.

GetSafe offers three service plans: the Starter, Standard, and Select. GetSafe has a different approach from other providers because it allows you to customize your device packages based on the size of your home. For example, the Starter package is aimed at those living in a studio or one-bedroom home. This starter package includes a two-way voice button, a button pendant, and a base communication console.

GetSafe’s pricing also differs because all service plans cost $24.95 per month regardless of which package you choose. The cost difference between the three packages lies on the one-time equipment fee and additional costs for extra services like fall detection and portable GPS monitoring. For instance, the Starter plan (0-1 bedroom) has a $79 equipment cost, while the Standard plan (2-3 bedrooms) requires $179 for equipment. Unfortunately, GetSafe doesn’t offer quarterly or annual billing discounts.

Monitoring and Cellular Provider

GetSafe devices are monitored by a U.S.-based UL-listed monitoring center with operators available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

All GetSafe base units come equipped with 4G LTE cellular service through AT&T’s Nationwide Cellular Network. You don’t need a landline for GetSafe’s services, and the service is available in all 50 United States.

Contact GetSafe for a Quote Get Quote

Our in-depth review on GetSafe Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Best for People with Chronic Medical Conditions

medical-alert medical device

Medical Care Alert should be one of your top choices if the quality of medical alert monitoring is your priority. Unlike other companies that only provide basic training for agents, Medical Care Alert operators all hold EMT/EMD certification and are trained to work with seniors. In addition, they also undergo Security Industry Association-certified training programs for extra assurance. Therefore, all Medical Care Alert operators have first-hand experience as emergency responders, so they provide you with top-tier assistance. This can be especially important if you have a chronic medical condition like diabetes or heart disease.

Upon dispatch, the monitoring center always sends a text message alert to your preferred contacts – including your family, friends, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. The company also has one of the most straightforward processes for purchasing its devices, especially if you don’t like ordering important items online. You just need to give them a call, and a representative will walk you through the whole process.

medical care alert logo

Best For People With

Chronic Medical Conditions

Best for People With

Chronic Medical Conditions

View Packages

medical care alert logo

View Packages

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • EMT certified operators
  • Home and Home & Yard are easy to use while on vacation
  • Free lockbox provided with all annual subscription plans
  • Great coverage for seniors who spend time outside

Cons:

  • Optional devices can be costly
  • Fall detection is not available with all devices

Pricing and Plans

Features
Home Medical Alert System
Home & Away Ultra GPS Medical Alert System
Monthly Cost
$29.95
$39.95
Type of Device
In-home system
Mobile system
Connection
Landline or Cellular
Cellular
Battery Life
72-hour backup landline; 24 hour backup cellular
3 days
Water Resistant
Yes*
Yes
Range
1,000 feet
N/A
Fall Detection
$10 a month
$10 a month

Medical Care Alert only offers two devices: Home and Home & Away Ultra. The two devices only have a $10 cost difference, starting at $29.95 for Home and $39.95 for Home & Away Ultra. You can pay for the device through monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual payment plans. There are no billing discounts between payment plans save for the yearly option where you get a small discount and a free month.

You may try any of the devices for 14 days and receive a full refund if you’re unhappy. Also, you may cancel your subscription anytime, and you’ll receive a prorated refund for unused months.

Monitoring and Cellular Provider
Medical Care Alert’s monitoring centers are located in New York and California. The centers are fully staffed by EMT/EMD-certified operators. Spanish-speaking operators and support for deaf and hearing-impaired customers are always available. 

Medical Care Alert uses the AT&T wireless cellular network to connect users to the monitoring center, so the devices can be used nationwide.

Our in-depth review on Medical Care Alert Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Best for No Start-Up Fees

responsenow medical device

If you’re looking for a medical alert system without the hefty activation and equipment fees, it’s hard to go wrong with ResponseNow. Not only does it waive all equipment and activation fees, but it also offers free shipping. Plus, ResponseNow doesn’t lock you in a long-term contract, and even offers prorated refunds for unused months. ResponseNow’s traditional console-and-pendant unit, In The Home, includes 24/7 monitoring, 500 feet range, optional fall detection, and starts at $29.95 per month.

ResponseNow also offers the Belle and Belle X portable devices. These shower-safe, two-way speaker-and-microphone devices work with a 4G LTE cellular connection and include built-in fall detection (only Belle X), making them ideal for active seniors. ResponseNow stands out for its transparent pricing, lack of extra costs, and top-shelf mobile devices.

responsenow logo

Best For

Best for No Startup Fees

Best for

Best for No Startup Fees

View Packages

responsenow logo

View Packages

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No equipment or activation fees on all bundles
  • High-quality mobile device with built-in fall detection
  • No long-term contracts

Cons:

  • Limited selection of add-ons
  • No caregiver portal and mobile app requires a monthly fee

Pricing and Plans

In The Home

Belle

Belle X

Monthly Cost

$29.95

$39.95

$49.95

Type of Device

In-home system

Mobile system

Mobile system

Connection

Landline

Cellular

Cellular

Battery Life

24-hour backup

Up to 30 days

1-2 weeks

Water Resistant

Yes

Yes

Yes

Range

500 feet

Unlimited with cellular coverage

Unlimited with cellular coverage

Fall Detection

$11.95 a month

Built-in

Built-in

Our in-depth review on ResponseNow Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Lifenet Review

Best for Free Fall-Detection

lifenet medical device

Lifenet is a relatively new medical alert company, but its transparent pricing and lack of activation, equipment, and restocking fees make it a solid option. It offers an excellent Home & Away mobile device with free, built-in fall detection and location services.

Aside from lock boxes, wall buttons, and daily wellness checks, Lifenet doesn’t offer much in add-ons – not even an optional fall detection pendant for its in-home device. Still, the transparent pricing, lack of additional costs, and a mobile system with free fall detection helped Lifenet earn its place in the top ten medical alert systems.

lifenet logo

Best for Free Fall

Detection

Best for Free Fall

Detection

View Packages

lifenet logo

View Packages

Best medical alert badge

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • No equipment, activation, or restocking fees on all bundles
  • A mobile system with free, built-in fall detection
  • Consumer-friendly cancellation and return policies

Cons:

  • Limited selection of devices
  • Lack of add-ons

Pricing and Plans

Home & Garden

Home & Away

Monthly Cost

$29.95

$49.95

Type of Device

In-home system

Mobile system

Connection

Landline

Cellular

Battery Life

32-hour backup

Up to 4 years

Water Resistant

Yes

Yes

Range

1,000 feet

Unlimited with cellular coverage

Fall Detection

n/a

Built-in

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Life Alert is arguably the most well-known company in the medical alert industry, thanks to its famed “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials. Still, it did not earn a spot as one of our Best Medical Alert Systems. Compared to its competitors, Life Alert doesn’t just have a limited product selection; its devices are also outdated and more expensive. In addition, Life Alert requires you to sign a multi-year contract (3 years to be exact) which is one of the biggest reasons to avoid this company.

Below, see more about the downsides of Life Alert and a brief review of Life Alert’s medical alert devices and plans.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Owns and operates its own monitoring centers in the U.S.
  • Offers waterproof devices

Cons:

  • High monthly monitoring costs
  • High startup fee
  • Customers required to sign multi-year service contract
  • Difficult to cancel service and/or get a prorated refund
  • Does not list prices, contract or plan information online
  • Limited device options
  • Does not offer automatic fall detection

Life Alert Pricing and Plans 

Life Alert offers three service plans:

  • A standard in-home option
  • An in-home package that includes a second in-home unit specifically for the bathroom
  • A portable unit

The plans range in price from $49 to $89 per month, which are significantly more expensive than other medical alert companies. Depending on the plan, customers must also pay a steep one-time fee of $95-$198. The biggest drawback, undoubtedly, is that the company requires you to sign a 3-year or 36-month contract for services.

In-the-Home

In-the-Bathroom

On-the-Go

Monthly Cost

$49

$19 Additional

$19 Additional

One-time Fees

$95

$96*

$96*

Type of Device

In-home

In-home

Mobile

Connection

Landline/Cellular

Landline/Cellular

Cellular

Battery Life

72-hour backup

Up to 10 years

Up to 10 years

Water-Resistant

Yes, fully waterproof

Yes, fully waterproof

Yes, fully waterproof

Shower-proof

Yes

Yes

Yes

Range

800-1,000 feet

Unlimited

Unlimited

Fall Detection

Not available

Not available

Not available

*If all three levels of protection are selected, then the one-time fee is $198

Our in-depth review on Life Alert Read Review

Comparison of the top medical alert systems Get Details

Understanding Medical Alert System Features

Some medical alert companies may offer supplementary features and devices including: 

Fall Detection: Devices with automatic fall detection use motion-sensing technology to detect when a wearer falls down. When the device senses a sudden downward movement typical of falls and followed by no movement, it will automatically alert the emergency monitoring center so you can quickly receive medical assistance. This is a life-saving feature in case you become unconscious after falling and are physically unable to push the help button. Most medical alert companies offer automatic fall detection as an add-on feature with its devices.

GPS Location Tracking: When you wear a medical alert device with Global Positioning System (GPS) location tracking feature, it’s easier to know your exact location during emergencies. The device uses GPS signals, cellular network connections, and the internet to pinpoint your location – a critical information for dispatchers and emergency responders. Also, your caregivers and loved ones can check on you by logging into a mobile app. If you’re active or do your errands yourself, GPS location tracking provides peace of mind by knowing help will come wherever you are.

Activity Tracking: Activity tracking can help you stay healthy and active through personal accountability and continuous monitoring. According to a study by the Journal of Medical Internet Research, activity trackers are highly beneficial for adults. Devices with activity trackers collect and deliver individual fitness metrics like the number of steps, sleep quality, and heart rate. This is an essential feature for your caregivers since they can track your movement history and receive alerts when you’re inactive for long stretches of time.

Caregiver Portal/App: Many medical alert devices work with web portals or mobile apps where caregivers and loved ones can receive information about your activity level, location, call history, and more. Some portals and apps also allow your caregiver and loved ones to communicate with you through text messages or set medication reminders. Web portals and mobile apps are also great channels for caregivers and loved ones to work together for your health and safety.

Medication Reminders: Older adults are prone to taking the wrong medications or forgetting them altogether. Medication reminder is a vital feature to ensure that you take the right medicines on time. Some devices include a medication reminder function that sends you a visible and audible alert when it’s time to take your medications. However, medication reminder services are usually available as add-on features.

Multilingual Support: 21.9% of U.S. residents speak a non-English language at home, so it’s crucial for medical alert emergency call centers to have multilingual support. With a team of operators that can accommodate non-English speakers, emergency callers are less likely to encounter language barriers that may prevent or delay the assistance. Some medical alert companies may directly connect you to an operator that speaks your language. In contrast, others provide translation services that support over 100 languages, including Spanish, Chinese, French, Vietnamese, and Russian.

Medication Dispensers: Some medical alert companies offer medication dispensers, a separate device that automatically dispenses one’s medications at pre-scheduled times. Doses can be pre-set so that the user receives the correct dosage at the correct time. This can help seniors who struggle with remembering if they’ve taken their medication.

Wall-Mounted Buttons: Some seniors or caregivers may want the added security of a wall-mounted button. The buttons serve as a backup means of contacting the emergency monitoring center in high-risk areas (such as a bathroom or kitchen) in case the senior isn’t wearing their pendant/help button for some reason.

Voice Extender: Those who don’t want a mobile device but have a very large home or like to spend time in their yard can use a voice extender. The device extends the range of the microphone and speaker of the in-home base. For instance, those who like to garden could install a voice extender on the outside of their home so they can hear and speak with an operator. This also is also helpful to avoid accidentally calling EMS if you press your button but can’t hear the home base to cancel the alert.

Remote Phone Answering: Some base stations can be used to answer phone calls made to a user’s landline without them having to pick up a phone. So, the in-home base station essentially functions as a speakerphone.

Two-Way Communication: Some medical alert devices allow users’ loved ones to initiate communication with the user via their device. Typically these medical alert devices are assigned a phone number, like a cell phone, that caregivers can call to reach their loved one’s medical alert device directly.

How to Find the Right Medical Alert System for You

woman holding medical alert pendant

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every four older adults falls every year. Of those falls, 20 percent are severe, resulting in a broken bone, head trauma, or a similar injury. And, falling once doubles your chances of experiencing another fall in the future.

Christopher Norman, Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, explains that a variety of factors contribute to your risk of falling. These factors include “changes in sensoria (vision/hearing/sensation), increased likelihood of weakness related to more sitting / less walking, too many medications, changes in center of gravity due to bone loss and height, improper footwear, and hazards in the home.”

While you can’t prevent falls completely, there are steps you and your loved ones can take to keep you safer at home. Christopher suggests home modifications like installing grab-bars in bathrooms and more straightforward changes such as removing throw rugs, rearranging furniture, and decluttering. “The long-term success of aging at home can be highly influenced with proactive steps,” he says. 

One such step is to invest in a medical alert system. These devices allow you to stay independent while making sure help is available when you need it. In addition, medical alert systems can help prevent further injury or death after a fall or other emergency.

And medical alert systems don’t just provide security for seniors who are prone to falls- they have many other uses as well. Below, we offer examples of those who may benefit from medical alert systems.

Independent & Active Seniors

Falls don’t just happen indoors – a 2017 NYU study shows that 48% of the most recent falls for seniors happen outdoors. If you have an active lifestyle and enjoy the outdoors, medical alert devices enable you to maintain that freedom for as long as possible. Mobile medical alert devices ensure that help is always available and that emergency responders can find your location quickly.

Seniors who fall into this category should look for a medical alert device with the following features:

  • Mobile Device: This gives you and your loved ones peace of mind and lets you maintain an active lifestyle for as long as possible.
  • Mobile GPS Tracking: GPS-enabled devices are located with much greater precision since they don’t just rely on cell service tracking. The best systems use multiple tracking methods, including cell service, GPS, and WIFI hotspots.

Seniors Who Wish to Age in Place

Aging in place is becoming more and more popular, with 75% of older adults saying that they plan to stay in their current home for the rest of their lives. But, not having the constant presence of a caregiver creates a risk of falling and not receiving the necessary care.The risk is substantial for seniors – every 11 seconds an older adult is treated for a fall in an emergency room, and 25% experience a fall once a year.  

Life alert systems can make aging in place safer for those with mobility difficulties and for those who receive in-home care. It’s especially necessary for those who don’t have a loved one or caregiver who stays home with them 24/7.

Seniors who plan to age in place should look for the following features in a medical alert system:

  • Affordable Monthly Monitoring: The last thing that you need is another large monthly bill. You should compare companies and rates to find a quality, affordable solution such as Bay Medical Alarm for landline monitoring or MobileHelp for cellular in-home units.
  • Automatic Fall Detection: Those who struggle with mobility are at a higher risk of falls, so it’s wise to invest in as much protection as possible. Automatic Fall Detection doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it can save your life if you fall and are unable to press the help button.
  • Voice Activated Wall Button: This feature allows seniors to call for help to connect with an operator rather than needing to physically press a button. This is helpful if you cannot reach the wall button after falling and you’re not wearing your help button.
  • Medication Reminders and Automated Dispensers: Assisted living facility staff are available to help with your prescription medications. However, if you choose to age in place and opt for home care, your caregivers may not always be around to help with medication. Some companies, such as MobileHelp, provide medication reminders for those who often forget when to take their medications.

Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

60% of those with dementia will wander, and a senior with Alzheimer’s will often be unable to remember important information. Medical alert devices can help caregivers locate their loved ones if they become lost.

Seniors with memory impairment should look for the following features:

  • Mobile and Home Device Combination: Seniors who may wander or otherwise become lost can benefit from a mobile device that allows their loved ones to track their location. But, a home life alert system that won’t stop working if they forget to charge their mobile device is also very useful. MobileHelp is an example of a company that offers an affordable bundle of a mobile and home medical alert system. The cost is $41.95 a month for both systems.
  • Wall Buttons: These buttons are vital in high-risk locations like the restroom or if you or your loved one often forget to wear the help button. When you need assistance, you simply press the wall button to notify the monitoring center, and help will be on its way.
  • Pinpoint Location Tracking: Newer location tracking technology uses cellular service, GPS, and nearby WiFi hotspots to determine the wearer’s location faster and more accurately than older units. 
  • Geofencing: Seniors who tend to wander can especially benefit from this service. Some companies (such as Bay Alarm Medical) allow loved ones to set geofencing alerts that send notifications when the wearer leaves a set area.
  • Battery Monitoring: Some devices alert the senior when the battery is getting low and it’s time for charging. Others send alerts to loved ones when a mobile device’s battery reaches a critical level. This is helpful for seniors who tend to forget to charge their devices.
  • Medication Reminders: Some companies, such as MobileHelp, provide medication alerts for those who may forget when to take their medications.

Seniors with High-Risk Medical Conditions

Almost 70% of older adults with diabetes will die due to some type of heart disease, and about 1 in 6 will die due to a stroke. Many of these deaths are preventable if seniors can get the help they need in time. Medical alert devices can be lifesaving for seniors with serious medical conditions. Consider the following features that provide extra protection for those with high-risk conditions.

  • Automatic Fall Detection: While not 100% reliable, automatic fall detection is an extra line of protection. If you can’t push your help button during an emergency, automatic fall detection can prevent long-term damage and may even save your life.
  • Activity Monitoring: This premium feature uses motion sensors to detect a sudden change in activity level or lack thereof. If these situations occur, the system sends an alert to a loved one that something may be wrong.
  • Caregiver Portal: An online portal that allows multiple loved ones and caregivers to have access and share notes makes collaboration between caregivers easier, ensuring seniors with high-risk conditions stay safe and their care is being properly managed. If there is an emergency, injury, or illness, all caregivers who have access to the portal will be in the loop.

For more on how to choose the best medical alert system, read our guide on the subject.

Medical Alert System Costs & How To Find an Affordable Life Alert System

Companies typically do not charge customers for the medical alert devices themselves. Instead, customers pay a monthly monitoring fee. Think of it as leasing the medical alert device, which means you can keep using it as long as you pay for the monthly monitoring cost. Conversely, you’ll need to return the device once the contract is terminated or has ended without renewing it. The typical monitoring cost ranges from approximately $20-$60 per month, depending on the type of system, company, and add-ons.

On the more affordable end of the price range, an in-home medical alert system connected via a landline is typically between $20 and $30 a month. Meanwhile, cellular-enabled mobile units tend to be more expensive at $30-$45 a month.

Medicare and private insurance typically don’t provide coverage for personal medical alert devices. As a result, the required monthly payments are generally unaffordable for many low-income seniors. Even so, payment assistance options are available if you need financial assistance. However, availability may depend on your income, personal situation, and the state in which you reside.

Free Medical Alert Systems for Veterans

The VA offers a number of services designed to support elderly or disabled veterans to maintain their independence. One way they’re helping the veteran population is by partnering with companies to offer products at reduced prices or for free. The VA has joined forces with two medical alert system manufacturers to provide a free option for veterans:

  • MedEquip Alert: The MedEquip personal emergency button is a GSA-approved device that the company provides to veterans for free. When the user needs emergency care, they press and hold the MedEquip Alert button for two seconds and then release it. Once this happens, the MedEquip system will connect them to the monitoring center through the two-way audio speaker. An emergency operator will be on the line to assess the situation, send help, and call the emergency contact. The built-in GPS will tell emergency responders exactly where to go and will have all of the user’s information on hand. 

Any veteran who needs the extra sense of safety provided by this mobile alert system can either contact MedEquip directly (1-844-HELP-808), go into their local VA hospital, or speak with their primary care doctor. MedEquip has provided this flier for veterans to bring to their physician. It has all of the information about how to access this benefit. 

  • LiveLife Mobile Alarms: Although the LiveLife Mobile Alarm is similar to the MedEquip Alert with its GPS tracking and emergency calls, it doesn’t connect to a monitoring center. Users can program up to six emergency contacts and assign “911” as one of those numbers. Anyone who knows the mobile number connected to the pendant can call and will be connected automatically in speaker-phone mode. LiveLife also has a fall detection feature for people who may be more likely to fall.

Similar to MedEquip Alert, LiveLife has a contract with the US government to provide its devices at no cost to veterans. The LiveLife website doesn’t give instructions on how veterans can obtain one of its products, but a visit to either a VA hospital or primary care provider can begin the process.

Insurance Coverage of Medical Alert Systems

Insurance Type

Explanation of Medical Alert Coverage

Medicare Part A and Part B do not offer coverage for medical alert systems. Select Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) may provide medical alert systems for free or at a reduced price if you can prove it is medically necessary. UnitedHealthcare is one of those Medicare Advantage companies. They provide their members with a free Philips Lifeline medical alert system. 

There are programs within Medicaid that may help people cover the cost of medical alert systems. HCBS, Personal Care Attendant, Consumer Directed Service, and Money Follows the Person programs will differ state by state but are options for people on Medicaid interested in getting help obtaining a medical alert system.

Insurance companies that offer long-term care insurance are likely to provide coverage for medical alert systems. Each company will vary its coverage for this type of assistance. When shopping for LTC insurance, it would be wise to ask if this benefit is included in the coverage before purchasing the insurance or the device.

Standard Health Insurance

Standard health insurance companies are less likely to cover any kind of medical alert system. Similar to LTC insurance, coverage and benefits will vary from company to company. It may be possible, however, for currently insured people to talk to their insurance company and simply ask what they can do to help cover any kind of cost associated with a medical alert system. 

Other Resources for Free/Low Cost Medical Alert Systems

Organization

Type of Assistance

How It Helps

AAA (Area Agencies on Aging)

Local Assistance

This nationwide network of organizations may be able to direct you to state or local assistance for obtaining medical alert devices. Contact your local AAA to find out if any financial help for medical alert devices is available in your state or city.

AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)

Discount

AARP members who sign up to be Philips Lifeline subscribers will receive 15% off monthly service, free shipping, and free activation.

Medical-Expense Deduction

Tax Deduction

If you haven’t been reimbursed for your medical alert system through insurance, you should talk to your tax expert. You may be able to deduct qualified medical expenses that are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.

Methodology

Below is an overview of the core metrics and their weights in determining companies’ final rank, followed by a full breakdown of our core metrics and sub metrics for each category. 

In-Home Systems Cost and Capabilities

We evaluated companies’ in-home systems on the basis of both cost and functionality. This core metric is weighted at 25% because it includes sub metrics that determine long-term, ongoing costs as well as how capable, and potentially useful, a system is. The sub metrics in the category are: 

  • Monitoring Fees: How much do users pay each month for emergency monitoring services? If a company offers multiple in-home systems at different prices, we used the lowest cost option. 
  • Potential Savings and Discounts: Are there any discounts offered for paying for several months or a year upfront, or for certain groups like Veterans or retired law enforcement officials? This sub-metric was evaluated with a “yes/no” scale. 
  • Extra Cellular Connection Fee: Does the company charge an additional fee on top of a system’s monitoring costs for cellular service for any of its in-home systems? If so, how much?
  • Water Resistance: Can wearers keep their device on while showering or out in the rain? 
  • Device Range: What is the maximum distance a wearer can be from the base station for the device to still function?

Mobile Systems Cost and Capabilities

“Mobile Systems Cost and Capabilities” is also weighted at 25% of companies’ total score. Like the in-home system core metric explained above, this core metric encompasses data points that will ultimately play the largest role in mobile device users’ total costs and the quality of their system. The sub metrics in the category are: 

  • Monitoring Fees: How much do users pay each month for emergency monitoring services? If a company offers multiple mobile systems at different prices, we used the lowest cost option. 
  • Potential Savings and Discounts: Are there any discounts offered for paying for several months or a year upfront, or for certain groups like Veterans or retired law enforcement officials? This sub-metric was evaluated with a “yes/no” scale. 
  • Water Resistance: Can wearers keep their device on while showering or out in the rain? 
  • Battery Life: How long will the device’s battery last in between charges? If a company offers multiple mobile systems with different battery specifications, we used the system with the best battery life.  

Reliability and Reputation

Making up 20% of companies’ overall score is “Reliability and Reputation” which evaluates the quality of companies’ monitoring services, industry experience, and customer experience and reviews. Though this section does not have an impact on users’ costs, it does impact their overall experience and ultimately can play a role in their safety. The sub metrics in the category are: 

  • Third-Party Certification: Is the company’s monitoring center certified by a third party, like The Monitoring Association or Underwriter’s Laboratory? These certifications ensure the quality of the monitoring center services, and thus wearers’ safety. 
  • Monitoring Center Response Time: What is the average amount of time that a user waits to speak with an emergency response operator after pressing the device’s personal help button?
  • Better Business Bureau Rating: Is the company accredited by the BBB? If so, what is its rating? 
  • Consumer Review Score: What is the company’s consumer review star rating on the BBB website?
  • Experience: For how many years has the company been in the medical alert industry? 
  • Transparency: Is the company forthcoming about monthly costs, extra fees, device capability, and consumer reviews? Is it easy to find the information you need on the company’s website?
  • Free Trial: Does the company offer a free trial period so seniors can try out its medical alert device? If so, how long is the trial?

Extra Features and Add-On Devices

This category evaluated how many additional features and products a medical alert company offers beyond standard emergency monitoring. Weighted at 15%, we recognize that this category does not have much of an impact on wearers’ safety, but it can impact their experience with the device and thus how likely they are to wear it. The purpose of this core metric is to determine availability, not price, and as such all sub metrics were evaluated on a “yes/no” basis. The features and devices we checked for are:

  • Caregiver portal or app
  • Fall detection
  • GPS location tracking
  • Activity tracking
  • Medication reminders
  • Wall-mounted buttons
  • Device protection plan (loss and damage coverage)

Fees and Contracts

The “Fees and Contracts” core metric, making up 15% of companies’ total score, examines the additional costs companies may charge on top of the device itself. We weighted it as one of the lower core metrics because many of these fees, though they can be steep, are charged only once, as opposed to monitoring fees which are typically charged monthly. The sub metrics in this category are: 

  • Fall Detection: Does the company charge an extra fee for automatic fall detection? If some devices include this feature but users must pay an additional fee for it with others, we used the highest amount someone may pay. 
  • Shipping Fee: How much does the company charge for shipping? Some companies may charge shipping fees for some devices but not others. In these situations, we used the highest possible shipping fee customers may face for standard shipping. 
  • Startup Fees: Are customers required to purchase their device for a one-time fee or pay a “device” or “equipment” fee for leased systems? Are customers required to pay an “activation” or “self-installation” fee to get the device to work? 
  • Cancellation Fees: Are customers required to pay a fee when they cancel their service? Most medical alert companies today, including all ten listed on this page, do not charge cancellation fees, so it’s important to recognize those that still do. 
  • Prorated Refunds: Does the company offer prorated refunds if a customer cancels service after prepaying for a semi-annual or annual plan? This sub-metric was evaluated using a “yes/no” system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does AARP recommend a medical alert system?

The AARP highly recommends medical alert systems to help seniors live longer, more active lives. They do not endorse any specific system. However, many medical alert system providers will give discounts to AARP members.

How much does a medical alert system cost?

The cost of medical alert systems varies between companies and by feature. In-home budget-friendly options are widely available as are more technologically advanced mobile systems. Generally speaking, the more features a system has, the more expensive it will be.

How do medical alert systems work?

Medical alert systems typically consist of two components – a base station and a wearable device. When the user presses the help button on their wearable device, a call is initiated to a monitoring center. The user is connected with an operator who can help to assess the situation and dispatch the emergency services to their location. Some systems will come with extra features like GPS monitoring and automatic fall detection.

What is the best medical alert systems for seniors?

All of the medical alert systems on this list meet the minimum criteria that keep users protected and connected to help whenever an emergency may occur. But each system has different features that make it stand apart from the rest. We highly recommend that each person considers their individual needs so they can select a system that fits their lifestyle.

Are medical alert systems a good idea for seniors with memory impairment?

Medical alert systems can be a great aid for seniors with memory impairment and early-stage dementia. The help button is far easier to use in an emergency than trying to remember phone numbers. Some medical alert systems also offer medication reminders that help seniors stick to the correct schedule and dosage. For seniors that may wander or get lost, mobile GPS tracking can be life-saving and provide reassurance for caregivers.

Are medical alert systems covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not pay for medical alert systems. However, Medicare Advantage plans may cover some or all of the cost of a medical alert system as an additional benefit. If you qualify for Medicaid, you may also be eligible for coverage.

Are there any free medical alert systems?

There are not currently any medical alert systems that are free for everyone, nor a widespread financial assistance program for medical alert systems. However, you may be able to find a medical alert system for free or get reimbursed for a large portion of the cost. Potential ways to get a free medical alert system include through local senior organizations, health insurance reimbursement, and veteran’s benefits.

What are the most important medical alert system features?

When faced with an emergency, the ability to access trained and reliable agents is of the utmost importance, which is why every one of the medical alert systems on our list has live customer support and monitoring centers in North America. The importance of other features will vary from customer to customer. For example, mobile service would not matter so much to someone who is housebound, while it would be crucial for someone who drives or goes for walks. This is why it’s so important for each customer to weigh the unique features of every system before deciding which one fits them best.

Christopher Norman, GNP

Our Contributing Senior Care Expert

LinkedIn

Image of Christopher Norman Expert

Christopher Norman is a Board-Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Practice Holistic Nurse. Christopher holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Dominican College of Blauvelt, a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree with a Global Health Concentration from Yale University, and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Gerontology from New York University; he is currently considering doctoral programs.

Since graduating from Geneseo in 2004, Christopher has spent his Nursing career working almost exclusively with older people: first as a Nurse’s Aide (Mental Health Worker) on a geriatric unit in an inpatient psychiatric hospital, then as a Registered Nurse on a medical-surgical floor specialized for the elderly, and finally as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner across all levels of care – home, continuum of care residences, assisted living facilities, inpatient hospitals, and skilled nursing homes. Christopher currently works as a GNP with a managed long-term care program in Central New York.

Learn More About Medical Alert Systems

Other Medical Alert Systems We’ve Reviewed

Citations 

  1. https://tma.us/programs/fivediamond/
  2. https://www.ul.com/about
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html
  4. https://www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/usoa-survey/2015-results/
  5. https://www.ncoa.org/news/resources-for-reporters/get-the-facts/falls-prevention-facts/
  6. https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/stages-behaviors/wandering
  7. https://www.benefits.va.gov/vocrehab/independent_living.asp
  8. https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp

Advertiser Disclosure – Advertising helps support our website. If you click on a link, we may earn a commission. Compensation does not dictate our research and editorial content.