COVID-19 Update: Since the medical alert industry is considered to be “essential” during the COVID crisis, monitoring and customer service centers are still open and ready to help. To learn more about how a medical alert device can help keep you or your elderly loved one safe and connected during this pandemic, take a look at our list of essential products for seniors during COVID-19.

GreatCall was launched in 2006 and now has almost a million subscribers. The company, which was acquired by Best Buy in 2018, is based in Carlsbad, California, but its call center sits in Reno, Nevada.

GreatCall offers senior-friendly medical alert systems, including traditional pendants as well as flip phones and smartphones. The company is known for its quick response times, and devices only use a cellular connection. This makes GreatCall medical alert systems popular with customers who don’t want to use the landline connection that many companies require for in-home monitoring.

If you’re interested in ordering a GreatCall device, you may want more information first. We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about the company and its products below, so you can make an educated decision.

What Is a GreatCall Medical Alert System?

A GreatCall medical alert system is a mobile device that monitors activity day or night. When a senior becomes injured, lost or frightened, they can call for immediate assistance.

Some devices offer automatic fall detection, which means they identify falls and contact an operator on your behalf. This is a handy feature for seniors prone to falling and may be unable to press the help button or contact emergency workers.

What Happens When a Subscriber Needs Help?

When a senior activates the help button, they’re routed to a 5Star Urgent Response Service staffed by compassionate, knowledgeable operators. The emergency alert system can make a call on the senior’s behalf if automatic fall detection is enabled. Services are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Operators are located in a Nevada call center, and they hold a current certification from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. This special training helps them determine how to best help the caller, whether that means dispatching an emergency medical team, contacting roadside assistance or notifying loved ones about the situation. GreatCall devices are GPS enabled, so operators can provide specific details about a senior’s location.

What Types of Devices Can You Get From GreatCall?

GreatCall focuses on providing flip phones and smartphones geared toward elderly adults, but seniors can also order a basic device that can be worn as a pendant or clipped on a waistband or pocket.

GreatCall acquired Lively in 2015, so subscribers can also request the Lively Wearable. The device helps transform a smartphone into a medical alert system. Seniors can also use it to track steps and compete with the activity levels of fitness-minded friends or family members.

Popular phones from GreatCall include the Jitterbug Smart2 and the Jitterbug Flip.

How Much Do GreatCall Medical Alert Systems and Plans Cost?

GreatCall monthly subscription plans generally range from $14.99 to $59.99. There’s also a one-time $35 activation fee and $10 shipping fee for phones from the company as well as the cost of the phone itself. GreatCall’s website sometimes runs promotions and special offers for phones, but regular prices range from $49.99 for a basic flip phone to $149.99 for a smartphone.

Monthly plans vary based on the device you choose and the data package you request, but here are some common price ranges:

  • $14.99 per month for the Lively Wearable
  • $24.99 to $39.99 for the Lively Mobile Plus
  • $14.99 to $34.99 for the Jitterbug Flip
  • $19.99 to $59.99 for the Jitterbug Smart2

You can also purchase equipment protection for $3 to $4 per month.

Does GreatCall Require a Long-Term Contract?

Seniors can cancel their GreatCall subscription at any time with no penalties. Monthly subscription plans are available, and new customers can test drive services for up to 30 days. If an elderly adult returns a device during the trial period, they’re reimbursed for the cost of the device.

What Makes GreatCall Stand out Among Other Medical Alert Providers?

GreatCall boasts some of the fastest response times in the industry. When a senior contacts GreatCall operators, the call is often answered within 5.3 seconds.

GreatCall phones offer more than the traditional monitoring services provided by similar companies. Seniors can text and call friends, explore health and safety tips, play brain games and track medical data. Services work anywhere with a Verizon connection, and some plans are even compatible with existing smartphones rather than just GreatCall phones.

GreatCall phones offer medical emergency services, but they also improve the overall well-being of a senior by keeping them up-to-date on health issues and communicating with loved ones.