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.

Medical alert systems can provide seniors with the security that comes with knowing help is always available even if they are at home alone or out in the community. These systems are usually monitored by a 24/7 call center that can contact caregivers, neighbors or 9-1-1 when a subscriber needs immediate assistance and they can’t reach a telephone. Having a medical alert help button can make all the difference when it comes to dealing with a sudden fall, medical emergency or personal safety issue.

Thanks to the growing demand for personal emergency response systems, there are now dozens of companies offering medical alert devices and monitoring services. Finding the right solution can be difficult, particularly since no two medical alert companies are exactly alike.

To help you sort through all the marketing language, complex service terms and features of today’s medical alert systems, we’ve prepared a series of articles reviewing the leading medical alert companies.

In this article, you’ll find in-depth information on Medical Care Alert emergency response systems. This company offers three different help button systems that are largely geared towards seniors and their caregivers.

What is Medical Care Alert?

Medical Care Alert is a family-owned company that provides monitored personal emergency response systems, also known as medical alert systems. Based in Northville, Michigan, Medical Care Alert has three personal response systems that are specifically designed to meet the needs of older Americans.

Medical Care Alert maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and the company has earned the Angie’s List Super Service Award annually from 2012 onward.

Medical alert monitoring services for Medical Care Alert clients are delivered through American Response Technologies Inc., which operates two 24/7 emergency monitoring centers in New York and California staffed by bilingual (English and Spanish) EMT/EMD-certified agents.

When a Medical Care Alert client activates their emergency call button, an operator will speak with the client through the hands-free speakerphone on the base unit or medical alert pendant. The operator will dispatch assistance as needed, which could include contacting 9-1-1 on behalf of the client and/or notifying listed emergency contacts via SMS text messaging.

Best Features of Medical Care Alert Emergency Response Systems

Medical Care Alert has three personal response systems to choose from, and each one comes with a water-resistant help pendant that is safe for use in the shower. Automatic fall detection, a feature that triggers a call to the monitoring center if the client suffers from a sudden fall, is optional on all Medical Care Alert systems.

HOME Medical Alert System

The Medical Care Alert HOME system is designed to help seniors feel secure and stay independent in their own homes. It includes a speakerphone-equipped base unit with a help button that connects to either an existing landline phone or cellular service and a medical alert button that can be worn on a lanyard or wrist strap.

HOME & YARD Medical Alert System

Medical Care Alert’s HOME & YARD system also connects to an existing landline phone and has a range of up to 600′, which is about the length of two football fields. This system includes a base unit that is paired with a small, wireless medical alert pendant equipped with a speakerphone so that users can communicate with emergency operators directly through the wearable help button.

The HOME & YARD 2-way voice pendant is water-resistant and can be worn in the shower. It’s powered with rechargeable batteries that last for up to 4 months on stand-by and deliver up to 4 hours of talk time. When the batteries need charging, the pendant will notify users that it needs to be recharged on the wireless charging cradle that’s included in the base unit.

HOME & AWAY ULTRA Mobile Medical Alert System

The HOME & AWAY ULTRA mobile medical alert system is a water-resistant medical alert pendant equipped with GPS and an AT&T 4G LTE cellular SIM card to provide reliable coverage anywhere there is AT&T mobile phone service.

The pendant also includes a two-way speakerphone so that users can speak with the monitoring center through the pendant, and automatic fall detection is available. The device weighs just under 2 ounces and is powered by a built-in battery that users need to recharge every few days on the included charging cradle.

Medical Care Alert Pricing

Monthly costs for Medical Care Alert equipment and monitoring services start at $27.45 on an annual prepaid plan. These fees include the use of the medical alert devices, 24/7 monitoring and unlimited calls to the monitoring center. Clients can also provide a list of caregivers, friends or family members who they want notified in the event of an emergency at no additional charge.

Up to four pendants can be linked to the Medical Care Alert HOME & YARD system for use by a spouse or roommate on the same monitoring plan. Users simply need to purchase each additional help pendant at a cost of $60 each. Other add-ons include an extended protection plan that covers loss and damage to the leased equipment for $5 per month and a fall detection pendant for in-home systems at a price of $110 per year.

Fall detection is available on the HOME and HOME & AWAY Medical Care Alert systems. The AutoFALL feature raises the monthly cost of the HOME & AWAY system to $49.95.

Note that while Medical Care Alert fees are priced on a per month basis, the company does not have a month-to-month billing option. Subscribers have their choice of quarterly, semiannual or annual billing, with the annual plan offering the lowest per month price.


HOME Medical Alert System


HOME & YARD Medical Alert System


HOME & AWAY ULTRA GPS Medical Alert System


Monthly monitoring cost (based on quarterly billing)


$29.95


$34.95


$39.95


Type of help button


Pendant (voice through base unit)


Pendant with 2-way voice


Pendant with GPS and 2-way voice


Range from base unit to help button


Up to 1,000'


Up to 600'


N/A - no base unit with the Home & Away GPS system


User rechargeable battery


No


24-72 hour emergency backup battery in base unit


No


24-72 hour emergency backup battery in base unit


Yes - device needs to be placed on charging cradle every 2-3 days


Fall detection


+$10/month


+$10/month


+$10/month


GPS tracking


No


No


Yes


Speakerphone


In base unit


In help button pendant


In wearable help pendant


Pros and Cons of Medical Care Alert Emergency Response Systems

Although Medical Care Alert emergency response systems have a 96% satisfaction rating among current subscribers, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of these systems before signing up.

Pros of Medical Care Alert:

  • EMT/EMD-certified operators
  • Two U.S. call centers
  • No activation fees
  • Up to four help buttons can be linked to the HOME & YARD system for the same monitoring fee
  • In-home help buttons made by German healthcare technology company BOSCH
  • The HOME and HOME & YARD medical alert systems can be temporarily moved to a different location anywhere in the United States at no additional cost
  • Customers can receive a full refund for any remaining service fees after the first 14 days of service
  • Cellular systems are connected to the nationwide AT&T cellular network
  • GPS tracking and automatic fall detection are available
  • Free PIN-protected key lockbox provided with every annual monitoring plan
  • Wireless wall-mounted help buttons can be added to the HOME system ($29.95 per button)
  • Monitoring costs are guaranteed to never increase as long as the subscriber stays with Medical Care Alert
  • SMS text messages automatically sent to emergency contact list when the help button is activated
  • Medical Care Alert is family owned, and the company owners use the medical alert systems with their own loved ones
  • The RemoteCare 24/7 smartphone app lets authorized caregivers check the location and device status of the HOME & AWAY help button

Cons of Medical Care Alert:

  • No medical alert smartwatch offered
  • The HOME & YARD system has a relatively limited range compared to other in-home medical alert systems
  • Subscribers must prepay for a minimum of 3 months of monitoring service – no month-to-month billing option
  • To get the lowest possible monthly price, subscribers must choose an annual prepaid plan
  • Customers who order a medical alert system and return it without using the system for at least 14 days are charged a $50 cancellation fee

FAQs

Can a second user in the same home be added to the medical alert service?

Yes.

The HOME & YARD system can support up to four medical alert pendants. Users simply need to purchase each additional pendant for $60 each; the monthly monitoring fees remain the same.

Where is Medical Care Alert service offered?

Medical Care Alert is a nationwide company based in Michigan. Services are available throughout the United States, and cellular-connected systems work anywhere that AT&T mobile phone service is available.

What happens if a caller can’t speak to the emergency operator?

If a customer activates their help button and isn’t able to respond to voice prompts from the Medical Care Alert operator, emergency services will be dispatched right away.

What is the advantage of a GPS medical alert system?

In an emergency situation, it can be difficult to relay detailed location information to first responders. Medical Care Alert’s HOME & AWAY ULTRA mobile medical alert system includes GPS location services that let emergency operators identify the exact location of a subscriber. This location information is shared with 9-1-1 in an emergency to ensure help arrives as quickly as possible.