MobileHelp Classic Medical Alert System Review
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.
As adults age, the risk of experiencing a serious fall or other medical emergency increases. In fact, one in four seniors aged 65 and older fall at least once each year, and those who do fall are very likely to fall again.
Many falls and medical emergencies happen at home, which is why in-home medical alert systems are an increasingly popular option among seniors and their loved ones. Although a personal emergency response button can’t prevent an accident or medical event, it can increase the odds that help arrives quickly, and that’s a key factor in achieving a positive outcome from an acute injury.
With dozens of medical alert companies offering a wide range of devices and monitoring options, choosing the best one for yourself or your loved one can be difficult. We’ve compiled a series of straightforward reviews of the top medical alert systems on the market to help you cut through all of the confusing marketing jargon.
In this article you’ll find an in-depth review of the MobileHelp Classic medical alert system, an entry-level system designed to meet the needs of older adults. We cover the features, costs and pros and cons of this in-home emergency call button system, and we’ve also included a list of frequently asked questions to help you decide if the MobileHelp Classic system is right for your particular situation.
What is the MobileHelp Classic?
The MobileHelp Classic medical alert system is a cellular-based, in-home medical alert system that includes a speakerphone-equipped base unit paired with a small, lightweight panic button. There’s also a help button on the base unit along with indicator lights to let users know the status of their system, and a test button that users can activate to verify their connection with the monitoring center.
When users press their wearable panic button a toll-free call is placed to Rapid Response, the 24/7 emergency call monitoring center that provides service to MobileHelp subscribers. An emergency operator initiates a two-way call through the speakerphone on the base unit to assess the situation and dispatch help as needed.
MobileHelp customers can ask that the emergency operator contact a trusted friend, family member or neighbor rather than 9-1-1 if the situation isn’t life threatening. If a customer activates their help pendant and doesn’t respond to the MobileHelp operator, first responders are immediately dispatched to the customers’ home.
MobileHelp Classic Medical Alert System Features
MobileHelp Classic is designed to be user-friendly and maintenance-free. To activate the system users simply need to plug the base unit into any electrical outlet that’s not maintained by a wall switch, preferably in a central area in their home. Once the unit powers up, subscribers just need to verify their system is working by pressing the test button. In the event of a power failure, the built-in backup battery keeps the base unit powered up for 30 hours.
The included help button is waterproof and comes equipped with a non-rechargeable battery that’s rated for five years of use. Subscribers can add automatic fall detection to their monitoring plan for an extra $10 per month, which includes a specially designed fall-detection pendant. As with the regular help button, the MobileHelp in-home fall-detection pendant comes with a non-rechargeable battery, and the help button is safe for use in the shower.
MobileHelp Classic Medical Alert System Costs
$19.95 is the monthly price of the subscription to the CLASSIC system, and equipment may vary. There’s a one-time $49.95 fee required to subscribe to this plan, or clients can pay annually to waive this fee. Equipment is included at no cost while actively subscribing to the service plan, but it must be returned upon cancellation to avoid equipment charges. Free ground shipping is included with select service plans. A free lockbox ($29.95 value) is available with a plan purchase. This offer is for new customers only and cannot be combined with any other offers.
Service availability and access/coverage on the AT&T network is not available everywhere or at all times, therefore current GPS location may not always be available. MobileHelp is an FDA registered company.
Like many medical alert companies, MobileHelp prices include the use of the MobileHelp Classic medical alert hardware along with access to the around-the-clock emergency call response center. Pricing for the MobileHelp Classic is as follows:
- $359.40 per year
- $179.70 for a semiannual plan
- $98.85 for a quarterly plan
- $19.95 per month
Automatic fall detection costs an additional $10 per month.
Who Should Use the MobileHelp Classic Medical Alert System?
The MobileHelp Classic medical alert system is geared towards those who want a reliable, maintenance-free and affordable help button that provides basic coverage at home. With a range of up to 1400 feet between the in-home base station and the wearable help button, this system is suited to almost any size house or apartment, and users may find that it even works in their yard.
Pros and Cons of the MobileHelp Classic Medical Alert System
While the MobileHelp Classic offers a number of user-friendly features, there are also some drawbacks to this medical alert system. Here’s a list of the pros and cons to consider:
Pros of MobileHelp Classic:
- Monitoring costs start at under $20 per month, making this one of the most affordable medical alert systems on the market
- The MobileHelp Classic system is maintenance-free and designed with seniors in mind
- Because the MobileHelp Classic base unit includes a cellular SIM card and service on the AT&T network, users don’t need a landline phone
- Range of up to 1400′ between the base unit and the wearable help button
- Subscribers can set up a personalized emergency contact list of people who are notified when the help button is triggered
- The two U.S.-based monitoring centers are staffed by trained professionals who are fluent in English and Spanish
- In-home base station includes a 30-hour backup battery
- The help button is waterproof and safe to wear in the shower
- The non-rechargeable battery in the pendant is rated to last for up to five years
- No activation fees
- Medication reminders are available for an additional fee
- MobileHelp maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
- Emergency monitoring services are provided by Rapid Response, a company with 25 years of experience in the medical alert industry
Cons of MobileHelp Classic:
- Although there are no long-term contracts, subscribers need to opt for an annual plan in order to get the lowest per-month monitoring price
- Only one style of medical alert button is offered
- Pricing is somewhat confusing; the per-month rate is $10 lower than the per-month rate on the annual plan
- The system isn’t suitable for use in areas without AT&T cellular service
- Customers who want to pay on a month-to-month, quarterly or semiannual plan must pay a one-time fee of $49.95
- The help button should not be fully submerged in water, making it unsuitable for use while in the bathtub or while swimming
MobileHelp Classic FAQs
Is there a microphone in the wearable help button?
The in-home base unit is equipped with a high-powered speaker and sensitive microphone that lets users speak with emergency operators without picking up a phone.
What happens if I accidentally press the help button?
Users who accidentally trigger a call to the monitoring center need to simply let the operator know that no assistance is needed. There’s no charge for accidental activation or false alarms.
Keep in mind that if the emergency operator doesn’t get a response when the button is triggered, they’ll activate a personalized emergency response plan that could include dispatching first responders.
How do I know if the MobileHelp Classic will work at my home?
The MobileHelp Classic system connects to the nationwide AT&T mobile phone network, so if you’re able to use a cell phone inside your home, there should be sufficient signal strength for the medical alert base unit.
If you’re unsure if you have a strong enough AT&T cell signal for the MobileHelp Classic system at your home, contact AT&T or the MobileHelp customer service line for assistance.
Do I need a cell phone plan to use the MobileHelp Classic?
The cost of the cellular service to link the base unit with the call monitoring center is included in the MobileHelp monitoring fees.
What happens if I need to cancel my MobileHelp Classic medical alert service?
Subscribers can cancel their service at any time by contacting the MobileHelp customer service center and mailing all the medical alert hardware back to the company. Once the company receives the equipment in good working condition, a prorated refund for any remaining balance of $15 or greater will be issued.