Medical Care Alert Medical Alert System Review
Best for EMT/EMD Certified Monitoring
Medical Care Alert Best Features
When choosing a medical alert system, it is important to consider who will be on the other end of the phone line during an emergency call. While all medical alert monitoring operators undergo some sort of training program, the quality of the training may not always be equal. Medical Care Alert ensures that all operators are fully prepared to handle emergency calls by only hiring operators with EMT/EMD certification. Rather than just undergoing training on how to answer emergency calls, these operators have responded to emergencies themselves.
HOME-3G System (Cellular)
HOME & YARD System
HOME & AWAY ELITE (GPS)
HOME & AWAY PRIMO (GPS & Wi-Fi)
|Type of Device||In-home system||In-home system||In-home system||Mobile system||Mobile system|
|Battery Life||72-hour backup||72-hour backup||24-hour backup||36 hours||4 days|
|Range||1,000 feet||1,000 feet||600 feet||N/A||N/A|
|Fall Detection||$10 a month||$10 a month||Not available||$10 a month||Not available|
Medical Care Alert’s Plans
HOME is Medical Care Alert’s least expensive device at $29.95 a month when paid for monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. The annual subscription plan is slightly less expensive, at $27.95 a month. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.
HOME is a landline-based in-home system. The system includes a base station with a range of 1,000 feet and a 72-hour backup battery, and two wearable help buttons. The help button is waterproof and shower-proof, and may be worn as a pendant or wristband. There is no cellular option for this system, so it is only available for those with a landline connection in their home.
This system costs $34.95 a month with a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual plan. The annual subscription plan saves customers about $3 per month. Fall detection is not included, but can be added to one’s service plan for $10 a month.
The HOME-3G is a cellular in-home system. The system includes an in-home base station with a cellular connection (no landline required), and one waterproof wearable help button. The base station has a range of 1,000 feet and a 72-hour backup battery.
HOME & YARD
HOME & YARD costs $34.95 a month when paid for monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. The annual plan costs $32.04 a month. Fall detection is not available with this system.
HOME & YARD is an in-home system that includes a base station and a portable device. The portable device has a built-in two-way speaker and personal help button, which allows users to maintain coverage when they are outside of their home, whether that be gardening in the yard or walking to the mailbox.
It is not a mobile system – users still need to be within 600 feet of the in-home base station for the device to function properly. However, the two-way speaker in the device means that seniors can talk to monitoring center operators directly through the pendant and allows them to spend time outdoors worry-free, rather than only being able to speak to the monitoring center through the in-home base station.
HOME & AWAY ELITE
HOME & AWAY ELITE costs $39.95 a month, or $36.62 a month with an annual subscription plan. Other than shipping for monthly and quarterly subscribers, there are no one-time fees. Users may choose to add fall detection to their service for $10 a month.
HOME & AWAY ELITE is an all-in-one mobile device that uses AT&T cellular service, so it works anywhere with a cellular connection. The device also has GPS location services, a built-in two-way speaker and a personal help button. HOME & AWAY ELITE has a battery life of 36 hours, and is waterproof and can be worn in the shower.
HOME & AWAY PRIMO
HOME & AWAY PRIMO costs $39.95 a month with monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual plans. The annual plan is a few dollars less per month. Fall detection is not available with this device.
HOME & AWAY PRIMO is another all-in-one mobile device. The main difference between the two mobile options is that this device has upgraded location tracking with both GPS and WiFi signals, and comes with Track & Find, which lets caregivers check the location of a users’ device (HOME & AWAY ELITE does not come with Track & Find). It also has a longer battery life, and can last 4 days between charges. However, fall detection is not available with this device; those looking for a mobile device with fall detection must choose the HOME & AWAY ELITE.
Starting Costs and Contracts
Medical Care Alert does not charge any activation, device, or installation fees. The only one-time cost customers must pay is shipping, which usually costs about $12. Those who choose semi-annual or annual payment options receive free USPS priority shipping.
Customers are not required to sign long-term contracts, and may cancel their service at any time without paying a penalty. Once users return their equipment, they receive a prorated refund for any prepaid months of service. There is also a 14-day free trial period during which users can return their equipment for a full refund.
Medical Care Alert monitoring services are entirely U.S.-based. There are call centers located in New York and California, both of which are fully redundant and can maintain their own power. Medical Care Alert only hires operators who are EMT/EMD certified, and have completed either two years of college or military service. Spanish speaking operators are present at all times.
All Medical Care Alert users set up a Personal Profile with contact information for family, friends, caregivers, or neighbors. Upon dispatch, the operator automatically sends an SMS text message to the user’s Personal Profile contacts, so that users’ loved ones know right away if there is an emergency.
Caregiver Tools and Extra Features
HOME & AWAY PRIMO Track & Find
A HOME & AWAY PRIMO subscription comes with access to the Track & Find online portal, which allows caregivers and family members of users to check the location of their loved one’s device. The portal shows a map with the device’s current location as well as any recent movements. Not only does this provide peace of mind for caregivers, but it can be life-saving for seniors who wander.
Medical Care Alert customers may choose to add the following devices to their service plan:
- Lockboxes: Lockboxes ensure that EMS will be able to enter users’ home easily during an emergency. Medical Care Alert customers who choose the annual payment option receive a free lockbox. Other customers may purchase a lockbox for $29.95.
- Wall-Mounted Buttons: These buttons can be placed anywhere in the home where users want extra protection, and provide an extra option for contacting the emergency monitoring center. The buttons can be purchased for $29.95. HOME users may choose to have one of their two included wearable help buttons replaced with a wall-mounted button.
- Extra Help Buttons/Pendants: Customers who use a HOME, HOME-3G, or HOME & AWAY system may choose to purchase a second wearable help button or voice pendant for themselves, or a spouse or family member (there is no extra fee for monitoring for a second person). Extra in-home wearable help buttons may be purchased for $29.95 (extra pendants with fall detection are $60). The voice pendant used for the HOME & YARD system costs $60. There is no option to purchase a second wearable device for the mobile HOME & AWAY systems.
Who Should Consider Medical Care Alert
Seniors Who Enjoy Gardening
HOME & YARD is a unique system specifically designed for seniors who spend time outdoors gardening, relaxing on their porch, or getting the mail. It is different than a mobile system, which uses a cellular connection and is designed for more active seniors. HOME & YARD allows seniors who may not spend much time traveling or running errands outside the home, but who do enjoy spending time outdoors, to get the coverage they need from an in-home system. The wearable help button with a two-way speaker means that users can communicate with the monitoring center directly through that device rather than the base station, so users are protected while outdoors when their voices may not carry to the base station.
Seniors Who Travel
HOME and HOME & YARD systems feature easy installation – users simply need to plug the base station in. That means that seniors can bring them on vacation and easily install them in their hotel or vacation home, so long as the room has a landline phone jack. Medical Care Alert simply asks that users inform the monitoring center that they are traveling and provide their updated address.
Additionally, both of the mobile HOME & AWAY devices use cellular signals to connect to the monitoring center and work anywhere with a cellular connection, so users are covered when they travel.
Seniors with a Medical Condition
Medical Care Alert devices are monitored completely by operators with EMT/EMD certification. For seniors with a medical condition that may require them to regularly use their device, having someone with this experience on the other line can provide peace of mind for the user and their loved ones. Since users’ preferred contacts receive an SMS alert whenever emergency services are dispatched following a call to the monitoring center, they can stay informed about their loved one’s health without frequently worrying or feeling like they need to constantly check in.