The Best Medical Alert Systems for 2022

Many seniors hope to retain their independence as much as possible as they age, and continuing to live at home is a top priority for some. But living alone into old age can put seniors at risk of injuries or other emergencies. According to the CDC, 25% of adults fall each year, and 1 out of 5 of those falls cause serious injuries like a broken bone or head trauma. If you have an aging loved one who lives alone, you’ve probably experienced anxiety and concern that a fall or other accident may occur and they will have no one there to help them.

While there is no way to entirely prevent serious incidents or emergencies, there are things you can do to make sure that your loved one will get the help that they need when an emergency does occur. Medical alert systems can be an invaluable resource in this regard.

Medical alert systems are great for those who want the security of around-the-clock emergency assistance for yourself or a loved one who has chosen to live independently and/or age in place. The devices allow seniors to retain their independence and live in their preferred environment, without the major risk of them being without help if and when they need it.

Choosing between the many companies that sell medical alert systems and the different styles of devices they offer can be overwhelming. It’s often hard to determine which companies are genuine and reliable and which ones may be overpriced or trying to surprise customers with hidden fees. This guide will help you learn about medical alert companies and devices so you can make an informed decision and find a medical alert system that is the best fit for yourself or a loved one.

What to Look For in a Home Medical Alert Company

  • Transparency: Companies should be upfront about their pricing. Avoid companies with hidden fees or those who use misleading sales tactics.
  • No Long Contracts: Some companies have contracts that last up to 3 years, and breaking the contract can result in a steep fee. Make sure you can cancel your service at any time without paying a cancellation penalty.
  • Customer Service: If a company is hard to get a hold of or not good at communicating, you may want to think twice about relying on its emergency services.
  • Comfortable and Durable Devices: If you are purchasing a mobile device, bulky all-in-one units may not be comfortable and can make the user feel less inclined to actually wear the device. Make sure the device is comfortable to wear or carry around all day. You’ll also want a device that can withstand normal wear-and-tear and is water resistant.
  • Protection in the Shower: Bathrooms present a high-fall risk for many seniors due to the slick, hard surfaces and potential for water to create hazards. Look for waterproof pendants or other solutions that ensure you or your loved one will be protected in the bathroom.
  • Caregiver Monitoring: Not all caregiver monitoring apps are created equal. Beyond checking if a company offers such a feature, look for services like activity tracking and device location services.

The 14 Best Medical Alert System Companies

Lowest In-Home Cost Lowest Mobile Cost Starting Fees
MobileHelp $19.95 $37.95 $15.00 – $49.95
Bay Alarm Medical $19.95 $24.95 $9.95 – $79.99
Medical Guardian $29.95 $39.95 $9.50 – $108.50
Medical Care Alert $29.95 $39.95 $12
LifeStation $19.95 $34.95 $50
Philips Lifeline $29.95 $49.95 $69.95 – $249
ResponseNow $29.95 $39.95 $14.95 – $49.95
GreatCall Lively Mobile N/A $24.95 $94.99
RescueTouch N/A $30 $99 – $178
LifeFone $29.95 $39.95 $0
Rescue Alert $32.95 $44.95 $0
Alert1 $28.95 $45.95 $0
QMedic $30 $45 $0
Life Alert $49 $89 $95 – $198

MobileHelp

Most Affordable In-Home Cellular System

Seniors without a landline in their homes should pay special attention to extra charges for in-home cellular systems. Some companies may seem to offer in-home coverage at a low cost, but many add an extra fee for cellular connection instead of a landline. For those who do not have a landline, this extra monthly fee can take a medical alert system from in-budget to prohibitively expensive.

Unlike many other companies, MobileHelp does not charge an extra fee for its in-home cellular system, the MobileHelp Classic. That means that the monthly price you see listed for the Classic is the price you pay. Given that the Classic is one of the least expensive in-home options offered by any top medical alert company, MobileHelp is a great choice for seniors who do not have a landline and are looking to keep costs low.

Pricing and Plans

MobileHelp customers can choose to pay for their devices on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. The exception is the Touch device, which is only available with semi-annual and annual payment options. The plans range in price from $19.95 a month for the Classic device to $59.45 for the Touch, which includes a mobile system, in-home wearable help button, and a tablet device. Quarterly, semi-annual, and annual payment plans include free shipping, but those who opt for the monthly plans will pay $15.00 for ground shipping. Longer-term service plans also save customers a few dollars per month compared to the monthly plan.

The Solo and Duo systems do not have activation or shipping fees, but those who pay monthly for the Classic device must pay a one-time fee of $49.95.

There are no long-term contracts, and users may cancel their service at any time and receive a prorated refund on any prepaid months. MobileHelp also offers a 30-day free trial for all new users, during which they can return their device for a full refund.

Classic Wired Home Solo MobileHelp Duo Mobile Duo Touch
Monthly Cost $19.95 $24.95 $37.95 $41.95 $44.95 $59.45**
One-time Fees $49.95 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Type of Device In-home system In-home system Mobile system In-home and mobile system Mobile In-home, mobile, and tablet
Connection Cellular Landline Cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 30-hour backup 30-hour backup 24 hours 24 hours; 30-hour backup 24 hours 24 hours; 12-hour backup for tablet
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes***
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes***
Range 600 feet 1,300 feet N/A 600 feet N/A 150-350 feet
Fall Detection $10 a month Not available $10 a month $10 a month $10 a month $10 a month

**6-month minimum payment period
***The tablet and portable device are not waterproof

MobileHelp Classic

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MobileHelp Classic is a traditional in-home system that uses a cellular connection, making it ideal for those who spend most of their time in the home but do not have a landline. The device costs $19.95 a month, plus a one-time fee of $49.95, and includes a base station with 600 feet of range, a waterproof personal help button, and cellular service through AT&T. Fall detection can be added for an additional $10 a month.

MobileHelp Wired Home

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MobileHelp’s newest offering, the Wired Home, provides a landline-based alternative to the in-home Classic. It’s a good option for those who live in more remote areas and may be worried about the cellular service in their home. The Wired Home system includes a base station with a range of 1,300 feet and a wearable help button available as either a pendant or wristband. The system costs $24.95 a month.

MobileHelp Solo

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This is a portable system that works both in and out of the home using cellular and GPS tracking to locate users when they call for emergency assistance. The mobile device is small enough to fit in a purse or pocket and has a two-way speaker. The system costs $37.95 a month, including a waterproof help button and AT&T cellular service. Customers may also add fall detection for $10 a month.

MobileHelp Duo

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MobileHelp Duo combines the services of the Classic and Solo devices. For $41.95 a month, customers receive an in-home base station, a portable device (plus a charging cradle and mobile pouch), and a waterproof help button. Fall detection is an extra $10 a month. This system adds an extra layer of protection in the home with the base station while still offering help for seniors on-the-go with the portable device.

Mobile Duo

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The Mobile Duo includes two of MobileHelp’s portable devices, making it the perfect system for active couples or other seniors who live in the same residence. The portable devices use AT&T’s cellular network, are equipped with GPS, have their own built-in two-way speakers and personal help buttons, and are small enough to be kept in a purse or pocket while out of the home. In the home, the Mobile Duo devices can be placed in their charging cradle and work as a base station with the additional included wearable help buttons, which are waterproof and showerproof. This system costs $44.95 a month, which includes the price of both Mobile Duo devices.

Touch

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MobileHelp’s Touch system combines traditional medical monitoring with comprehensive health services. This unique system includes a fully portable medical alert device, a waterproof wearable personal help button, and a tablet specifically designed for use by seniors. The tablet can be used to play games, view photos, connect with a telehealth service, and more, and also functions as a base station for medical alert protection in the home. Touch costs $59.45 per month, which includes all three devices and cellular service for the portable device. There is a minimum payment period of six months; month-to-month payment is not available with this device.

Monitoring

MobileHelp devices are monitored by Rapid Response, a third-party US-based monitoring company. Rapid Response is a member of The Monitoring Association (TMA), and all of its operators are certified by the Security Industry Association.

Extra Features

Extra accessories that MobileHelp customers can add to their subscription plan include:

  • Wall Mounted Help Button: Customers can add this extra button to their subscription plan for an additional $2 a month
  • Medication Reminders: Customizable medication reminders can be added for $5 a month. Users can schedule the medication reminders online, and MobileHelp will send reminders through the base station unit.
  • Lockbox: MobileHelp currently provides all customers with a lockbox free of charge. The lockbox allows EMS to enter your home during an emergency if you are unable to answer the door.
  • Jewelry Pendants: MobileHelp offers colorful jewelry pendants for customers who would prefer to wear a stylish, bejeweled necklace rather than the traditional medical alert pendant. Jewelry pendants are currently available in four different metal and jewel options and range in cost from $69.95-$79.95.

For more, read our full review of MobileHelp’s medical alert systems

Bay Alarm Medical

Best for On-the-Road Monitoring

Bay Alarm Medical offers a unique in-car device that is ideal for drivers. The device has a personal help button that connects drivers to the emergency monitoring center, as well as GPS location tracking and crash detection that automatically signals emergency services if a crash occurs. Family members and caregivers of users can also view their loved one’s location and driving routes via a mobile app.

Pricing and Plans

Bay Alarm Medical offers monthly and semi-annual payment options for its five systems. The systems range in price from $19.95 a month for the in-home landline system to $69.95 a month for the most comprehensive, bundle option. There is no discount for paying on a quarterly or semi-annual basis, but those who choose the semi-annual plan receive free shipping, which typically costs $9.95. The On the Go device must be purchased for a one-time fee of $79.99, but no other Bay Alarm Medical devices have any one-time fees. Customers can cancel their service at any time without paying penalty, and those who return their devices within 30 days receive a full refund.

In-Home (Landline) In-Home (Cellular) On the Go On the Road Full Coverage
Monthly Cost $19.95 $29.95 $24.95 $29.95 $59.95
One-time fees N/A N/A $79.99 N/A $79
Type of Device In-home system In-home system Mobile system In-car system In-home and mobile system
Connection Landline Cellular Cellular Cellular Landline/Cellular
Battery Life 32-hour backup 32-hour backup 3 days N/A 32-hour backup; 3-day mobile battery
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes (other than On the Road)
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes N/A Yes (other than On the Road)
Range 1,000 feet 1,000 feet N/A N/A 1,000 feet
Fall Detection $10 a month $10 a month $10 a month N/A* $10 a month

*Automatic crash detection is included

In-Home

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Bay Alarm Medical offers two in-home systems, one which connects with a landline and one which uses cellular connection. Both systems include an in-home base station with a range of 1,000 feet and 32-hour backup battery, and a waterproof personal help button that can be worn as a pendant or around the wrist. The landline system costs $19.95 a month, and the cellular version costs $29.95 a month, including the cost of cellular service. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.

On the Go

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On the Go is a mobile GPS device that protects users both inside and outside of the home. It uses 4G-LTE, so the device works everywhere with cellular service. The battery lasts 72-hours between charges, and the device is waterproof and can be worn in the shower. Users have their choice of two different colors for the device- white and black. The monthly cost for On the Go is $24.95, and fall detection is an additional $10 a month. Unlike other Bay Alarm Medical devices, which are leased, users purchase their On the Go device for a one-time fee of $79.99.

On the Road

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This in-car device plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter, and does not require other charging (it is only designed for use in the car, and is not a standard mobile device). On the Road has a personal help button that users can press during an emergency to contact the monitoring center like the other Bay Alarm Medical devices. It also has automatic crash detection, which automatically signals emergency services in the event of an auto accident. On the Road costs $29.95 a month on its own, but it can also be added to one of the other systems for just $20 a month.

Full Coverage Package

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This plan is a bundle package of Bay Alarm Medical’s in-home, On the Go, and On the Road devices. The plan starts at $59.95 a month when choosing the landline option for the in-home system; a cellular in-home system costs an extra $10 a month, as does fall detection. Users must also pay a one-time purchase fee of $79 for the mobile On the Go device, which is then theirs to keep forever.

Monitoring

Bay Alarm Medical partners with a US-based monitoring center with locations in Utah and Idaho. Both centers are CSAA Five Diamond Certified.

Extra Features

Bay Alarm Medical offers several extra features, including:

  • Lockbox: Lockboxes provide EMS with an easy way to enter users’ homes during an emergency. One can be added to a monthly plan for $1.95 a month
  • Wall Buttons: This is an additional help button that can be wall mounted around the home for extra protection. The button costs $2.95 a month, or $10 for a pack of four.
  • Designer Pendants: Users whose devices have a lanyard option can choose to upgrade to colorful, artistic designer pendants for a one-time fee of $27.95.

For more, read our full review of Bay Alarm Medical’s medical alert systems

Medical Guardian

Best Customer Service

Medical Guardian’s devices do more than just provide emergency monitoring services. Several of their systems come with activity tracking and a caregiver mobile app, and they are the only company to offer voice-activated wall buttons for extra in-home protection. Plus, Medical Guardian puts a heavy emphasis on customer experience and strives to meet all of its customers needs starting from the shopping process, to providing quality emergency support, to consumer-friendly refund and cancellation policies. When purchasing a medical alert system, you’re entrusting your safety or that of your loved one with the provider that you choose. With Medical Guardian, you can rest assured that the company will put your needs first.

Pricing and Plans

Medical Guardian’s offerings include six different devices, all which can be paid for on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. The plans in range price from $29.95 a month to $79.95 a month. The smartwatch-style device also comes with a one-time equipment cost of $99, but no other Medical Guardian devices have an activation or device fee.

Those who opt for the annual plans save a few dollars per month. Annual customers also receive free shipping when they order the device; other customers have to pay $9.50 for standard shipping. While free shipping is not included, there are no cancellation fees, and Medical Guardian will provide prorated refunds for any months that were prepaid at the time of cancellation. There are no long-term contracts, even for those who pay for their service quarterly or annually.

Classic Guardian Home Guardian Family Guardian Mobile Guardian Active Guardian Freedom Guardian
Monthly Cost $29.95 $34.95 $79.95 $49.95 $44.95 $44.95
One-time Fees N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A $99.00
Type of Device In-Home Only In-Home Only In-Home Only Mobile Mobile Smartwatch-style device
Connection Landline Cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 32-hour backup 30-hour backup 32-hour backup 24 hours 5 days 2 days
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Shower-Proof Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Range 1,300 feet 600 feet 1,300 feet Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Fall Detection $10 a month $10 a month $10 a month $10 a month $10 a month Not Available

Classic Guardian

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The Classic Guardian is a basic, in-home system that connects via a landline. It is the least expensive of Medical Guardian’s offerings at $29.95 a month, including the base station and one waterproof neck pendant or wristband. The device has a range of 1,300 feet from the base station and a 32-hour backup battery. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.

Home Guardian

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Home Guardian is an in-home system that connects via a cellular network rather than a landline. It is slightly more expensive than the Classic Guardian at $34.95 a month (fall detection is an additional $10 a month), but that price includes AT&T cellular connection, a base station, and one waterproof pendant or wristband. The device has a range of 600 feet and a 30-hour backup battery.

Family Guardian

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The Family Guardian system includes a base station, a waterproof neck pendant or wristband, two motion sensors, and one door sensor for $79.95 a month. The motion and door sensors are connected to a mobile app that the user’s family members and/or caregivers can use to monitor their loved one’s activity throughout the day. The device uses an AT&T cellular connection and has a range of 1,300 feet. Customers may opt to purchase fall detection for an additional $10 a month.

Mobile Guardian

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The Mobile Guardian system costs $49.95 a month, which includes a portable medical alert device with AT&T cellular connection, and one waterproof pendant or wristband with a personal help button. This device does not connect to WiFi, but rather uses GPS signals to locate users when they call for emergency services. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.

Active Guardian

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The Active Guardian is a portable, waterproof device with a two-way speaker, so users can communicate with the monitoring center directly through the wearable device. The device utilizes both GPS signals and WiFi location services, and must be worn around the neck. The monthly cost for the Active Guardian is $44.95. Fall detection costs an additional $10 a month.

Freedom Guardian

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This is a smartwatch-style device, and it includes extra features such as a touch screen, speech-to-text messaging, and medication reminders. It also connects with a companion mobile app so a user’s loved ones can track their location, send and receive SMS messages, and more. There is not a large personal help button on the device, but customers can contact the emergency monitoring center by holding down a side button for 3 seconds. The Freedom Guardian costs $44.95 a month, plus a one-time device fee of $99. The device is not waterproof and fall detection is not available.

Monitoring

Medical Guardian devices are monitored by a third-party service. The 100% US-based monitoring service is UL listed, certified by The Monitoring Association (TMA), and a member of the Electronic Security Association. Additionally, many users have noted the fast response times for Medical Guardian devices.

Extra Features

Medical Guardian customers have the option of adding several extra features to their monthly plan:

  • Mounted Wall Button: The mounted wall button can be placed anywhere in the home and adds extra protection in high-risk areas. If a senior needs help and they aren’t wearing their pendant, they can signal the monitoring center via the wall-mounted button instead. The button costs an extra $2.99 a month and is available with in-home and mobile device options.
  • Voice Activated Wall Button: Like the wall-mounted button, the voice-activated button provides extra protection anywhere in the home. Rather than pressing the button, the user simply has to say “call Medical Guardian” twice to trigger a call to the monitoring center. This add-on costs an additional $5 a month, and is only available with the Classic Guardian and Family Guardian plans.
  • Lockbox: All customers have the option of adding a lockbox for $2 a month (those who sign up for an annual subscription receive a lockbox free of charge). A lockbox allows emergency services to easily enter your home without causing damage if you are unable to answer the door.
  • Additional Help Buttons: For $3.99 per button, users can add up to three extra help buttons to their monthly service plan. Seniors have the choice of a wristband, pendant, and/or wall-mounted button for their extra button.

For more, read our full review of Medical Guardian’s medical alert systems

Medical Care Alert

Best for Experienced Monitoring Centers

Medical Care Alert’s monitoring centers are staffed by some of the most experienced operators in the industry. All operators are EMT/EMD certified, and undergo a six-week training program certified by the Security Industry Association.

When users call the emergency monitoring center, it triggers an automatic SMS alert to the user’s list of preferred contacts such as family, friends, or a caregiver to let them know that there is an emergency. This ensures users’ loved ones know right away if their loved one needs assistance.

Pricing and Plans

Medical Care Alert customers have four devices to choose from, ranging in price from $29.95 to $39.95 a month. New customers can choose between paying for their system on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual subscription. All customers must complete one initial subscription period (i.e., one quarter) before they can switch to month-to-month pricing. If they choose to do so, the monthly cost is the same as the quarterly plan. The annual subscription saves customers a few dollars per month.

There are no initial one-time fees, but shipping is not included and typically costs about $12. There is a 14-day trial period during which new customers can try any of the systems free of cost. Users may cancel their service at any time without penalty, and will receive a prorated refund for any prepaid months.

HOME System HOME-3G System (Cellular) HOME & YARD HOME & AWAY ULTRA
Monthly Cost $29.95 $34.95 $34.95 $39.95
One-time Fees N/A N/A N/A N/A
Type of Device In-home system In-home system In-home system Mobile system
Connection Landline Cellular Landline Cellular
Battery Life 72-hour backup 72-hour backup 24-hour backup 3 days
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes Yes
Range 1,000 feet 1,000 feet 600 feet N/A
Fall Detection $10 a month $10 a month Not available $10 a month

HOME System

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This basic in-home system is the least expensive Medical Care Alert device at $29.95 a month. The monthly cost includes a base station that connects with a landline phone jack and two waterproof personal help buttons that can be worn as a pendant or wristband. The system has a range of 1,000 feet and a 72-hour backup battery. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.

HOME-3G System

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This in-home system connects via a cellular network rather than a landline. Otherwise, it has the same features as the HOME System. HOME-3G costs $34.95 a month including AT&T cellular connection.

HOME & YARD

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HOME & YARD is an in-home system, but the wearable component has a built-in two-way speaker, so users can communicate with the monitoring center directly through the device, rather than needing to rely on the base station. This makes HOME & YARD a good option for seniors who enjoy gardening or spending time on their porch- places where one’s voice may not be able to carry inside to the base station. The system costs $34.95 a month.

HOME & AWAY ULTRA

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HOME & AWAY ULTRA is Medical Care Alert’s portable device. The all-in-one system has a built-in two-way speaker and uses AT&T’s 4G LTE network to connect with the monitoring center and track users’ locations. HOME & AWAY ULTRA costs $39.95 a month, and fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.

Monitoring

Medical Care Alert operates its own monitoring centers with locations in New York and California. The centers are fully staffed by EMT/EMD certified operators, and is Security Industry Association certified. Spanish-speaking operators are on duty at all times.

Extra Features

Customers can choose to purchase additional accessories, including:

  • Lockbox: Lockboxes are available for purchase for $29.95. They are included free of charge with all annual plans, and certain semi-annual and quarterly plans.
  • Wall Mounted Button: These buttons can be placed anywhere around the home where users want extra protection. They have a range of 1,000 feet from the base station and function as an extra help button. HOME and HOME-3G users can opt to have one of their two included personal help buttons replaced with a wall mounted button. Otherwise, they can be purchased for $29.95.

For more, read our full review of Medical Care Alert’s medical alert systems

LifeStation

Best for Comprehensive Service Plans

LifeStation’s prices are based on service packages. For each of its three devices, customers choose between a Standard, Select, or Supreme package. The Standard is a basic monitoring package, the Select includes either fall detection or a device protection plan, and the Supreme includes both fall detection and device protection, along with some free accessories. The package system makes it easy for customers to access these extra features without having to worry about paying for each thing individually.

Pricing and Plans

LifeStation offers three devices that range in price from $19.95 a month to $34.95 a month with a Standard service plan. Customers may also choose a Select or Supreme package, which are more expensive but come with added features. Select plans come with either fall detection or a device protection plan, and Supreme packages include both.

Free shipping is included with all devices, and there are no one-time costs other than a $50 activation fee for the Mobile with GPS Standard package. All customers have a 30-day trial window during which they can return the equipment for a full refund, although they may have to pay return shipping.

In-Home Traditional In-Home Plus Mobile LTE
Monthly Cost $19.95 $26.95 $34.95
One-time Fees N/A N/A $50*
Type of Device In-home system In-home system Mobile system
Connection Landline Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 48-hour backup 48-hour backup 5 days
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes
Range 650 feet 650 feet N/A
Fall Detection $5 a month $5 a month $5 a month

*$50 device fee only applies to the Standard service package

In-Home Traditional

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This basic in-home system is LifeStation’s least expensive option at $19.95 a month with a Standard plan. It must connect to a landline, so it is not an option for those who do not have an active landline in their home. The base station has a range of 650 feet and a 48-hour backup battery, and the personal help button is waterproof and can be worn in the shower. Fall detection is available with the Select plan for an additional $5 a month.

In-Home Plus

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The In-Home Plus has all of the same features as the in-home traditional system, the only difference being that it connects via a cellular network rather than a landline. It’s a good option if you are looking for an in-home system but do not have a landline. It costs an extra $7 a month compared to the landline system, bringing the monthly cost to $26.95.

Mobile LTE

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LifeStation also offers one mobile device for $34.95 a month with the Standard plan. Customers who choose the Standard package must also pay a $50 activation fee; there is no activation fee with the Select and Supreme packages. This portable system is best for seniors who spend a lot of time outside of the home, and includes GPS services. The device battery lasts for 5 days in between charges and can be worn in the shower. The system is compatible with fall detection, which can be purchased for an additional $5 a month with the Select package.

Monitoring

LifeStation uses its own monitoring centers with locations in New Jersey and Texas. The centers are UL-listed and CSAA Five Diamond certified

Extra Features

LifeStation offers the following accessories for purchase:

  • Users can lease a lockbox from Lifestation for $2.99 a month. The lockbox makes it easy for EMS to enter users’ homes during an emergency if they are unable to answer the door.
  • Mountable help buttons to provide extra protection around the home are available for $2.49 a month.
  • Customers can purchase an additional personal help button that allows another user to use the system for $3.99 a month.

For more, read our full review of LifeStation’s medical alert systems

Philips Lifeline

Best Medication Management System

Philips Lifeline helps simplify complex medication regimens with their automatic medication dispenser. The dispenser allows users to program their medication schedules, so they receive an alert when it is time to take their medication and can automatically dispense the proper medication and dose with the press of a button. It can hold up to 60 cups of medicine, and also alerts the user and/or their loved ones or caregiver when a dose is missed or it’s time to refill the device.

Pricing and Plans

Philips Lifeline offers four devices that range in price from $29.95 to $54.95 a month. There are no quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payment discounts. All of the devices have a one-time fee, ranging from $50 for the HomeSafe systems to $149 for the GoSafe. Shipping is not included and costs $19.95. If customers wish to have a technician come to their home and install the device, they must pay $100 (this replaces the shipping cost).

There is no trial period, but customers who return their device within 30 days are eligible for a refund. However, the one-time activation and equipment fees are not refundable.

HomeSafe HomeSafe with AutoAlert GoSafe 2 GoSafe
Monthly Cost $29.95* $44.95* $49.95 $54.95**
One-time fees $50 $50 $99.95 $149
Type of Device In-home system In-home system Mobile system In-home and mobile system
Connection Landline or Cellular Landline or Cellular Cellular Landline or Cellular
Battery Life 48-hour backup 48-hour backup 2-3 days 7 days; 48-hour backup
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes Yes
Range 500 feet 500 feet N/A N/A
Fall Detection Not available Included Included Included

*The cellular model costs an extra $14 a month
**The cellular model costs an extra $15 a month

HomeSafe

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HomeSafe is an in-home device. It costs $29.95 a month when used with a landline, and $43.95 when used with a cellular connection. Both options include a base station and waterproof personal help button that can be worn as a pendant or wristband. The base station has a 48-hour backup battery and a range of 500 feet.

Fall detection is not available with the standard HomeSafe system. But, it is included with the HomeSafe with Auto-Alert option. This system costs $44.95 when used with a landline (the cellular option is an extra $14).

GoSafe

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This system includes both an in-home communicator and mobile device. For $54.95 a month, users receive an in-home communicator and portable all-in-one device with a two-way speaker. Fall detection is included, but a separate personal help button is not, so the mobile device must be worn even in the home. Those without a landline will have to pay an extra $15 a month for cellular connection for the in-home system. There is also a one-time device fee of $149.

GoSafe 2

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The GoSafe 2 is a mobile-only system, and works anywhere there is a cellular connection. The portable device is the same as the GoSafe, but this option does not include the in-home communicator. The mobile device has a battery life of 2-3 days and can be worn in the shower. It costs $49.95 a month, plus a one-time device fee of $99.95. Fall detection is included.

Monitoring

Philips Lifeline has its own in-house monitoring center, referred to as the Response Center. There are Response Centers located in the U.S. and Canada. The associates undergo 80 hours of training, and can support users in over 140 languages.

Extra Features

Philips Lifeline offers a unique automated medication dispensing system for $59.95 a month (plus a one-time installation fee of $99). The system allows seniors to program their medication schedules so the system plays a reminder when it is time for a dose, and dispenses the appropriate medication with the push of a button. This helps reduce the risk of missing a dose or taking the wrong medication, which can cause serious medical problems.

Other features that Philips Lifeline offers include:

  • A voice extension base that expands the range of in-home systems. The base is an additional $10 a month.
  • A lockbox can be purchased for a one-time fee of $29.95.

For more, read our full review of Philips Lifeline’s medical alert systems

ResponseNow

Best Device Repair and Protection Plan

All ResponseNow customers may add the Care(+) Protection Plan to their subscription for $3.95 a month. The protection plan offers extra coverage for equipment repairs or damage, and covers the cost of any necessary service. This includes accidental damage from dropping the device or spilling a beverage on the base unit, as well as theft and even loss. For those who do not opt to purchase the Care(+) Protection, ResponseNow still covers repairs for faulty equipment and provides services like battery replacement free of charge.

Pricing and Plans

ResponseNow offers three devices ranging in price from $29.95 to $49.95 a month. All devices may be paid for on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Choosing the quarterly or monthly option reduces the cost by a few dollars per month, and includes free shipping. Those who choose the monthly plan must pay $14.95 for ground shipping.

The Belle and Belle+ devices have a one-time fee of $35. There are no one-time fees for the in-home device. All devices come with a 30-day trial period during which customers can return their device for a full refund. There are no cancellation fees.

In the Home Belle Belle+
Monthly Cost $29.95 $39.95 $49.95
One-time fees N/A $35 $35
Type of Device In-home Mobile Mobile
Connection Landline Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 24-hour backup 30 days 5 days
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes
Range 500 feet N/A N/A
Fall Detection $11.95 a month Not available Included in monthly cost

In the Home

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This landline-connected system is ResponeNow’s only in-home device – there is no in-home option for those without a landline. The system costs $29.95 a month and includes a base station with 500 feet of range and one shower-proof emergency button that can be worn as a pendant or wristband (extra personal help buttons may be purchased for $2.95 a month per button). Fall detection is available for an additional $11.95 a month.

Belle

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Belle is a mobile device with AT&T cellular connection, so it works throughout the United States. The portable device is shower-proof and has an impressive battery life of 30 days. The Belle does not include GPS location tracking and is not compatible with fall detection. It costs $39.95 a month plus a one-time device fee of $35.

Belle+

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The Belle+ is another mobile device with some additional features compared to the Belle. The device has GPS location capabilities for device tracking, and can detect falls. The battery lasts for 5 days between charges and the device can be worn in the shower. The Belle+ costs $49.95 a month (including fall detection), plus a one-time fee of $35.

Monitoring

ResponseNow’s devices are monitored by several US-based centers. Upon signing up for ResponseNow, users will submit a list of contacts such as friends, family, or caregivers. When they call the monitoring center, they have the choice of having the center call their listed contacts or emergency services. If the operator cannot communicate with the user, they will automatically dispatch emergency services.

Extra Features

ResponseNow customers have several options for add-on features, including:

  • Lockbox: Lockboxes ensure that emergency services will be able to enter users’ homes if they are unable to answer the door during the emergency. ResponseNow users can rent a lockbox for $3.95 a month.
  • Care(+) Protection Plan: Users can add this protection plan to their service for an additional $3.95 a month. The plan covers any repairs from accidental damage or replacement of lost or stolen devices.

For more, read our full review of ResponseNow’s medical alert systems

GreatCall Lively Mobile

Best for Health and Medical Information On-Demand

Two of the GreatCall Lively Mobile Health & Safety Packages include a feature called “Urgent Care.” With this feature, users can speak with a nurse or doctor at any time for medical advice or answers to their questions. The nurse or doctor can even send some prescriptions to the user’s pharmacy over the phone. This feature can save GreatCall Lively Mobile customers trips to urgent care or the doctor’s office and clear up any questions they have quickly and easily.

Pricing and Plans

GreatCall requires that customers purchase their devices, rather than rent the equipment. The Lively Mobile device costs $49.99, and then users choose between three service plans, referred to as Health & Safety Packages, which range in price from $24.99 to $39.99 a month. In 2019, GreatCall released an upgraded version of its device, now referred to as the Lively Mobile Plus. The LivelyMobile Plus offers some enhanced features, but the price remains unchanged.

In addition to the purchase cost, users must pay a $35 activation fee, and a $10 shipping fee. There is a 30-day trial period during which customers can return their device for a full refund (including the purchase and activation fees), but a $10 restocking fee is charged. Users can cancel their service at any time, and will receive a prorated refund for any prepaid months of monitoring service.

Basic Preferred Ultimate
Monthly Cost $24.99 $29.99 $39.99
One-time fees $49.99 purchase, $35 activation $49.99 purchase, $35 activation $49.99 purchase, $35 activation
Type of Device Mobile Mobile Mobile
Connection Cellular Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 24 hours 24 hours 24 hours
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes
Range Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Fall Detection Not Available Not Available Included in Monthly Cost

Device Features

GreatCall’s portable medical alert device, the Lively Mobile, is an all-in-one device that uses Verizon’s cellular network, so it works anywhere with cellular service. It also has GPS location services which help emergency services locate a caller during an emergency. The device is waterproof and can be worn in the shower or bath, and has a battery life of 24 hours between charges.

All customers must purchase a Lively Mobile for $49.99, then select a service plan.

Basic Plan

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This is the least expensive plan at $24.99 a month, but also the most bare-bones in terms of features. The plan only covers 5Star Urgent Response Service emergency monitoring; no other features are included. Fall detection is not available.

Preferred Plan

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This plan costs $24.99 a month and includes enhanced features including Urgent Care. It also connects the device with GreatCall Link, a mobile app for caregivers that allows them to view the user’s call history with the monitoring center and the battery life of their device. Fall detection is not available.

Ultimate Plan

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The Ultimate Plan is the most comprehensive option, and the most expensive at $39.99 a month. It includes the same features of the preferred plan, plus fall detection and device replacement.

Monitoring

All emergency calls made on the GreatCall Lively Mobile connect with the IAED-certified 5Star Urgent Response Service center. Operators have access to users’ Personal Profile including their medical history and emergency contacts, and their location through the GPS in the device so they can quickly send emergency services when necessary.

Extra Features

There are no accessories for customers to purchase. But, if they choose certain Health & Safety Packages they will have access to extra features including:

  • Urgent Care: Urgent Care is a 24/7 service that allows customers to get in touch with a registered nurse or doctor using their Lively Mobile device. They can ask medical and health-related questions, seek advice, or have prescriptions sent to their pharmacy. Urgent Care is included with Preferred and Ultimate plans.
  • GreatCall Link: GreatCall Link is a mobile app that caregivers can use to view the user’s activity. The app shows a user’s call history with the monitoring center, as well as the battery life of their device. The feature is included with Preferred and Ultimate plans.
  • Device Replacement: This gives users replacement coverage for broken, damaged, lost, or stolen devices. It is included with the Ultimate plan, and can be added to the other plans for $3 a month.

For more, read our full review of GreatCall’s medical alert systems

RescueTouch

Best for New Equipment

Most medical alert companies lease you equipment, and require that you return the equipment when you end your service. There is no way to know how old the equipment is, or how many people have previously used it. RescueTouch is different. Users actually purchase their devices, so it is guaranteed to always be new. It also saves users time after they cancel their service, as they do not have to send the equipment back or risk paying a huge fine if they forget or are unable to return the equipment during the given time frame.

RescueTouch recently merged with NurseAlert, a medical alert system for healthcare providers, to create Florida Health Alert and Technology. Its personal medical alert device is still available for individuals to purchase for themselves or their loved one.

Pricing and Fees

RescueTouch devices range in price from $30 to $75 a month. There is also a device purchase fee of $99 for single devices and $178 for twin packs. Customers may choose to pay for their device on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, but no matter which one they choose there are no long-term contracts. The quarterly and annual plans save users a few dollars a month compared to the monthly plan.

Other than the cost of purchasing the device, there are no other startup costs, and shipping is included with all plans. There is a 30-day money back guarantee for all new customers, and users can cancel their service at any time without paying a penalty.

RescueTouch also offers discounts on all of its devices for AARP members, veterans, nurses, first responders, and those with disabilities.

 

9-1-1 Direct Family Response
Family Response with Fall Detect
The Whole Shabang
Chit Chat Twin Pack
 Chit Chat Monitored Twin Pack
Monthly Cost $30 $35 $40 $50 $65 $75
One-time fees $99 $99 $99 $99 $178 $178
Type of Device Mobile Mobile Mobile Mobile Mobile Mobile
Connection Cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 5 days 2.5 days (5 days with GPS off) 2.5 days (5 days with GPS off) 2.5 days (5 days with GPS off) 2.5 days (5 days with GPS off) 2.5 days (5 days with GPS off)
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Range N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Fall Detection Not available Not available Included in monthly cost Included in monthly cost Included in monthly cost Included in monthly cost

Device Features

RescueTouch only offers one device, the mobile SOS pendant. Rather than having a choice of device, RescueTouch customers choose one of six service plans, and the device is programmed accordingly before being shipped to the customer. The mobile SOS pendant is waterproof and has a two-way speaker, and is one of the only devices on the market to allow for two-way calling capabilities. This means that users’ pre-programmed contacts can actually call them via the device- each pendant is given a phone number, like a cell phone.

RescueTouch offers both monitored and unmonitored plans. “Unmonitored” means that when a user presses their emergency help button, they will connect with a preprogrammed list of friends and family rather than an emergency monitoring center.

9-1-1 Direct

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This is the least expensive of RescueTouch’s plans at $30 a month. It is also This the only plan that does not include GPS capabilities, two-way communication, or the option of connecting with friends and family during an emergency. It connects users directly with 9-1-1 rather than a monitoring center, which is rare in the medical alert industry, butt can be appealing for those who have a medical condition and wish to bypass the “middleman” of a monitoring center. Fall detection is not available with this plan.

Family Response

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This unmonitored plan allows users to add up to five personal contacts to be notified when they press their personal help button. The contacts may also initiate contact with their loved one or track the location of their loved one’s device via GPS. The Family Response plan costs $35 a month. Fall detection is not available with this plan.

Family Response with Fall Detection

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This plan includes all of the same features as the standard Family Response package, plus fall detection. It costs $40 a month.

Chit Chat Twin Pack

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The twin pack includes two mobile SOS pendants, and the two users can use them as “walkie-talkies.” Otherwise, the features are the same as the Family Response with Fall Detection plan. The Chit Chat Twin Pack costs $69 a month total for both devices. It is important to note that the one-time device fee for the twin pack is $178 rather than $99 for single devices.

"The Whole Shabang"

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This monitored device connects users to the emergency monitoring center when they press their personal help button, and also alerts users’ designated contacts via message. Once they are speaking to an operator, they can tell them whether to call their personal contacts or emergency services (if the operator cannot communicate with the caller, they will automatically dispatch emergency services). This package also includes fall detection, earning its title “The Whole Shabang.” This package costs $50 a month, including fall detection.

Chit Chat Monitored Twin Pack

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This plan includes two mobile SOS pendants, so users can use them as “walkie-talkies.” The features are the same as “The Whole Shabang.” This is the most expensive plan at $75 a month, plus the $178 device fee.

Monitoring

RescueTouch uses a US-based monitoring center located in Utah. All operators must undergo a training program to handle medical emergency situations, as well as fire and security emergencies.

Extra Features

RescueTouch does not offer any extra features at this time. The mobile SOS pendant is an all-in-one device, and “extra” features such as location services are included in the monthly cost of some plans.

For more, read our full review of Rescue Touch’s medical alert systems

LifeFone

Best for Dual-User System

LifeFone allows users to add a second person to their service plan for no additional fee. This is ideal for spouses or other family members who live in the same home who both want protection, and makes medical alert systems much more affordable for two people living in the same household. Compared to paying for two separate monitoring plan, LifeFone can save couples or roommates hundreds of dollars per year.

Pricing and Plans

LifeFone’s four devices range in price from $29.95 to $43.95, and all may be paid for on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. The quarterly and annual plans are slightly less expensive than the monthly plan when broken down month-to-month. There are no activation, installation, or equipment fees, and shipping is included for customers who choose quarterly or annual payment options. Those who choose month-to-month payment pay $14.95 for shipping.

All LifeFone systems come with a 30-day free trial, during which customers can return their device for a full refund. Outside of the trial period, customers may cancel their service at any time and will receive a prorated refund for any prepaid months.

 

At-Home At-Home Cellular At-Home & On-the-Go GPS At Home & On-the-Go GPS, Voice-in-Necklace
Monthly Cost $29.95 $34.95 $39.95 $43.95
One-time fees N/A N/A N/A N/A
Type of Device In-home system In-home system In-home and mobile system Mobile system
Connection Landline Cellular Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 32-hour backup 32-hour backup 24 hours; 30-hour backup 36 hours
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes Yes
Range 1,300 feet 1,300 feet 600 feet in-home, 350 feet mobile N/A
Fall Detection $5 a month $5 a month $10 a month $5 a month

At-Home Landline

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This basic in-home system is Life Fone’s least expensive option at $29.95 a month, including a base station and waterproof wearable help button. The system must be connected to a landline. It has a range of 1,300 feet and 32-hour backup battery. Fall detection is available for an additional $5 a month.

At-Home Cellular

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This is a cellular in-home system that uses the AT&T network. It includes all of the same features as the At-Home Landline, but provides an alternative for those who do not have a working landline in their home. The system costs $34.95 a month, and fall detection is available for $5 a month.

At-Home & On-the-Go GPS

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This option includes both an in-home system and a mobile device for $39.95 a month (fall detection is an additional $10). It includes an in-home base station with a range of 600 feet as well as a waterproof portable device with GPS capabilities. The in-home system uses AT&T cellular, so no landline is required.

At-Home & On-the-Go GPS, Voice-in-Necklace

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This is an all-in-one system, and the only LifeFone device that does not require an in-home base station. The monthly cost of $43.95 a month includes a portable, water-resistant, and GPS-enabled device that can be worn as a necklace or pendant, and a charging dock that supplies up to 36 hours of battery life. Fall detection is an additional $5 a month.

Monitoring

LifeFone operates its own call center in New York, with backup monitoring centers in New York and California. LifeFone customers set their own Emergency Care Instructions, so operators can follow this plan when a user calls for assistance.

Extra Features

LifeFone has a smartphone app, Mobile Alert, that customers can use to contact the monitoring center if they are not wearing their device or if they prefer to use their smartphone. In addition to using the app to contact the monitoring center during an emergency, customers can use it as a “virtual escort service” if they ever feel unsafe. Existing LifeFone users can download the app for $5.95 a month, and non-LifeFone customers can use the app for $7.95 a month.

Other features and accessories available for LifeFone customers include:

  • Lockbox: LifeFone offers three different styles of lockboxes for customers to purchase. A hanging Master Lockbox and wall-mounted Master Lock Box are both available for $39.95, and a basic hanging lockbox is available for $29.95.
  • Wall-Mounted Button: Customers can add a wall-mounted button to their home for extra protection in high-risk areas. The buttons can be purchased for $39.95 each.
  • Activity Assurance: This feature is designed to give caregivers, friends, and family members of LifeFone users peace of mind about their loved one. At a set time each day, a beeping alarm will go off on the base station until the user presses a button. If the user does not press the button within 15 minutes, their emergency care plan is put into place. This feature is only available with in-home devices, and costs $6 a month.
  • Vanity Pendants: LifeFone now offers upgraded “vanity pendants,” compatible with either of its two in-home systems. These pendants feature metallic hardware to look like standard jewelry, yet maintain all of the functions of a standard pendant-style personal help button. Vanity pendants may be purchased from LifeFone for a one-time fee of $89.00.

For more, read our full review of LifeFone’s medical alert systems

Rescue Alert

Best for Included Optional Devices

While some companies offer free accessories for annual or quarterly subscribers, it is rare that all payment plans- including month-to-month plans- include accessories. All Rescue Alert customers receive either a lockbox or second personal help button free of charge, regardless of which payment option they choose. This saves users several dollars a month, which can greatly help reduce overall yearly medical expenses.

Pricing and Plans

Rescue Alert devices range in price from $32.95 to $44.95 a month. All of the devices may be paid for on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, and the longer payment periods are slightly less expensive when broken down on a month-to-month basis. Additionally, LifeFone offers a unique purchase option for its in-home system. There are no device, activation, or installation fees for any of the devices, and shipping is included with all plans.

All customers are eligible for a 30-day trial at the start of their service, during which they may return their device for a full refund. Outside of the 30-day window, customers may cancel their service at any time without paying a penalty.

MXD Rescue Alert GPS
Monthly Cost $32.95 $44.95
One-time fees N/A N/A
Type of Device In-home Mobile
Connection Landline Cellular
Battery Life 80-hour backup 48+ hours
Water Resistant Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes
Range 600 feet N/A
Fall Detection $10 a month Not available

MXD

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Rescue Alert’s MXD is a basic in-home system. It connects with a landline, and has a range of 600 feet. It costs $32.95 to rent the MXD (fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month), or it can be purchased for a one-time cost of $845, or an initial payment of $199 plus $15.95 per month for monitoring services. At this time, this is Rescue Alert’s only in-home device- there is no in-home cellular option available.

Rescue Alert GPS

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Rescue Alert GPS is the company’s only mobile device offering, and it is also the most expensive device at $44.95 a month. The device uses AT&T cellular service and GPS to check the user’s location every 15 minutes. The battery lasts for 48+ hours between charges. There is no option to purchase this device, and fall detection is not available.

 

Monitoring

Rescue Alert has two Response Centers, both located in Utah. Both of the centers are certified by ETL.

Extra Features

All customers receive a free accessory with their device. If they would like additional accessories, their options include:

  • myActive Alert Fall Detection: This is a fall detection pendant equipped with motion-sensing technology. It automatically triggers a call to the monitoring center if it senses a fall or abnormal movement. It is a separate pendant that users must wear in addition to their personal help button. The water-resistant device costs an additional $10 a month, and is only compatible with the in-home MXD system.
  • Wall Button: This standalone button, designed for use with the in-home MXD system, can be placed anywhere in the home where users would like a bit of extra protection. The button has a range of 600 feet from the base station, and costs an extra $5 a month.
  • Lockbox: Lockboxes provide emergency personnel with an easy way to enter users’ homes during an emergency if the caller is unable to answer the door. All Rescue Alert customers have the option of receiving a free rental lockbox with their device, or they can purchase a lockbox for $39.99.

For more, read our full review of Rescue Alert’s medical alert systems

Alert1

Best for Easy Installation

Alert1 ensures that all seniors, regardless of their tech-savviness, will be able to set up their medical alert system without any stress. All Alert1 devices are preprogrammed prior to being shipped to customers, and when the system arrives, customers simply need to plug it in. That means no professional installation is required, and no installation fee. If customers do decide that they need help, they can simply call Alert1 customer support for assistance.

Pricing and Plans

Alert1 customers may choose to pay for their devices monthly, quarterly, annually, or for periods of 36 months. The devices range in price from $28.95 to $61.95 when paid for on a monthly basis, and all of the longer payment periods offer discounts on the month-to-month rate. Alert1 also offers a 30 day trial period for new customers, during which users can return their device for a refund. Customers may cancel their service at any time without paying a penalty.

Alert1 does not charge any one-time fees such as activation or installation fees, and free shipping is included with all devices.

Home Home Fall Detection On-the-Go On-the-Go Fall Detection On-the-Go + Home Fall Detection
Monthly Cost $28.95 $39.95 $45.95 $55.95 $61.95
One-time fees N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Type of Device In-home system In-home system Mobile system Mobile system Mobile system
Connection Landline Landline or cellular Cellular Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 24-hour backup 24-hour backup 30 days 5 days 24 hours
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Range 600 feet 400 feet N/A N/A N/A
Fall Detection Not available Included in monthly cost Not available Included in monthly cost Included in monthly cost

Home Medical Alert

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This is a landline-based in-home system, and is the least expensive Alert1 device at $28.95 a month. The base station has a range of 600 feet and a 24-hour backup battery. The waterproof personal help button is included in the monthly price, and may be worn as a pendant or wristband. Fall detection is not available with this system.

Home Fall Detection Medical Alert

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Customers who choose this in-home system have the option of using a landline or cellular connection (those without a landline must choose this device, or one of the mobile devices). The base station has a range of 400 feet and a 24-hour backup battery. It is more pricey than the other in-home system at $39.95, but that price includes T-mobile cellular service and fall detection.

On-the-Go Medical Alert

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On-the-Go Medical Alert costs $45.95 when paid for on a monthly basis. This includes cellular coverage with Verizon and a water-resistant portable device that can be worn as a pendant or on the hip, and has a battery life of up to 30 days. Fall detection is not available with this device.

On-the-Go Fall Detection

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This device costs $55.95 a month, including automatic fall detection. On-the-Go Fall Detection uses AT&T’s cellular network as well as GPS and Wi-Fi to locate users when they call the monitoring center or when abnormal movement is detected. The portable system is waterproof and can be worn in the shower, and has a battery that lasts 5 days between charges.

On-the-Go + Home Fall Detection

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This bundled plan includes a mobile device with fall detection, an in-home fall detection pendant, and an in-home personal help button on a wristband. All of the components are waterproof and can be worn in the shower, and they all use AT&T cellular connection. The total monthly cost for this system is $61.95, including fall detection.

Monitoring

Alert1 operates its own US-based Command Center. The center is UL-listed and undergoes random certification checks. All operators must complete a thorough training program certified by The Monitoring Association. An interpreter service is available at all times to provide support in 190 languages.

Extra Features

Alert1 offers several extra features and accessories, including:

  • Lockbox: Lockboxes are included with annual subscriptions. Other customers can purchase a lockbox for $39.95
  • Wall-Mounted Emergency Button: Customers who want extra protection in high-risk areas in their homes can purchase a wall-mounted emergency button for $39.95. The wall-mounted buttons are only compatible with the in-home systems, not the mobile devices.
  • Automatic Medication Dispenser and Organizer: The automatic medication dispenser and organizer helps users adhere to their medication regimens. The device can be programmed for up to 4 medication reminders per day, and includes a locked dispenser for extra safety. At the preprogrammed times, an alarm will sound and will continue until the pills are removed from the dispenser. This accessory can be purchased for $149.95.
  • Voice Extender: The Alert1 voice extender improves the range of devices in the home, and can be a good idea for those who live in larger homes and worry about their voice carrying to the base station. This device is compatible with the Home and Home Fall Detection systems, and can be purchased for $99.

For more, read our full review of Alert1’s medical alert systems

QMedic

Best for Forgetful Seniors

All QMedic devices come equipped with a unique compliance monitoring feature which detects whether the user is actually wearing their device. This information is uploaded to the Caregiver Dashboard so caregivers and family members of the user can make sure their loved one is using the device – this is especially useful for seniors who often forget to wear their devices. Loved ones can also use the Caregiver Dashboard to view activity monitoring data such as their loved one’s sleep patterns and activity levels.

Pricing and Plans

QMedic offers three devices, all of which can be paid for monthly or annually. The two in-home devices cost $30 a month, and the mobile device costs $45 a month. Those who choose the annual plan ultimately save $60 per year for an in-home device, and $140 per year for the mobile device.

QMedic does not charge equipment, activation, or shipping fees within the United States (those outside of the U.S. may have to pay for shipping). Customers may cancel their rental at any time, and there is an initial 30-day money back trial period on all systems.

 

Landline Cellular Mobile GPS
Monthly Cost $30.00 $30.00 $45.00
One-time Fees N/A N/A N/A
Type of Device In-home In-home Mobile
Connection Landline Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 24-hour backup 24-hour backup 14 days
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes No
Range 800-1,000 feet 800-1,000 feet N/A
Fall Detection Not available Not available Not available

Landline

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This in-home landline system costs $30 a month and includes a waterproof and shower-proof personal help button that can be worn as a pendant or wristband. It also includes activity and compliance monitoring and access to the Caregiver Dashboard for the user’s loved ones and/or caregiver. The system has an 800-1,000 foot range. Fall detection is not available for this system, or any of QMedic’s devices.

Cellular

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The cellular device is an in-home system for those without a landline. Other than the cellular connection, it is the same as the in-home landline system. It also costs $30 a month, so customers do not have to pay extra for cellular coverage.

Mobile GPS

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QMedic’s mobile device costs $45 a month including the portable device, charging cradle, cellular coverage, and GPS location services. Unlike the wearable component of the in-home devices, the mobile device is water-resistant, not waterproof. It cannot be worn in the shower, but it can get wet in the rain. The battery on the portable device lasts 14 days between charges.

Monitoring

The QMedic monitoring center is UL-listed and US-based. There are two branches, one in Utah and one in Idaho.

Extra Features

In addition to compliance and activity monitoring, which are both included free of cost with all QMedic devices, QMedic systems include free access to the Caregiver Dashboard. All activity and compliance monitoring data is uploaded onto the dashboard, so family, friends, and caregivers can check if their loved one is wearing the device or if they are showing any unusual behavioral patterns. They can also see their loved one’s call history with the monitoring center. QMedic does not offer any additional accessories at this time.

For more, read our full review of QMedic’s medical alert systems

Life Alert

Best for Protection in the Bathroom

Life Alert offers an “In the Bathroom” device, a wall-mounted button specifically designed for use around water. The device is completely waterproof so it can be placed directly in the bathtub or shower, two of the most high-risk areas for seniors. It also features both a speaker and a microphone so, during an emergency, users can communicate with the monitoring center directly through the In the Bathroom device. In addition to this wall-mounted system, Life Alert offers standard in-home and mobile devices.

Pricing and Plans

Life Alert’s three devices are referred to as three levels of protection: In the Home, In the Bath, or On the Go. The three tiers may also be thought of as packages; for instance, one cannot sign up for monitoring with the In the Bath device without In the Home, or On the Go without the other two devices.

The pricing is tiered:

  • The first tier is just In the Home, and costs $49 a month plus a comprehensive one-time fee of $95
  • The second tier is In the Home and In the Bath, and costs $69 a month plus a comprehensive one-time fee of $96
  • The third tier is all three devices, and costs $89 a month plus a comprehensive one-time fee of $198

Life Alert requires users to sign a 3-year service contract. The contract may only be broken for “qualifying circumstances”, such as moving into a nursing home. If a customer chooses to end their contract without a qualifying reason, they may be responsible for paying for the remaining months of the contract.

In the Home In the Bathroom On the Go
Monthly Cost $49 $69 $89
One-time Fees $95 $96 $198
Type of Device In-home In-home Mobile
Connection Landline/Cellular Landline/Cellular Cellular
Battery Life 72-hour backup 72-hour backup Up to 10 years
Water Resistant Yes Yes Yes
Shower-proof Yes Yes Yes
Range 800 feet 800 feet N/A
Fall Detection Not available Not available Not available

Device Features

Life Alert manufacturers its own equipment, and all of the systems come with a lifetime warranty. Fall detection is not available with any of the systems.

In the Home

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This in-home system may be connected to a landline, or be used with cellular connection for no extra charge. The $49 monthly cost includes a base station with a range of 800 feet and 72-hour backup battery, and a waterproof pendant that can be worn in the shower.

In the Bathroom

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This is referred to as the “second level of protection.” In the Bathroom is a wall-mounted button with a speaker and microphone. It is waterproof so it can be placed in the tub, but it can also go anywhere in the home- it does not have to be placed in the bathroom. This tier costs $69 a month, and includes In the Bathroom and In the Home.

On the Go

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This mobile device is the “third level of protection.” It is a portable unit that uses cellular connection and GPS to locate users when they call the monitoring center for emergency assistance. The device has a battery that lasts up to 10 years; it does not require regular charing. This tier costs $89 a month, and includes all three Life Alert devices.

Monitoring

Life Alert operates their own US-based, UL-listed monitoring center. All dispatchers spend up to one year in training, and keep all Life Alert users’ medical history on file to give to paramedics during an emergency. They also notify users’ family members when their loved one places an emergency call.

Extra Features

Life Alert offers a mobile app that users can download to their smartphone. Customers can use the app to contact the monitoring center if they are not wearing their device or find it easier to use their phone rather than their personal help button. In addition to emergency assistance, users can use the app to contact the monitoring center if they simply feel unsafe and want to have an operator on the line. Life Alert users without a smartphone have the option of dialing the monitoring center on a normal cell phone.

For more, read our full review of Life Alert’s medical alert systems

More Medical Alert System Reviews

Understanding Medical Alert Systems

Medical alert systems provide seniors with the assistance they need after an accident, injury, or another medical emergency. They make it easy for users to access emergency services quickly, and help make the process as simple as possible. Those looking into purchasing a medical alert system generally have two choices: in-home systems or mobile units.

In the Home

In-home systems always include a base station that remains stationary somewhere in the home and connects to the emergency monitoring center. It has a loudspeaker and a highly sensitive microphone, so users can communicate with the monitoring center through the unit. Most base stations have a range of 600-1,300 feet, covering most areas of users’ homes. Some units must connect to a working landline, while others use cellular service.

In addition to the base station, in-home units include a wearable personal help button. These devices are small and can be worn around the neck or on a wristband. If a user needs emergency services, they press the button to trigger the base station to call the monitoring center. If the operator at the center is unable to communicate for the caller for whatever reason, they will automatically put the user’s emergency care plan in place, which may involve calling emergency services or the caller’s personal contacts.

On the Go

Mobile systems are small, portable devices that rely on cellular service to connect with the emergency monitoring center, so they work anywhere with a cellular connection. Some mobile systems are all-in-one devices with an emergency help button included, while others require users to carry two pieces. The two-piece systems usually include a pocket-sized device that functions as a portable base station, and a wearable personal help button. Unlike in-home units, mobile devices do need to be charged, usually every few days (though it is often recommended to place the device in its charging cradle each night).

In addition to emergency monitoring services, many of these devices have GPS location services so emergency personnel or loved ones of the user can easily locate the caller during an emergency. These services are usually included in the system’s monthly cost.

Who Should Consider a Medical Alert System

It is a common misconception that medical alert systems are only designed for seniors who are prone to falls. In addition to providing emergency support for these individuals, modern medical alert systems have many other uses. Read on for more information about who may benefit from a medical alert device.

Active Seniors

A 2017 study shows that 48% of falls happen outdoors, which can be worrisome for active seniors who spend a lot of time outside. A portable medical alert system can help these adults maintain the freedom to enjoy the outdoors as long as possible, without causing themselves or their loved ones anxiety over being without help if a fall or other accident happens while they are outside.

Independent and active seniors looking into a medical alert device should look for the following features:

Mobile Device If you or your loved one is active, a mobile device is the way to go. It will work anywhere with cellular service, so seniors can travel or spend time outside of the home without worry.
Upgraded Location Tracking Some devices have upgraded location tracking that uses a combination of cellular signals, WiFi, and GPS to locate callers, rather than just relying on cellular service. These devices are much more precise, and make it easier for emergency personnel to locate users.
Wearable Help Button For active seniors, a two-piece system with a small wearable help button will likely be more comfortable. These wearable components are small, light, and can be worn around the neck, as opposed to all-in-one systems which tend to be a bit bulkier.
Extended Battery Life If you plan to be out-and-about often, look for a portable device with sufficient battery life for your active lifestyle. Make sure that your device has a long enough battery life to get you through your day’s adventures without needing to take a break to charge. Some top devices have batteries that can maintain their power for more than 24 hours between charges.

Aging in Place

More and more seniors are choosing to age in place – 75% of older adults plan to live in their current home for the rest of their lives. But, living independently without a caregiver puts seniors at risk of not receiving the care they need after a medical emergency or fall. If a fall does occur, emergency care may be necessary. An older adult is treated for a fall in an emergency room every 11 seconds, and 25% of older adults experience a fall once a year.

Medical alert systems help seniors with mobility issues or those who receive in-home care age in place while still having easy access to emergency services when needed. The systems are especially useful for older adults who do not have a caregiver or loved one with them in the home around-the-clock.

Older adults who have mobility issues or receive in-home care should look for the following features in a medical alert system:

Reasonable Monthly Monitoring Costs Seniors who age in place often already have hefty expenses for in-home care, and certainly do not need to add another pricey service to their monthly costs. Those who find themselves in this situation should compare multiple companies before signing up for service, so they can find one that offers the service they need at a reasonable price. Companies like Bay Alarm Medical and MobileHelp offer affordable options so seniors do not need to push their budget to get the protection they need.
Fall Detection Seniors who struggle with mobility are at a higher risk of falls than other older adults, and can benefit from automatic fall detection. This feature may raise the price of the medical alert system a bit, but provides extra protection for at-risk seniors. While the systems are not 100% reliable, they can be a great help for those who are prone to falls.
Voice Activated Wall Button This feature makes it even easier for seniors to contact the monitoring center during an emergency. If they need assistance, they can simply say an activating phrase to trigger a call to the monitoring center- they do not even need to press their personal help button. Currently, this feature is only offered by Medical Guardian, but it may be offered by more companies in the future.
Automated Medication Reminders and Dispensers These devices can provide alerts when it is time to take medication, and sometimes even automatically dispense the dose for the user. This helps prevent seniors who age in place from forgetting to take their medication or taking the wrong one, since they do not have medication assistance like they would in a residential care facility. Philips Lifeline offers an automated medication dispenser, and other companies like MobileHelp will provide medication alerts for users.

Seniors with Memory Impairment

Wandering is a serious problem for older adults with memory impairment – 60% of those with dementia will wander, and someone with Alzheimer’s is likely to be unable to recall information like their name and address. Medical alert devices help caregivers or family members or seniors with dementia find their loved ones if they do wander and become lost.

The following medical alert system features are particularly beneficial for seniors who have dementia:

Mobile and Home Device Bundle Seniors who are prone to wandering should definitely look for a mobile device with location services so their loved ones can locate them if they become lost. But, they may also benefit from a device that does not need to be charged. These units tend to be in-home systems. To avoid having to pay for two systems, look for a bundle package with both a portable, GPS-enabled device as well as an in-home system. MobileHelp offers one of these combination plans for $41.95 a month.
Pinpoint Location Tracking Some mobile systems have upgraded location services that use a combination of cellular signal, WiFi hotspots, and GPS to locate users. These systems are much more reliable than older location tracking services, which only used cellular signal. The newer options can quickly locate a user’s exact location, helping them reconnect with their loved ones or access the care they need.
Caregiver App Some medical alert systems include access to a mobile app for caregivers of the user. Using the app, caregivers can check their loved one’s device’s battery level and remind them if it needs charging, receive notifications if their loved one falls or places a call to the monitoring center, and more. Some apps even allow caregivers to place a call directly to their loved one’s medical alert device and check their loved one’s movement and activity levels. All of these features can make caring for a senior with dementia easier and provide peace of mind for loved ones of seniors with dementia.
Geofencing This feature allows family members or caregivers of a user to set geofencing alerts (usually a text message or email) when their loved one moves outside of a predetermined area. This lets them know that their loved one may be wandering, and can help prevent seniors from getting lost. Bay Alarm Medical currently offers this feature.
Wall Buttons Wall buttons provide extra protection in high-risk areas around the home, such as the bathroom, or serve as a backup if you or your loved one forgets to wear their personal help button.
Medication Reminders This service, offered by several companies such as MobileHelp, sends automated reminders to help seniors adhere to their medication schedule.

Seniors with Chronic or High-Risk Medical Conditions

Older adults with diabetes face severe health risks. Almost 70% of seniors with the condition will die due to some type of heart disease, and approximately 1 in 6 will die due to a stroke. Many of these deaths may potentially be prevented if the senior had access to the medical care they needed in time. Medical alert systems can help seniors in these situations, and be lifesaving for older adults with chronic, high-risk conditions like diabetes or heart disease. Older adults with high-risk conditions should look for the following features, which provide extra protection:

Activity Monitoring This feature uses motion-sensing technology to monitor and detect changes in users’ activity levels, or a lack of activity. If abnormal movement or lack of movement is detected, the company alerts a loved one that something may be wrong. Medical Guardian and several other companies offer this feature.
Fall Detection Automatic fall detection provides extra protection for seniors who are at high risk of falling or having a medical emergency. Though not 100% reliable, the systems can be lifesaving if a user is unable to press their personal help button during an emergency situation.
Voice-Activated Button In some serious cases, one may be unable to physically press their wearable help button during a medical emergency. Having a voice-activated alert button in the home can be critical during these situations. Seniors can simply repeat a phrase, such as “emergency” several times to trigger a call and alert to the emergency monitoring center and/or the user’s caregivers, ensuring they can get the help they need even if they’re unable to physically move.

Guide to Additional Features

Modern medical alert systems can do much more than just contact an emergency monitoring center. The systems often come equipped with a variety of additional features designed to benefit seniors. Sometimes these features are included in the monthly cost, and sometimes customers must pay an extra fee.

Fall Detection

This newer feature automatically detects when a user falls down, and triggers an alert to the emergency monitoring center. It can be lifesaving in situations when the user is unable to press their personal help button and helps them get the help they need as quickly as possible. As a newer technology, fall detection is not 100% reliable, but it does provide some added protection for those who are prone to falls. It is typically an add-on feature that costs an extra $5-10 dollars a month.

Caregiver Tracking and Monitoring

Caregiver tracking and monitoring help caregivers and family members of a medical alert system user monitor their loved one’s activity levels and location. It is typically used with mobile devices, and uses a smartphone app or online website where caregivers can log in to check to device’s location, battery levels, or the user’s activity levels. Geofencing, which sends a text message to caregivers if their loved one goes outside of a predetermined area, is another popular aspect of caregiver monitoring.

Medication Dispensers and Reminders

This feature is designed to help seniors who have complicated medication regimens, struggle to stick to their schedule, or have a hard time remembering whether they have taken their medication or sometimes mistakenly take the wrong one or dosage. The automatic reminders send an alert to the senior when it is time to take their medication. The automatic dispenser is a separate device that releases the correct medication for the user, at the right time and right dose.

Wall Buttons

Wall-mounted buttons can be placed anywhere in the home for extra protection. They are typically placed in high-risk areas, such as the bathroom, where a senior is most likely to fall. They can come in handy if the user is not wearing their personal help button, or just may be easier for them to use. The wall-mounted button triggers a call to the monitoring center in the same way that the wearable personal help button does.

Voice Extender

In-home devices have a limited range that does not always reach a user’s yard or throughout an entire large home. A voice extender is a good option for those who do not want a mobile device, but have areas of their home where the in-home device cannot reach on its own. For example, someone could install a voice extender on the outside of their home so they can communicate with an operator from their backyard. It also helps prevent accidental calls to EMS if you press your personal help button but cannot hear the base station to cancel the call.

Fire, Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, and Water Monitoring

These devices can be placed in the home and send an alert to the emergency monitoring center if it detects fire, carbon monoxide, or water leaks.

How to Choose a Medical Alert System

Determine Which Type of System is Best for You

Once you decide to purchase a medical alert system for yourself for a loved one, you need to think about which type of device you need. The biggest decision is whether an in-home or mobile system is better for you. Some companies also offer a bundle plan that includes both types of devices. An increasing number of companies are also beginning to offer smartwatch-style devices, which offer emergency monitoring as well as typical smartwatch features.

The main factor that will influence your decision is where you or your loved one spends most of their time. More active seniors benefit from mobile devices, which offer protection on-the-go, while those who spend most of their time at home may be better off with in-home devices that focus on protection in the household and do not require regular charging.

Compare Different Companies

When beginning your search, you’ll find that there are dozens of medical alert companies for you to choose from. But, not all products and services are equal. It is important to find a quality company and avoid those that charge high fees for sub-par devices, or those that lack reliable customer service. This guide is a great place to start, but be sure to do further research to make sure a company offers devices and services that meet your needs before signing on with them. You’ll also want to ask yourself the following questions:

Is the company upfront about their pricing, fees, and policies?

Look for companies that are upfront and clear about their pricing and subscription plans, extra fees like shipping or activation, and return policies. Companies that provide this information in clear detail on their website or over an initial phone call generally are more honest and will be easier to work with. Those that do not provide this information upfront, do not provide detail, have confusing pricing structures, or make you feel like you are pulling teeth to get the information are most likely shady and will not provide you with quality services at a fair price.

Are you able to cancel your service at any time?

Be sure to look for a company with a clear and reasonable cancellation and return policy. You should be able to end your service at any time without facing extra charges- some companies even offer a prorated refund for any prepaid months. Many modern companies offer service without a long-term contract, so avoid getting roped into one and look for companies with more consumer-friendly policies. Other than return shipping, you should not have to pay any fees for canceling your service.

Look for Devices That are Comfortable and Convenient

In addition to finding an honest and reliable company, it is important to look for devices that are comfortable and convenient. Medical alert systems are essentially useless if the customer does not wear the device. To ensure that your loved one actually wears the device and gets the protection they need, look for devices that will not interfere with their daily activities or cause them discomfort.

Most home systems come with a lightweight pendant that you can either wear as a pendant around your neck or on a wristband. When purchasing a home system, you can generally expect for the wearable component to be comfortable and convenient. But if you are looking into a mobile system, you need to pay more attention to the specifics of the wearable device. While there are certainly small, comfortable options out there, other mobile devices are bulky and can be a nuisance to carry around. Look for a mobile device that can be worn on a belt clip or placed in a purse, and a small wearable component like those included with in-home systems.

Another aspect of convenience is battery life. In-home devices generally do not need to be charged, but mobile systems do. Battery life on these devices can vary from just one day to up to 30 days, so some require nightly charging. If you are concerned that you or your loved one will not remember to charge the device, look for a system with longer battery life or one with caregiver battery monitoring. This feature allows caregivers or family members of the user to check the battery life of their loved one’s device, and sends an alert to caregivers when the battery gets too low.

Think About Additional Features

Most companies offer optional, add-on features to their monitoring services. Some of the most helpful ones include lockboxes, automatic fall detection, caregiver tracking, and medication management tools. All of these additional features help make medical alert systems more well-rounded safety devices that can help seniors all the time, and not just during a critical emergency. The features you’ll need are dependent on you or your loved one’s specific needs. Read our above section “Who Should Consider a Medical Alert System” to learn more about which features can benefit you the most.

Choose a Payment Plan

Most companies offer customers several options for paying for their device: month-to-month payment, or a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual subscription. Oftentimes, the longer subscription plans offer a discount on monthly cost, as well as extra perks such as free shipping or free accessories.

The potential downside to choosing a subscription plan is the potential loss if you decide to cancel your service after prepaying for several months. Be sure to check the company’s cancellation policies to see if they offer a prorated refund for prepaid months after cancellation. And, if you plan on paying for several months or a year upfront, be sure to choose a trustworthy and reputable company.

Additional Resources

Medical Alert Systems Cost & Payment Assistance for Low-Income Seniors

Medical alert companies utilize different payment structures. Some charge an up-front fee to purchase the system, while others lease customers the actual equipment and only charge for monitoring services, with a rental fee built-in to that cost. How much you’ll pay depends on the company and its payment structure, the type of system you choose, as well as any extra features or services that come with an additional monthly fee. In-home systems tend to be less expensive and cost around $20-$30 a month, while mobile units are a bit pricier and usually range from $30-45 a month. Some systems can cost as much as $60 a month.

This may be out of reach for some low-income seniors, and private insurance and Medicare typically do not cover the cost of a medical alert system. However, there are some payment assistance options that you may be eligible for depending on your income, the state in which you reside, and your personal situation.

Free Systems for Veterans Through the VA

The VA has a program that provides veterans with a device that is very similar to a medical alert system, one of the numerous services designed to help elderly or disabled veterans maintain their independence.

Unlike most medical alert devices on the market, this system is not monitored by a professional emergency monitoring center. Rather, it connects with pre-programmed numbers, such as friends, family, or a caregiver. The main downside of this is that those contacts are not always at their phones or available to answer a call, so it is possible that a message could go hours without someone seeing it.

Still, if you cannot afford a medical alert system, this option is certainly better than nothing. Contact the VA at (844) 698-2311 or visit your local VA for more information about the program and how to apply.

Medicaid Assistance

Medicaid offers coverage of medical alert systems as Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS). PERS often qualifies as a service that seniors can use to retain their independence rather than move to a nursing home.

The amount of coverage, and if it is available at all, varies between different states. But, some assistance is available in most states, either through regular Medicaid or a waiver program.

Other State Assistance Programs

In addition to Medicaid assistance, most states offer some sort of non-Medicaid assistance to help seniors access and pay for medical services. The programs vary between different states, but most have some sort of assistance plan in place to help seniors access medical alert systems or find an alternative.

Insurance

Standard health insurance does not typically cover medical alert systems. But, long-term care insurance may cover the cost of a device. Long-term care insurance policies usually cover durable medical equipment and services or devices that help seniors retain independence rather than move to a residential care facility. Check your policy to see if you have coverage for durable medical equipment or other related services and costs.

Connect with Your Local Area Agency on Aging

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) are located throughout the country, and provide various services and assistance to seniors. The organization does not directly provide assistance with paying for medical alert systems, but your local AAA can direct you to available programs in your state or city. They can also help you determine which assistance programs you may qualify for.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Medical Alert Systems?

The best medical alert systems are reliable, durable, and affordable. The specific system that is best for you will depend on your personal needs, but you can read our above review of the best medical alert systems to learn about some top companies like MobileHelp, Bay Alarm Medical, and Medical Guardian.

What Do Medical Alert Systems Cost?

Medical alert systems typically cost approximately $20-$30 per month for an in-home system and $30-$45 a month for a mobile system. The cost will depend on the type of system, what features it has, the payment terms, and the company’s rates. It’s a good idea to compare costs prior to signing on with one company, because there can be quite a bit of variability in cost for similar systems from different companies.

Will Medicare Cover Medical Alert Systems?

Medicare typically does not cover medical alert systems. However, some Medicare Advantage plans may provide coverage for medical alert systems. Additionally, in many states Medicaid covers a portion or all of the cost of “Personal Emergency Response Services” (PERS), which include medical alert devices, for beneficiaries.

Who Should Get a Medical Alert System?

Older adults who live independently or in a community and want extra protection in the event of an emergency should get a medical alert system. Medical alert systems can be especially beneficial for seniors who live alone, have a history of falls, or live with a memory impairment or chronic condition that may require immediate medical attention. The devices make it extremely easy for users to get the help they need in an emergency.

Do I Need a Landline for a Medical Alert System?

No, you do not need a landline for a medical alert system. While certain in-home systems do require a landline to connect its in-home base to the emergency monitoring center, all medical alert companies offer alternatives, such as portable devices and in-home systems with cellular connection.