Original Medicare, which consists of Parts A and B, usually doesn’t cover the cost of medical alert systems. Seniors who opt for Medicare Advantage instead of Original Medicare may find that medical alert systems are covered by their plan; however, this isn’t guaranteed.
What Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare Part A covers inpatient care in hospitals or nursing facilities, hospice care and limited home health care. Medicare Part B covers medically necessary services, such as doctor visits, tests, screenings, emergency medical treatment and some durable medical supplies, but not medical alert systems.
When Could Medicare Cover a Medical Alert System?
Medicare Advantage plans must include the same level of coverage as Original Medicare Part A and Part B, with the exception of hospice care. In addition to that basic level of coverage, Medicare Advantage usually offers additional benefits, which may include the provision of medical alert systems, or personal emergency response systems, for seniors diagnosed as needing the additional level of care and monitoring a system would provide.
Long-term care insurance may cover the cost of a medical alert system, since these devices are a form of durable medical equipment. Seniors diagnosed as needing an additional level of care or assistance with the activities of daily living, and who can claim devices or improvements to allow them to age in place, may find their insurance company considers a medical alert system an allowable expense.
How Could a Senior Receive Help With the Cost of Medical Alert Systems?
Seniors who aren’t enrolled on a Medicare Advantage plan may be able to find other ways of reducing the cost of a medical alert system. Some options include:
- Health Savings Accounts (HSAs): If a close family member has an HSA-approved, high-deductible health insurance plan then they can open a health savings account. Once the account is opened, any member of the family can make use of it.
- Flexible Spending Accounts: Older adults who are employed can use a Flexible Spending Account to save for medical expenses. Some plans include medical alert systems as an allowable expense.
- Senior discounts: Members of popular senior organizations may qualify for discounts on the cost of a medical alert system. Bay Alarm Medical, for example, offers discounts to USAA and AARP members.
- Veteran discounts: Many manufacturers offer discounts to veterans. In addition, Live Life Alarms (DEV NOTE: Insert Link to Live Life Alarms Review Page Here) offers free mobile medical alert systems with automatic fall detection to eligible veterans.
Seniors may need to shop around to find the best deal on medical alert systems. There are many choices on the market, so whatever a household’s needs and budget it should be possible to find a system that offers peace of mind.