Medical alert systems provide an invaluable service, and seniors can expect to pay a premium for a product offering round-the-clock monitoring. Most medical alert systems cost between $19 and $50 per month, and there may be one-off activation fees or installation fees to consider. Shopping around and comparing providers helps seniors find the best medical alert systems within their budget.
How Much Does a Medical Alert System Cost?
Fees for medical alert systems vary. Most of the major providers offer a basic in-home system for around $19 a month. This system relies on a landline for connectivity, and users are provided with a help button they can wear as a pendant or attach to a belt buckle. The base station has a range of between 500 and 1500 feet, depending on the brand.
More sophisticated medical alert systems may cost up to $50 per month for a system that includes at-home and on-the-go features with cellular connectivity and built-in GPS.
Be Aware of Extra Fees and Expenses
In addition to monthly fees, some companies charge an up-front fee for the device. This may be called an activation fee or an installation fee. Extra features, such as automatic fall detection, caregiver monitoring, monitored smoke alarms or other devices, may increase the monthly fee.
It’s important seniors read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure they’re comparing like-for-like when considering different providers.
Is It Possible to Buy Medical Alert Systems Outright?
Most medical alert system providers offer a choice of monthly, quarterly and annual billing, with discounts for those who sign up for longer contracts. Some, such as Alert1, offer a three-year contract that includes six months of monitoring free of charge.
MobileHelp offers the option of purchasing a device for a higher up-front fee and taking advantage of two years of monitoring at no extra cost. Rescue Alert also has the option of purchasing its in-home monitoring system for a one-time fee.
Are There Medical Alert Systems With No Long-Term Contracts?
Month-to-month billing is available with several manufacturers, including GreatCall Lively and Rescue Alert. However, it’s common for medical alert system manufacturers to offer discounts for those who agree to a longer contract. Some providers require users to sign up for a minimum term and may require a termination fee or a restocking fee if a user wishes to cancel before the contract term is up.