Best Medical Alert Systems in 2020

Medical alert systems are crucial safety devices that can potentially save your loved ones life. This fact makes finding the best medical alert system that more stressful. Thankfully, our experts have done all of the research for you, so you can now kick your feet up. See our expert curated list of the best medical alert systems in 2020 below.

Best Medical Alert Equipment

MobileHelp delivers ultra-fast response times and the highest-quality equipment we’ve reviewed. The affordable cellular and landline alert systems come in a variety of styles to fit almost every budget and lifestyle.
View Systems
  • Highest-rated equipment in the industry
  • Reliable 4G cellular connection
  • 17-second response times via Rapid Response
  • Low-cost alerts come in several styles
Learn More about MobileHelp

Most Affordable Medical Alert

Bay Alarm Medical serves up reliable peace of mind at refreshingly affordable prices. No up-front equipment fees, and no long-term contracts. Just high-quality, low-cost alert systems backed by customer service that truly cares.
View Systems
  • Affordable and transparent pricing
  • No equipment fees on all systems
  • Friendly and helpful customer service
  • Innovative technology like in-car monitoring
Learn More about Bay Alarm Medical

Medical alert systems are usually sold to seniors, but anyone can benefit from safety backup. Basically these are personal security systems: Each has a panic button, and some can notify someone automatically if you fall. Learn about the best medical alert systems in the USA based on price, range and other features.

Choose from medical alert systems for home-only or home and on-the-go.

These 10 companies, all described below, monitor trustworthy medical alert systems:

  • Medical Guardian
  • MobileHelp
  • Bay Alarm Medical
  • LifeStation
  • LifeFone
  • Philips LifeLine
  • GetSafe
  • Response Now
  • Medical Care Alert
  • Alert1

Tips Before You Compare Medical Alert Systems

1) Here you’ll see many similar-looking products… and some equipment is indeed identical except for branding. Pricing might also be equivalent. For example:

  • Bay Alarm Medical: $19.95/month base price + $10 for fall detection = $29.95
  • LifeFone: $24.95/month base price + $5 for fall detection = $29.95

2) But sometimes there are important differences. For example:

  • Some medical alert devices work further from the base station than others, so be sure to check range. With a home-only unit, the standard is about 1000 feet.
  • Another difference is the fee if you don’t have a landline. In general, the cheapest medical alert systems use a home phone connection to send alerts. Without a landline you need equipment with a cellular chip.

Prices and other factors to consider are in descriptions and the FAQ section below.

3) Some medical alert companies have unique products & services.

  • An example is the GetSafe smart home speaker, which lets you send medical alerts without a bracelet or necklace. Unlike other smart speakers, it calls for help when you say “Call 911.”
  • Another unique product is the Medical Guardian medical alert smartwatch with GPS and two-way voice.
  • Select companies can help with medication reminders, medication dispensing and other unique services.

Read on for the best medical alert systems in different categories. Our guide ends with more tips

Comparison of the Best Medical Alert Systems

System
Medical Guardian
MobileHelp
Bay Alarm Medical
LifeStation
LifeFone
Philips LifeLine
GetSafe
ResponseNow
Medical Care Alert
Alert1
Ranking2nd3rd4th5th6th7th8th9th10th
Ratings 9.5/109.0/108.6/108.6/108.5/108.1/107.9/107.6/107.4/10
Read Review MobileHelp ReviewBay Alarm Medical ReviewLifeStation ReviewLifeFone ReviewPhilips LifeLine ReviewGetSafe ReviewResponseNow ReviewMedical Care Alert ReviewAlert1 Review

A Detailed List of the Best Medical Alert Systems

  • 1. Medical Guardian - Best Medical Alert System Overall

    Get at-home or on-the-go emergency coverage with loads of options and the best companion app available.

    Editor's Rating
    9.8
    /10

    Medical Guardian is a leading provider of medical alert devices that work at home and anywhere with 4G cellular service. Not long after startup in 2004, the company became a perennial winner in comparisons of medical alert quality. What makes them a best medical alert company overall? Here are three impressive points:

    • Battery Power: Bracelets and pendants from Medical Guardian can serve for up to 120 hours before recharging is needed. That’s four times longer than the industry standard.
    • Range: Medical Guardian’s in-home systems have range up to 1300 feet. Most competitors are limited to 1000 feet at most.
    • Monitoring Center: Medical Guardian’s emergency call center is top-notch. Operators are TMA Five Diamond certified, for example, which means they’ve successfully completed meaningful training.
    What We Like
    • Mobile and at-home protection
    • GPS tracking available
    • Waterproof alert buttons 
    • Best-in-class companion app
    What We Dont Like
    • Newer to the medical alert market
    • Customer service could be improved
    • GPS function can be spotty
    • Relatively expensive monthly plans

    Plans & Prices

    Three Medical Guardian plans are for in-home alerts only. Another three use GPS tracking for coverage anywhere with AT&T mobile coverage. A lock box is included with each plan.

    In-Home Plans from Medical Guardian

    Plans for home use only are called Classic Guardian, Home Guardian and Family Guardian.

    • Classic Guardian uses a landline connection to provide a 1300-ft range of protection. Two-way voice is included, but fall detection isn’t available. The price is $29.95/month with short-term plans or $27.45/month if you choose an annual subscription.
    • Home Guardian doesn’t require a landline, and it has optional fall detection. The price is $34.95/month with short-term plans or $32.04/month if you choose an annual subscription.
    • Family Guardian provides service for two. It uses in-home sensors to notify caregivers if a person deviates from routine or calls for help. The rate is $79.95/month with short-term plans or $73.29/month with an annual subscription. Fall detection can be added for $10/month.

    GPS Plans from Medical Guardian

    On-the-go Medical Guardian alert systems are called Mobile Guardian, Active Guardian and Freedom Guardian.

    • Mobile Guardian is a portable GPS medical alert system for home or away. A lightweight base station travels with you, and it works within a 350-foot range. The price is $49.95 with short-term plans or $45.79/month with a one-year subscription. Fall detection can be added for $10/month.
    • Active Guardian is a portable system with enhanced location technology. It can pinpoint locations more precisely by combining GPS with Wi-Fi. The price is $39.95 short-term or $36.62 with a year agreement. Fall detection is another $10/month.
    • Freedom Guardian is a smartwatch for medical alert monitoring. It has two-way mobile communication built in. The price is $99 for the equipment, plus a monthly charge of $44.95 or (with a 12-month discount) $41.20 per month.

    The Medical Guardian website has “one month free” deals and other promotions.

    Learn more about Medical Guardian
  • 2. MobileHelp - Best Medical Alert Equipment

    A pioneer in cellular-alert systems, MobileHelp offers a range of high-quality equipment for seniors.

    Editor's Rating
    9.5
    /10

    MobileHelp has the lowest prices for traditional medical alert devices (bracelets and pendants) for home and/or on AT&T’s mobile network. They also offer smartwatch with GPS, panic button, two-way voice and other features. It wins the title for “best medical alert equipment” in terms of discretion and style.

    Also, MobileHelp equipment supports the most languages of the medical alert companies we review. Interpreters are available for Spanish, French, Mandarin and more than 200 other languages.

    Some base stations for MobileHelp have range up to 600 feet. Others work anywhere in the US with 4G cellular coverage. Take a base station to a neighborhood park, for example, and get help if you fall or press your medical alert button.

    MobileHelp has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for 2019. They also have a five-star rating based on about 100 customer reviews.

    What We Like
    • Affordable, budget-friendly alert systems
    • Ultra-fast response times, 17 second avg.
    • Cellular-based systems do not require landline
    • Customizable with accessories and upgrades
    What We Dont Like
    • Cellular connection (AT&T) doesn’t work in some areas
    • Sign-up process can be confusing over phone
    • Equipment replacement is pricey
    • Monitoring center not TMA (CSAA) Five Diamond Certified

    Plans & Pricing

    Six MobileHelp plans are available in the categories In-HomeOn the Go and Complete Protection. Each plan is good for six months or a year, and here we share the lowest prices. Fall detection can be added to any device except the MobileHelp smartwatch for $10/month.

    In-Home Plans from MobileHelp

    In-home systems are called MobileHelp Classic and MobileHelp Touch. MobileHelp Classic features a traditional-looking base station, and MobileHelp Touch features a tablet with full-color touchscreen.

    The Classic plan costs about $1.21/day ($443/year or about $37 per month). On sale the touchscreen plan costs about $1.64/day ($599/year or about $50 per month).

    On-the-Go Plans from MobileHelp

    On-the-go medical alert systems are called MobileHelp Solo and MobileHelp Smart. They work anywhere with AT&T 4G coverage.

    • MobileHelp Solo features a small lightweight base station with pendant. It costs about $1.08/day ($395/year or about $33 per month).
    • MobileHelp Smart is a smartwatch with black or white design. Besides supporting medical alerts on the go, it shows heart rate, the time, the temperature and a three-day weather forecast. This “senior smartwatch” costs about 96 cents/day ($350/year or about $29 per month).

    Complete Protection Plans

    MobileHelp Complete Protection systems are made for all-around convenience; they work at home and away.

    • Mobile Duo costs about $1.31/day ($479/year).
    • MobileHelp Duo costs about $1.21/day ($443/year).
    Learn more about MobileHelp
  • 3. Bay Alarm Medical - Most Affordable Medical Alert

    This family-owned medical alert provider delivers refreshingly affordable systems for all lifestyles.

    Editor's Rating
    9.0
    /10

    Bay Alarm is a family-owned home security company with more than 70 years of emergency monitoring experience. Their medical alert division wins ”best affordability” for providing high-quality systems starting at just $19.95 per month. Their average medical alert response time is just 12 seconds!

    The basic Bay Alarm Medical system works for up to 1000 feet from a base station. On-the-go systems work in cars and on the 4G network, and

    Each device supports 180 languages besides English. For comparison, most other medical alert companies in the US are English-only or just bilingual English/Spanish.

    Main upgrades available are fall detection, geofencing and the Bay Alarm caregiver app. With geofencing, caregivers are notified if the user leaves an area. With the caregiver app, caregivers can track a person’s location.

    What We Like
    • Established brand with 70+ years in business
    • Affordable systems start at $19.95/mo.
    • Simple setup and installation
    • No long-term contracts
    What We Dont Like
    • Fall detection can be unreliable
    • Outsources monitoring services 
    • Response times could be improved
    • Complaints about billing department

    Plans & Prices

    Bay Alarm Medical has four plans with month-by-month billing. Three are specifically for the home, car or outside. One plan combines all locations.

    In-Home Medical Alerts

    • Basic in-home protection costs $19.95/month. It includes a base station and a waterproof pendant.
    • The $29.95/month plan adds four wall buttons, which have five-year batteries.
    • The $39.95/month plan adds four wall buttons, fall detection and a lockbox.

    4G GPS Help Buttons

    For $29.95/month a rainproof medical alert button can help EMTs find you in case of an emergency. The Bay Alarm 4G button works on AT&T’s coast-to-coast 4G cellular network.

    In-Car Medical Alerts

    Bay Alarm Medical was first to offer in-car medical alert systems. These can connect with caregivers and Bay Alarm emergency operators.

    • $29.95/month: The basic plan provides in-car medical alerts and automatic crash detection.
    • $49.95/month: This upgrade adds a pendant with 4G GPS, so a person has protection even when away from the in-car base station.
    • $59.95/month: This upgrade adds a GPS pendant and a home base unit. The deal is the same as the 360° Protection plan below.

    360° Protection

    This top-tier Bay Alarm Medical alert system works at home, in cars and anywhere with 4G cell coverage. The average operator response time is just 12 seconds!

    360° Protection plans start at $59.95/month. Fall detection adds $10/month.

    Learn more about Bay Alarm Medical
  • 4. LifeStation - Best Medical Alert Promotions

    LifeStation serves up the best deals and steals on fast and reliable medical alert systems.

    Editor's Rating
    8.6
    /10

    LifeStation dates back to 1977. Today they monitor medical alert systems for at home and on-the-go. The in-home service has a 1000-foot range, and the average response time is just 20 seconds. LifeStation auto-tests each connected system once per week.

    Prices are competitive, especially with promotions included. Full-priced plans start at $25.95/month, but typically the cheapest plan is $19.95 at LifeStation’s website.

    A second adult can join for $3.99/month. Fall detection costs just $6.99/month.

    What We Like
    • In-house monitoring, TMA (CSAA) Five Diamond Certified 
    • Offers both In-home and cellular alert systems
    • Easy to use equipment
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    What We Dont Like
    • Website is confusing and needs improvement
    • No two-way voice on wearable devices
    • Slowly introduces new technology
    • Limited product offering

    Plans & Prices

    LifeStation lets people pay monthly, quarterly or yearly. The best promotions come with longer monitoring agreements. Choose from two LifeStation medical alert systems: the at-home pendant with speaker in the base station, and a pendant with GPS and two-way voice built in.

    At Home LifeStation Plans

    With an online promotion, the best LifeStation price for in-home alerts is $19.95/month. This assumes an annual agreement with landline connection.

    Full price for landline-based alerts depends on term length:

    • $25.95/month with an annual agreement
    • $27.95/month quarterly
    • $29.95/month with monthly payments

    Without a landline, a cellular base station is needed. Cellular plans start at $26.95/month.

    Starting prices for add-on features are:

    • Fall detection, $6.99
    • Lock box, $2.99
    • Wall button, $2.49
    • Button for a second user, $3.99

    Mobile with GPS LifeStation Plans

    LifeStation pendants for on-the-go can be used for up to five days before recharging is needed. Fall detection can be added for $6.99/month.

    • The base price is $35.95/month if you pay annually.
    • Quarterly the charge is $37.95/month.
    • Month-to-month LifeStation mobile service is $39.95/month.
    Learn more about LifeStation
  • 5. LifeFone - Best Medical Alert for Couples

    A go-to choice for couples, LifeFone offers comprehensive spouse coverage to keep aging lovebirds safe.

    Editor's Rating
    8.6
    /10

    LifeFone sells medical alert systems for use at home and away. Long range in the home (up to 1300 feet) and special add-on features help make LifeFone a favorite medical alert company. Options include daily activity checks, check-in phone calls and medication reminders.

    Couples can save money by sharing a subscription. Pricing starts at $24.95/month for yearly landline-based agreement, and $30.95/month for yearly service with a cell chip. Billing options are annual, quarterly and month-to-month.

    What We Like
    • Free spouse coverage
    • Fall detection only $5/mo. extra
    • Customer-friendly policies, no hidden costs
    • Offers tailor-made emergency plans 
    What We Dont Like
    • Add-ons and upgrades can get expensive
    • Monthly plans are relatively pricey
    • Cellular alert only works in AT&T coverage area
    • Response times could be improved

    Plans & Prices

    LifeFone has four medical alert systems: two for in-home only and two for on-the-go. Any plan can be enhanced with fall detection for $5/month.

    In-Home LifeFone Plans

    Equipment choice depends on whether you have a home landline. The basic landline-connected base system costs $24.95/month, and the basic cellular base system is $30.95/month. Both have sensitive speakers and range up to 1300 feet.

    A base station can monitor one or more wearable devices, letting couples save on equipment and a subscription. The wearables are waterproof wristbands and pendants. Each has a panic button, temperature sensor and optional fall detection technology.

    Equipped with backup batteries, LifeFone in-home alert systems can serve for 32 hours in power outages.

    On-the-Go LifeFone Plans

    Two LifeFone alert systems are portable. The premium system supports two-way voice communication.

    • The At Home & On-the-Go GPS plan has a base price of $36.95 per month. The system includes a pendant and a bracelet, each with GPS and a temperature sensor.
    • At Home & On-the-Go GPS, Voice in Necklace is the premium plan. It features a neck pendant with GPS, two-way communication and a temperature sensor. The base price is $39.95/month.
    Learn more about LifeFone
  • 6. Philips LifeLine - Best Medical Alert Technology

    For 40+ years, Philips has delivered feature-rich alert systems and priceless peace of mind.

    Editor's Rating
    8.5
    /10

    Philips LifeLine has been helping people live independently for more than 40 years. They have medical alert systems with two-way voice for at home and on the go, and the average response time is just 20 seconds. These systems are rated “pacemaker safe” although each patient should verify for their particular situation.

    The Philips LifeLine lineup also features an automated pill dispenser made to help people avoid medication errors. It can connect to the monitoring service for $59.95/month.

    In-home medical alert systems by Philips are best for smaller properties. The range is smaller than what other companies support. However, you can get nationwide coverage (anywhere with 4G cell service) if you choose a Philips Lifeline on-the-go alert system.

    Month-to-month prices range from $29.95 to $64.95. Philips LifeLine also charges an activation fee or device fee for each plan. Pricing is made clear on their website.

    What We Like
    • Some of the fastest response times in the industry
    • Established company, pioneer of alert systems
    • Innovative, all-in-one medical alert devices
    • No-contract, cancel anytime monitoring plans
    What We Dont Like
    • Installation and activation fee
    • Monthly cost is a touch pricey
    • Optional fall detection is expensive
    • Cellular monitoring is limited by one carrier

    Plans & Prices

    Philips LifeLine sells four medical alert systems for 2019. Two are for home use only, and two can use GPS for tracking on the 4G mobile network.

    In-Home Philips LifeLine Plans

    Choices are called Home Standard and HomeSafe with AutoAlert. Home Standard features a wristband or pendant with alert button. The base price is $25.95/month for a landline, or $41.95 for cellular, plus a $50 activation fee. HomeSafe with AutoAlert has the addition of fall detection. It costs $44.95/month for landline signalling and $56.95 for cellular, plus a $50 activation fee.

    On-the-Go Philips Medical Alerts

    Philips LifeLine mobile medical alert systems can be used at home or away. They’re called GoSafe and GoSafe 2. Both have fall detection. GoSafe 2 has two-way voice and enhanced location skills; it uses Wi-Fi signals as well as GPS to find the user.

    • GoSafe costs $54.95/month if you have a landline, or $64.95/month without, plus a $149 device fee.
    • GoSafe 2 costs $44.95/month plus a $99 device fee.
    Learn more about Philips LifeLine
  • 7. GetSafe - Easiest to Use Medical Alert Systems

    Don’t want to wear an alert? Mount it on your wall instead with GetSafe’s easy-to-use, voice-activated systems.

    Editor's Rating
    8.1
    /10

    GetSafe has specialized in personal safety since the 1980s. Their main product categories are home security systems and medical alert systems for home and away.

    A big appeal with in-home medical alert systems from GetSafe is that there’s no need to wear a bracelet or pendant, although they’re available. With a combination of wall-based alert buttons and voice-activated speakers, you can contact help from anywhere in the home.

    • The wall buttons from GetSafe are simple to self-install with adhesive tape. To call for help, you can press the button or pull an attached cord.
    • The speakers are high-fidelity; they can capture even a weakened voice from several yards away. Just say “Call 911” for help.

    One add-on option is a video camera for check-ins with caregivers.

    All GetSafe medical alert equipment is easy to activate. Simply turn on a device and push its alert button to test its emergency connection.

    GetSafe lets you pay month-to-month. However, with annual medical alert service you’ll get a free HD video camera with two-way talk. This wireless camera is convenient for check-ins with caregivers.

    What We Like
    • Reliable 4G LTE in-home cellular units
    • Mini-consoles with two-way communication
    • You don’t have to wear the medical alert system
    • Well-designed, modern devices
    What We Dont Like
    • No mobile units available
    • Up-front equipment fees
    • Setup and activation fees
    • Monthly plans are pricey

    Plans & Prices

    The best-advertised GetSafe medical alert systems are the “no wearable required” sets for home use. GetSafe also has a mobile medical alert button that works nationwide on AT&T’s 4G LTE network.

    In-Home GetSafe Medical Alert Systems

    The heart of a classic GetSafe medical alert system is the console. It can call for help without a wearable device, as it has an emergency button and a high-fidelity speaker system. If you like, the console can also work as a base unit for a wearable device (a bracelet or pendant) with fall detection. All GetSafe consoles are cellular; no landline is needed.

    Customers pay for equipment plus monthly monitoring. Equipment prices vary with home size, as larger homes need more speakers and wall buttons.

    You can pay month-to-month for monitoring, but a 12-month deal brings the lowest price per day. Starting prices are:

    • $24.95/month with a landline connection
    • $34.95/month with a cellular connection

    Optional GoSafe add-ons are:

    • A second wearable, $2/month
    • Fall detection for wearable, $10/month
    • Voice-activated speaker, $10/month
    • Monitored smoke detector, $10/month
    • Lockbox, $2/month
    • Vial of Life, $8.95/month

    A “Vial of Life” is a personal medical history made available to EMTs at dispatch time.

    On-the-Go Medical Alert Button

    For $39.95/month you can use GetSafe’s high-quality mobile button for medical alerts. With a connection to AT&T’s 4G cellular network, it can work at home and away.

    The GetSafe mobile medical alert button with GPS is small, sleek and rainproof. It features a panic button, two-way voice and fall detection. Optionally it can be used with the GetSafe caregiver app.

    Learn more about GetSafe
  • 8. ResponseNow - Best Battery Life

    Regain independence with Belle and Belle+ mobile medical alert systems from ResponseNow.

    Editor's Rating
    7.9
    /10

    ResponseNow has more than 30 years of experience with medical alert monitoring. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and are among the top companies with the longest battery life for UL-listed products:

    • The home medical alert pendant works up to 30 days per battery charge.
    • On-the-go pendants work up to five days (120 hours) per charge.

    Pendants from ResponseNow are easy to set up; they connect as soon as you turn on the power! If you press the alert button, the typical operator response time is 30 to 60 seconds.

    What We Like
    • No long-term contracts
    • Customer-focused company
    • Generous price-lock guarantee
    • Long battery life on cellular systems
    What We Dont Like
    • Activation fee for cellular alerts
    • Shipping fees on month-to-month plans
    • Does not offer multi-language support
    • No mobile companion app

    Plans & Prices

    Home Only

    In the Home is the cheapest medical alert plan from ResponseNow. It requires a landline. In the Home combines a base station and waterproof bracelet or neck pendant. An annual plan costs $24.95/month. The fee includes equipment, monitoring and a lock box – and you can include another adult for free!

    Each user gets a waterproof wristband or pendant. Fall detection adds $11.95 to the monthly rate.

    For Home & Away

    Belle and Belle+ are ResponseNow medical alert systems for at home and on-the-go. Both are high-quality and have long battery life. Comparing the two:

    • Both systems provide showerproof pendants with two-way voice.
    • Belle+ has the upgrades of fall detection and GPS tracking.

    Pricing for Belle starts at $34.95/month. For Belle+, $44.95/month. Lock boxes can be added for $3.95/month each.

    Learn more about ResponseNow
  • 9. Medical Care Alert - Best Risk Free Trial

    Don’t love it? Return it! That’s the promise of Medical Care Alert and their risk-free trial.

    Editor's Rating
    7.6
    /10

    Medical Care Alert monitors hospital-grade medical alert systems in the categories Home, Home/Yard, and Home/Away. All equipment is manufactured by Bosch and supports crisp two-way voice communication. The clarity and volume are especially important for users who have trouble hearing with typical cell phones.

    What We Like
    • Family-owned company with solid ethics
    • A reputation for superb customer service
    • No equipment fee, no setup fee
    • Fairly accurate fall detection feature
    What We Dont Like
    • Alert systems can be pricey
    • Relatively limited device options
    • Does not include companion app
    • Agents only speak English and Spanish

    Plans & Prices

    A lock box is included with prices for each system. Rates from Medical Care Alert are set for life.

    Home

    The Home Medical Alert System works up to 1000 feet from the base unit. The ultra-sensitive speaker can be effective throughout a whole home. It pairs with a water-resistant pendant.

    • Landline and cellular plans start at $27.45/month ($329.40 per year).
    • Quarterly or semi-annually the price works out to $29.95/month.

    Fall detection costs another $10/month.

    Home & Yard

    The Home and Yard Medical Alert System works up to 600 feet from the base unit. It consists of a small base and a water-resistant device that looks like a tiny walkie talkie.

    • This system’s starting price is $32.04/month ($384.48 per year).
    • Quarterly or semi-annually the price works out to $34.95/month.

    Home & Away

    The Home & Away Medical Alert System has virtually unlimited range. It uses GPS to handle medical alerts on AT&T’s 4G cellular network. Furthermore it works with Wi-Fi to help pinpoint your location.

    This device consists of a small charging port and a water resistant pendant. It can connect with a caregiver app to let loved ones know a person’s location.

    • This system’s starting price is $36.62/month ($439.40 per year).
    • Quarterly or semi-annually the price works out to $39.95/month.

    Fall detection costs another $10/month.

    Learn more about Medical Care Alert
  • 10. Alert1 - Best Cellular Medical Alert

    Enjoy at-home or on-the-go protection from a lineup of Alert1 cellular systems.

    Editor's Rating
    7.4
    /10

    Alert1 has an A+ rating from the BBB for 2019. They sell monitored medical alert systems for home, away and complete protection. No landline is needed; all systems use cellular chips. Another perk is that Alert1 devices are advertised as pacemaker-safe. Of course, check with your doctor to confirm!

    Most Alert1 wearables include fall detection. All on-the-go wearables have two-way voice. Two people (same household) can save by subscribing to the same monitoring plan.

    Pros

    • Low prices
    • Fall detection
    • Two-way voice
    • Advanced geolocation
    • Discounts for couples

    Plans & Prices

    Alert1 gives a choice of five medical alert systems. Two are for home only, two are for on-the-go, and one is all-purpose. Payment plans are quarterly, semi-annual and annual. An annual agreement includes one month of free service.

    In-Home Alert1 Plans

    The most popular Alert1 system is called Home Fall Detection. No landline is needed; a cellular chip provides a 400-foot range. The base station has two-way voice. The pendant is showerproof and has fall detection.

    • The lowest rate is $30.95/month with an annual plan.
    • If you pay for half a year at once, it works out to $33.95/month.
    • If you pay quarterly, the cost is $36.95/month.
    • A second user can be added for $10/month.

    A cheaper option is called Home. It needs a landline, and this medical alert system doesn’t have fall detection. The basic system has a 600-ft range and two-way voice. The pendant is showerproof and pacemaker-safe.

    • The lowest rate is $19.95/month with an annual plan.
    • If you pay for just six months at once, it works out to $22.95/month.
    • If you pay quarterly, the cost is $25.95/month.
    • A second user can be added for $10/month.

    On-the-Go Alert1 Plans

    Alert1 on-the-go systems are available with and without fall detection. Both feature two-way voice with typical cell phone volume and clarity.

    Premium: The higher-end plan is called Kelsi Pro On-the-Go Fall Detection. The neck pendant supports two-way voice and is showerproof. It can use Wi-Fi, GPS and cellular coverage to pinpoint your location if you fall or press the alert button.

    • The lowest price for one person, $41.95/month comes with an annual plan.
    • With six months the charge is $44.95/month, and quarterly it’s $47.95/month.
    • A second person can be added for $10/month.

    Most Affordable: A cheaper on-the-go medical alert system from Alert 1 is called Kelsi On-the-Go. It has two-way voice and only needs to be charged monthly. This device is showerproof and helps EMTs pinpoint your location with Wi-Fi, GPS and cellular towers.

    • The lowest price for one person, $30.95/month comes with an annual plan.
    • With six months the charge is $33.95/month, and quarterly it’s $36.95/month.
    • A second person can be added for $20/month.

    All-In-One Alert1 Systems

    Combining protection at home and away is the job of Alert1’s system PAX Plus On-the-Go + Home Fall Detection. No landline is needed. The package includes a mobile fall detection pendant, a home fall detection pendant and a home wristband. The devices are showerproof and pacemaker-compatible.

    For one person, the best price is $52.95/month with an annual plan.

    With six months the charge is $55.95/month, and quarterly it’s $58.95/month.

    A second person can be added for $30/month.

    Learn more about Alert1

Medical Alert Systems Reviews

Which medical alert company is best for what? Here’s a quick review.

  • Medical Guardian – Among the best medical alert systems overall in terms of battery life (30 days in-home; five days away) and in-home range (1300 feet)
  • MobileHelp – Low prices for traditional medical alert equipment, plus they have a smartwatch and have interpreters available for 240 languages
  • Bay Alarm Medical – The most affordable medical alert company (starts at $19.95/month) with a super-fast average response time for emergency calls
  • LifeStation – Features some of the best medical alert promotions, including a $19.95 monthly rate, an extra button for just $3.99 per month, and more
  • LifeFone – Long in-home range (up to 1300 feet) plus special services such as daily activity checks and medication reminders
  • Philips LifeLine – Fast response time (20 seconds on average), an automated medication dispenser, and enhanced geolocation
  • GetSafe – Easy-to-use home medical alert systems that don’t require bracelets or pendants; also a mobile button with GPS
  • Response Now – Features long battery life (30 days in-home; five days away) and showerproof devices with two-way voice
  • Medical Care Alert – Hospital-grade medical alert systems for use at home and on-the-go; highly sensitive speakers in case of weak voice
  • Alert1 – Pacemaker-safe medical alert systems for home, away and on-the-go with enhanced geolocation

Medical Alert FAQ

Learn more about medical alert systems with our answers to frequently asked questions.

What is the cheapest rate for medical alert monitoring?

Some of the best medical alert companies have $19.95/month base plans. These are generally for in-home use only, and they require a landline. Fall detection (a very popular feature) typically costs another $5 to $10.

You might need to choose a yearly plan to get a company’s lowest advertised price. Charges are higher if you pay month-to-month, quarterly or semi-annually.

Will my health insurance company pay for a medical alert system?

Maybe. Ask your health insurance company about their policy for personal emergency response systems.

Some health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) pay for medical alert monitoring and equipment too. Long-term care insurance might also cover expenses.

Medicare or Medicaid might help cover fees for monthly monitoring. For instance, the cost might be covered under the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid provision for receiving services in-home instead of in an institution. Another Medicaid program to check out is called Money Follows the Person (MFP). It’s meant to help people live more independently after time in an assisted living center or retirement home.

How far is the range for a medical alert device?

It depends partly on whether you choose a home-only system, a portable system (e.g., for the car) or “go anywhere” equipment.

Many home-only medical alert systems have 1000-ft ranges. Some have ranges as short as 200 feet, and others top out at 1300 feet. LifeFone and Mobile Guardian are among the best companies providing a 1300-ft range.

An on-the-go or combined medical alert plan (service for home and away) can give you virtually unlimited range with GPS tracking.

Some companies offer enhanced geolocation. They combine GPS with Wi-Fi and cellular technologies.

What hidden fees might be added with medical alert systems?

The medical alert companies profiled above have straightforward pricing. If you look for info before you buy, you’ll find it easily on the sales site.

However, one policy that usually isn’t front-page involves returns. It’s best to choose a company that lets you try a system for at least 14 days, then return it for any reason without a “restocking fee” or other charge.

Before choosing a medical alert company, also check whether they have activation fees and equipment fees.

What if I accidentally press a medical alert button?

New users tend to ask about accidentally pushing a medical alert button. You would need to hold the button down for a full second or two for activation, so this isn’t a common issue.

The best companies don’t charge for false alarms and won’t make you feel silly about cancelling an alert. They might even check in weekly to ensure that the system is working efficiently.

What are temperature sensors on medical alert devices?

Some medical alert systems monitor environmental temperature. They can alert an emergency operator (and/or a caregiver) that a person may be in extreme heat or cold. Temperature can be monitored from the base station and with bracelets or pendants.

What is cellular service for mobile alerts?

The default communication for in-home medical alert systems is a landline. A cellular chip can extend the range. The chip is inside the medical alert equipment, so it can send alerts without need for a landline.

Cellular service could simply extend range within a home, or it could provide coverage nationwide. Medical alert systems in this article use the AT&T 4G LTE network.

How long does it take for someone to respond to medical alerts?

The fastest average response time reported by medical alert companies is about 12 seconds (see Bay Alarm Medical). Many companies report averages of 20 seconds. Others take longer, maybe up to a minute or longer.

What is fall detection?

Fall detection is artificial intelligence that senses when you have fallen. In case you can’t press your panic button, it notifies an operator automatically. Fall detection is included in some medical alert base plans but is often an add-on feature for $5 to $10/month.

As of 2019, fall detection only works with neck pendants, not bracelets or smartwatches.

A fall detection alert isn’t sent right away; a device might need 10 seconds or more to make computations. If it were more sensitive, a user might accidentally call for help rather often.

What is two-way voice for medical alert systems?

Two-way voice lets a person talk with an emergency operator. On the best medical alert systems, the clarity and volume are like that of cell phones.

In-home alert systems usually have base station speakers. Some speakers can only capture audio within a small radius, and others work for large areas. GetSafe sells affordable smart speakers especially for 911 that you can set up around your home.

Two-way voice is also available on medical alert bracelets, pendants and smartwatches.

Is medical alert equipment waterproof?

The best bracelets and pendants are waterproof or water resistant. That’s important partly because many accidents at home involve people slipping in the shower or tub.

  • Waterproof medical alert devices can safely enter hot tubs, swimming pools, soapy dishwater and so forth. They usually have an IPX (ingress protection) rating of 7, which means they can be submerged for up to 30 minutes in water up to three feet deep.
  • Water resistant devices can be sprinkled with rainwater or showerwater, but they shouldn’t be submerged. They have IPX ratings of 5 or 6.

How often does a medical alert pendant need to be charged?

It depends on the battery and the user’s activity. A device meant just for home use can stay charged for up to a month. A device with location tracking will tend to drain its battery more quickly; some on-the-go alert systems need to be charged a few times per week. Alert1, Medical Guardian and ResponseNow provide systems with the longest battery lives. You can use their pendants with GPS for up to five days per charge.

What should I know about backup batteries for medical alert systems?

Backup batteries are for base systems. They keep a connection to emergency operators in case of a power outage. The best medical alert systems have backup power for at least 24 hours. GetSafe base stations are among those with longer backup (32 hours).

If I have a pacemaker, is it safe to wear a medical alert device?

Yes, in general. A high-quality medical alert device won’t interfere with a pacemaker. Two companies that advertise pacemaker-safe pendants are Alert1 and Philips LifeLine. As Philips explains, to verify you should contact the pacemaker manufacturer and ask whether the pacemaker is susceptible to the RF (radio frequency) emissions associated with the medical alert device. For instance, the Philips LifeLine AutoAlert Help Button emits an RF of312MHz, according to the company website.

How do I know that a medical alert pendant is ready to work?

Typically a light indicates status. Also, the best medical alert companies test their systems regularly. For instance, LifeStation auto-tests each connected device once per week.

The battery in a pendant or bracelet will typically serve for three to five years. The best medical alert companies will detect when a battery is getting low, and they’ll automatically mail a new battery for free.

What is a lock box for medical alerts?

A lock box stores a copy of your house key. If emergency responders are sent to your house, en route they’ll receive a code to unlock the box. This lets them enter your home normally rather than break a window or door.

What is a Vial of Life?

A Vial of Life is a one-page sheet of personal medical history with info such as birthdate, allergies and current medications. Many medical alert companies can access the Vial of Life to share information with emergency responders.

How is a medical alert system better than a cell phone for 911?

Medical alert systems have several advantages over cell phones.

  1. You don’t wear a mobile phone. Even if it’s in your pocket or bag, it’s more difficult to access compared with a medical alert bracelet or neck pendant.
  2. People aren’t always able to call 911 efficiently in emergencies, especially if injured or panicked.
  3. Medical alert devices can share critical information more quickly: They provide your name and can give your home address. Cell phones do not show a name, and the location isn’t as precise.
  4. Sometimes 911 calls aren’t handled locally; dispatchers route calls to another party. The best medical alert companies determine in advance which EMT services will dispatch to your address. This can save precious time in an emergency.