Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (2023)

Nonfatal falls cost Medicarenearly $30 billionper year and Medicaid spends about $9 billion. These numbers cover direct costs, such as hospital bills or rehabilitation therapy, but do not take into account costs related to long-term complications. The elderly usually bear these expenses, which is difficult for beneficiaries of fixed income pension funds or social security contributions. About133,000 seniorsdeclare bankruptcy in the United States every year, in part due to high medical expenses.

Seniors Can Prevent Some Fall-Related Injuries — And The Costs That Come With Themmedical alarm systems. Unfortunately, these handy devices are rarely covered by insurance. We recognize that it can be difficult to navigate the benefits offered by different insurers, so we've compiled some important information below for seniors looking to get coverage for their medical alert systems.

Do you need a medical alarm system?

If you are not eligible for reimbursement from your insurance company, you may be wondering if you really need a medical alert system. Medical alert systems provide 24/7 surveillance for active seniors, giving you the freedom to age at home - even when caregivers aren't available. If you need help, press the button and request emergency assistance. Many systems are equipped with automatic fall detection, so you can get help even if you are unconscious or unable to press the call button.

Medical alert systems help prevent complications from unexpected falls. When you're in pain, every second counts, whether you're having a heart attack or struggling to move a dislocated hip. In addition, more modern devices likeMedical alert smartwatchesoffer additional benefits beyond emergency monitoring, including voice-to-text messaging, step tracking, a thin and light design, and much more. Purchasing one of these medical alert systems can help ensure you get the help you need in an emergency, and it gives you some everyday benefits that can help you stay healthy and connected.

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Does Medicare cover physician alert schemes?

About64 million seniorsreceive coverage through Medicare, a government health insurance program for senior or disabled citizens. This national insurance program covers essential expenses such as prescription drugs and hospitalization, but currently generally does not provide coverage for medical alert schemes. Seniors pay a monthly premium for Medicare Part B and Medicare Part C, and some Medicare beneficiaries are also responsible for paying for Part A coverage.

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A covers eligible hospital and assisted living expenses. The elderly receive support for hospitalization, surgery, nursing services and palliative care. Medicare Part A beneficiaries may also be reimbursed for home health services such as

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers medically necessary expenses, including X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, prescription drugs, and visits to GPs and specialists. Some seniors are eligible for medical device reimbursement, but this usually does not include any of the medical alert systems.

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C is also known as Medicare Advantage. This is more of a supplemental health plan than a standalone Medicare plan, so you can only get it if you're already insured. Of all the Medicare plans available, Medicare Part C generally offers the most coverage for medical alert systems.

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There is no guarantee that seniors will receive coverage for a Medicare Part C Alert Scheme, but they may qualify if they can show that it is medically necessary. You can work to verify the need for a medical alert system by obtaining referrals from doctors or showing that you have a condition such as dementia or post-concussion syndrome that could benefit from using a device.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D focuses on reimbursement for prescription drugs. You may not use it for medical alert systems or other medical devices.

Does Medicaid cover medical alert systems?

Low-income seniors may qualify for Medicaid and Medicare coverage. Medicaid plans generally do not cover medical alert systems, but you can apply for assistance from a Medicaid waiver through the Home and Community Based Services program or the Personal Care Attendant program. Participation varies by state, so different exemptions may be available in your area.

Medicaid beneficiaries can also contact their insurance program or local welfare agency for information about Money Follows the Person. This program is offered in most states and covers necessary medical equipment. The program is designed to help seniors transition from nursing homes to their own homes so they can grow old there. It goes by several names, including Kentucky's Transition Program, Colorado's Access to Transitions and Community Service (CO-ACTS), and My Place Louisiana.

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Before qualifying for a Money Follows the Person program, a senior must have resided in a nursing home for at least 90 days and be actively enrolled in Medicaid. Once these qualifications are met, potentially eligible seniors must undergo an assessment to determine what services or services are available.home modificationsYou must age safely at home. The agency may determine that an older adult needs a wheelchair ramp, adaptive lighting, or other significant safety modifications. Seniors can also receive a service animal refund.

Can seniors get financial assistance for medical alert systems?

Contact your local aging agency for assistance in locating an aging center in your area. Senior centers offer free or discounted meals and socializing opportunities, but some of them also offer grants and stipends for medical needs.

You may also find support options by contacting your state's Department of Mental Health. This agency connects disabled adults with resources for personal care and general living expenses, as well as expenses related to health-related needs.

A Veterans Affairs Bureau is an option for seniors who have served in the military or are married to a spouse who has. Dial 2-1-1 on your phone for help locating the above agencies, as well as other potential financial aid options.

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Contact providers of medical alert systems

Several providers of medical alert systems, including MobileHelp and Medical Guardian, offer discounts to new subscribers after committing to a subscription. Monthly charges are not free for these subscriptions, but you may qualify for a free device. Call a few different medical alert system providers and ask what options they have for budget-conscious seniors. You may find that the monthly cost of the service is lower than you expected, even after accounting for shipping or activation fees.

Watch out for companies that require a long-term subscription if you're on a tight budget. Life Alert is a reputable company known for its superior customer service and prompt medical attention, but it does require a 3 year commitment. This isn't ideal for seniors who struggle with the monthly subscription cost; therefore, consider a plan with a monthly or quarterly option. You can also look for a company that offers a free trial or a no-call cancellation period.

Overview of the most recommended medical alert systems

Best for customer service

Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (1)

Bay Alarm Medical

  • Starting at US$19.95
  • Mobile GPS and smartwatch options at home
  • Free shipping + free month on select plans
View Packages → Read our review →

Best for those without a landline

Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (2)

mobile help

  • Starting at US$19.95
  • free locker
  • No landline phone required
View Packages → Read our review →

Best for premium features

Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (3)

Medical Guardian

  • Starting at US$29.95
  • free shipping and closet
  • special offer: 1 month free
View Packages → Read our review →

Best for low startup costs

Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (4)

medical alert

  • From US$ 18.28
  • Range of up to 800 feet
  • Entry fee as low as $0
View Packages → Read our review →

Best standalone mobile app

Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (5)


  • Starting at US$20.79
  • Range of up to 1,300 feet
  • Entry fee as low as $0
View Packages → Read our review →

best speakerphone

Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (6)


  • Starting at US$24.95
  • range of 1,000 feet
  • Monthly drop detection for just $10/month
View Packages → Read our review →

Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (7)


  • Starting at US$29.95
  • Range of up to 1,000 feet
  • Monthly drop detection for just $10/month
View Packages → Read our review →

Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (8)


  • Starts at $25
  • Range of up to 1,000 feet
  • No upfront fees
View Packages → Read our review →

Are medical alert systems covered by insurance in 2022? - (9)

rescue ring

  • Starting at US$99
  • Monthly drop detection at no additional cost
  • Exclusive two-way communication
View Packages → Read our review →


What Life Alert system is covered by Medicare? ›

Medicare does not cover medical alert systems like Life Alert; however, if a device is prescribed as medically necessary by your doctor, you may receive a discount or coverage.

Does Medicare pay for a medical alert device? ›

Although Medicare does not cover medical alert systems, other options exist to help pay for these devices. Some ways to make these systems more affordable for older adults include: AARP: The Association of Retired Persons (AARP) gives members special discounts on specific medical alert systems.

Does AARP recommend a medical alert system? ›

AARP doesn't officially recommend a specific medical alert system, but AARP members can receive a discount on Lifeline medical alert services and invisaWear safety devices.

What is the cheapest medical alert system for seniors? ›

Table 1 Medical alert systems cost comparison, as of May 2023
CompanyRequired fees Starting monthly feeOther fees Installation/ activation
Aloe Care Health$29.99 (at home) $29.99 (on the go)$0
Bay Alarm Medical$24.95 (at home) $29.95-$37.95 (on the go)$0
GetSafe$29.95 (at home)$0
HandsFree Health$29.95 (on the go)$0
8 more rows

How much is the monthly fee for Life Alert? ›

Life Alert's rates are expensive, ranging from $49.95 to $89.95 per month. This is about $30 to $40 more per month than the industry standard. However, Life Alert offers impressive monitoring services and some of the fastest response times in the industry.

Does Medicare Part A or B cover Life Alert? ›

Medicare Parts A and B, which are administered by the federal government, do not cover Life Alert or any other type of medical alert system. However, Medicare Advantage plans are administered by private insurance companies, and many of these plans provide coverage for wearable alert devices similar to Life Alert.

Which is better Life Alert or medical alert? ›

Life Alert vs Medical Guardian: Key Takeaways

Both companies offer 24/7 monitoring and both at-home and on-the-go devices. Our Reviews Team recommends Medical Guardian over Life Alert based on Medical Guardian's lower prices and Life Alert's lengthy contracts.

Are medical alert systems worth it? ›

Yes, medical alert systems are worth it. Being able to quickly access help when you need it is crucial for a quick recovery. Many systems offer advanced features, like fall detection, activity sensors, and location tracking, whether you're at home or on the go.

Are medical alert systems deductible? ›

Medical alert systems are not specifically listed as tax deductible by the IRS, but they can be treated as such in certain circumstances, for example, if a physician has recommended the use of a system.

What are the best reviews medical alert systems? ›

A quick look at the best medical alert systems in 2023
  • Best Premium Features: Medical Guardian.
  • Best for the Price: Bay Alarm Medical.
  • Best All-Around System: MobileHelp.
  • Best Customer-Friendly Policies: LifeFone.
  • Best for No Extra Fees: ADT Health.
  • Best At-Home Medical Alert System: GetSafe.

Do you need a cell phone for medical alert systems? ›

No dedicated phone line required.

Wireless systems do not require a landline. This device uses the cellular network to connect you with the 24/7 urgent response center should an emergency arise at the push of a button.

Can Apple Watch be used as a medical alert? ›

With GPS (technology that uses satellites to pinpoint your location) and an emergency button, all Apple watches can be used as a medical alert device, but certain models offer extra features in addition to the ones listed above.

How much does the Lifeline medical Alert system cost? ›

FAQs. How much does Lifeline cost per month? Depending on the package you choose, Lifeline can cost anywhere from $29.95 per month to $58.95 per month.

How do you get a medical alert necklace? ›

How To Get a Medical Alert Bracelet For Free
  1. Contact a Local Hospital.
  2. Call Your Insurance Provider.
  3. Check Medicare or Medicaid Benefits.
  4. Look for a Foundation or Assistance Agency to Help.
  5. Sign Up for a Monitoring System.

Why does Life Alert never needs charging? ›

Why does Life Alert never need charging? Life Alert's pendants and wall buttons use batteries that last up to 10 years. Life Alert sends replacements after 10 years.

Does Life Alert have fall detection? ›

Lifeline developed AutoAlert fall detection technology for its Lifeline medical alert system. Its high accuracy earned it our Reviews Team's designation of “Most Accurate.” Fall detection is included in the HomeSafe AutoAlert and On the Go systems with no extra fee.

How do I get out of my Life Alert contract? ›

Essentially, you may exit your Life Alert contract, ceasing monthly payments, if you either pass away or transition to around-the-clock care. I must note, however, that a skilled nursing facility would not necessarily include assisted living.

Which type of care is not covered by Medicare Part B? ›

Generally, most vision, dental and hearing services are not covered by Medicare Parts A and B. Other services not covered by Medicare Parts A and B include: Routine foot care. Cosmetic surgery.

Will Medicare pay for a smartwatch? ›

Medicare does not typically cover the cost of smartwatches or other wearable technology devices, as they are considered to be for general health and fitness purposes rather than medically necessary. However, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits that include coverage for certain wearable devices.

Is Medicare Part B issued by insurance companies? ›

Part B premiums with Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies, and they must have at least the same coverage as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

What are the disadvantages of Life Alert? ›

Life Alert Review 2023: Drawbacks to Consider Before Buying. Life Alert requires a three-year contract, doesn't offer fall detection, and charges high monthly fees.

Should I get Life Alert if I live alone? ›

Not all older people need a medical alert system, but having one in place, especially if you live alone, can bring peace of mind in case anything was to happen in the middle of the night when you couldn't reach the phone.

Can Life Alert call family instead 911? ›

If you just need a friend or family member to stop by, the monitoring center will call them on your behalf. If you need immediate attention, the center will call 911 and dispatch emergency responders.

Does Medicare pay for smart watches? ›

Medicare does not typically cover the cost of smartwatches or other wearable technology devices, as they are considered to be for general health and fitness purposes rather than medically necessary. However, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer additional benefits that include coverage for certain wearable devices.

What's the difference between Life Alert and lifeline? ›

The devices are both durable and reliable, as well as drop-proof and waterproof. While Life Alert, which is easy to use, is best for seniors who aren't used to cellular technology, Philips Lifeline is best suited for users who speak languages other than English and those who have a complex medication schedule.

What is the difference between Life Alert and medical alert? ›

Life Alert offers an at-home medical alert system that can be bundled with on-the-go GPS monitoring. The system can be connected to your own landline or to Life Alert's cellular network. Unlike Medical Alert, Life Alert does not offer automatic fall detection.


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