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Best Medical Alert Systems

Find a Medical Alert System partner near you.

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If you worry that emergency services might not be reachable when you or someone you love is in danger, a medical alert system may be right for you. These devices help their users stay independent and out of long-term care facilities by making assistance available at the touch of a button, and fall detection technology means help can be on its way even when users can’t call for aid.

To select our top picks for medical alert systems, we compared highly rated companies in terms of equipment features, recent reviews and pricing.

Read our full methodology for more on how we picked the best or keep reading to learn how to choose a system.

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Medical Guardian logoMedical GuardianBay Alarm Medical logoBay Alarm MedicalADT Medical Alert logoADT Medical AlertMedical Alert logoMedical AlertLifeline logoLifeline
# of reviews1,0263,5343901,6805,135
Our pick for Customer service Sleek designs Professional monitoring A simple mobile system Fall detection
Upfront cost* $0 to $199.95 $0 to $159 $0 $79 $50 to $99.95
Monthly fee* $29.95 to $39.95 $24.95 to $39.95 $29.99 to $39.99 $19.95 to $47.95 $29.95 to $58.95
Fall detection $10 per month $10 per month $11 per month $10 per month Included in some plans
Trial period None 30 days None 30 days 30 days
Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews Read Reviews
*All cost information is accurate as of publishing. Monthly fees do not include add-ons unless otherwise noted.

Compare our top 5 medical alert companies

Great customer service Medical Guardian
  • Upfront cost: $0
  • Monthly fee: $29.95-$44.95
  • Featured equipment: Home 2.0
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home 2.0 medical alert system

Medical Guardian has a wide range of equipment options designed to suit all lifestyles, and its straightforward purchase process is helped along by representatives available online or over the phone. All its devices are monitored and can connect you to a dispatch center that can get you the help you need 24/7.

You can select from in-home, mobile and smartwatch devices. The Home 2.0 has a range of 1,400 feet — one of the largest we’ve seen on a home-based system.

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home range: 1,300 to 1,400 feet
  • Mobile battery life: Up to five days
  • GPS: Available
  • Fall detection: Optional ($10 per month)
  • Trial period: None
  • Term: Month-to-month (three-month minimum)
  • Caregiver app: Yes
Upfront equipment fees apply to a few of Medical Guardian’s devices, including the Mini Guardian and Freedom Guardian. Optional add-ons and upgrades, like fall detection, add to your monthly bill.
  • Mini Guardian: This portable, wearable GPS device has unlimited range. It costs $149.95 for the equipment and $39.95 per month for a monitoring subscription ($439.45 when you pay annually).
  • Mobile 2.0: This lightweight device easily clips to clothing and can sync with the included pendant or wristband. It’s water-resistant and has five days of battery life. It costs $124.95 for the equipment and $39.95 per month for a monitoring subscription ($439.45 when you pay annually).
  • MG Move: This smartwatch connects you to help at the press of a button and features options to chat with loved ones, keep track of your steps, check the weather, and set medication and event reminders. The equipment fee is $199.95, and access to the MyGuardian portal and caregiver app are included in the subscription ($39.95 per month or $439.44 when you pay annually).
  • Home 2.0: The Home 2.0 features a sleek design plus a voice assist button, a 1,400-foot range and 32 hours of battery backup. It costs $124.95 for the equipment and $34.95 per month for a monitoring subscription ($384.45 when you pay annually).
  • Classic Guardian: This system connects to your landline telephone and syncs with the necklace or wristband. It includes access to the MyGuardian portal and app. It costs $29.95 per month or $329.45 per year when paying annually. There’s no upfront equipment charge.
It’s worth noting that there’s no free trial period. At least one reviewer said they have trouble connecting their medical alert device to an AT&T signal, and another said the equipment is a little on the bulky side.
Medical Guardian is popular both with people who wear its devices and their loved ones. “I think they are very responsive about the time. Overall, the experience is good,” a reviewer in Arkansas said.

A reviewer in Michigan said that the system let their mother “stay independent much longer because if she fell, help would be on the way immediately. They always called me at home to notify me that her device had been activated.”

Others highlight the company’s customer service: “The Medical Guardian team has been very cooperative and very easy to deal with,” according to a reviewer in Virginia.

Sleek designs Bay Alarm Medical
  • Upfront cost: $0
  • Monthly fee: $24.95-$37.95
  • Featured equipment: SOS Smartwatch
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bay alarm medical sos smartwatch

Bay Alarm Medical has the most affordable mobile plan of our picks, plus one of our favorite medical alert mobile apps — and it's one of our top systems with GPS.

The SOS Smartwatch, featured above, is a modern alternative to a traditional system, but it still features a physical help button that dispatches local emergency services to your location. It comes with built-in GPS and a 4G LTE SIM card.

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home range: Up to 1,000 feet
  • Mobile battery life: Up to three days
  • GPS: Available
  • Fall detection: Optional ($10 per month)
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Term: Month-to-month
  • Caregiver app: Yes
Bay Alarm Medical offers home-based and mobile systems with 24/7 professional monitoring services. In-home systems are leased — there are no upfront costs — and must be returned when you cancel.
  • In-Home Medical Alert: This home-based system can connect to help through either a landline ($24.95 per month) or a cellular network ($29.95 or $39.95 per month). Device options include a lanyard, wrist button, wall button package and fall detection.
  • GPS Mobile Help Button: This mobile option starts at $29.95 per month with a one-time $99 device fee. It includes location tracking, and you can pay an additional $10 per month for automatic fall detection. Devices are available in black or white and come with an optional warranty.
  • SOS Smartwatch: This smartwatch device costs $34.95 per month with a one-time $159 device fee. It includes location tracking but doesn’t offer fall protection as an upgrade.
Add-on services can get expensive — upgrades for lockboxes and GPS fall detection are available for an additional charge each month. At least one reviewer said that the sensors can be too sensitive.
Bay Alarm Medical’s systems are relatively simple to set up and operate. Technical support representatives make it easy to get devices up and running, and they take time to make sure new customers understand their systems.

“The few times it was used, the service was very prompt and given in a very kind and calm way. And when we tested the system on occasion, it was always an easy process,” according to a reviewer in Pennsylvania.

“The service is well worth the money since they are all so kind and helpful,” a reviewer in Georgia said, adding that “you can tell they are compassionate people and want to help the person that has fallen.

Great professional monitoring ADT Medical Alert
  • Upfront cost: $0
  • Monthly fee: $29.99-$39.99
  • Featured equipment: ADT Medical Alert Plus
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adt medical alert plus system

You may be familiar with ADT as a home security company. Its medical alert systems are monitored, and reps undergo senior sensitivity training to better communicate with older adults during an emergency.

ADT's medical alert equipment options are similar to what other top brands offer. All packages come with a pendant or wristband, two-way voice communication features and free battery replacements. What sets it apart is its professional monitoring experience.

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home range: 300 to 600 feet
  • Mobile battery life: Up to 36 hours
  • GPS: Available
  • Fall detection: Optional ($10 per month)
  • Trial period: None
  • Term: Month-to-month
  • Caregiver app: Yes
There are no upfront equipment costs or activation fees (the base system remains owned by ADT), but monthly charges increase as eligible items are added — for instance, fall detection is an extra $11 per month.
  • Medical Alert Basic: This package is designed for in-home use and starts at $29.99 per month. It requires a landline and includes home temperature monitoring features. The pendant has a range up to 300 feet from the base.
  • Medical Alert Plus: This package, which doesn’t require a landline, starts at $37.99 a month. It also comes with home temperature monitoring. Fall detection is optional with this package, and the pendant has a 600-foot range.
  • On-The-Go: This package comes with a mobile base unit, GPS location capabilities and optional fall detection. It starts at $39.99 per month.
Some reviewers say that the device can be a little too sensitive sometimes, but we don’t see that as an overly bad thing. In these situations, reps are generally patient and understanding. What’s important is that it works when you need it.
Reviewers like that ADT Medical Alert provides a sense of security, both for the wearer and their loved ones.

A reviewer in Illinois got the device for their husband to use in the shower and outside: “It gives the entire family great reassurance that one of us would be able to help him or get him help if needed.”

“I feel more secure than I did before with my medical alert device,” a reviewer in Missouri said. “ADT does really well and their customer service is excellent. They were right on things.”

A reviewer in Alabama got an ADT medical alert for their grandfather, who is 88 and has dementia. “He has had two falls and both times, it worked perfectly,” the reviewer said. “I get a phone notification. I asked them to call me first, so at least I can get up and go respond if I realized he had fallen. The one time that I didn't even hear my phone go off, they were here within minutes. The reps have been phenomenal.”

A simple mobile system Medical Alert
  • Upfront cost: $79
  • Monthly fee: $19.95-$47.95
  • Featured equipment: Mobile System
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medical alert mobile system

Medical Alert offers highly rated emergency equipment, and its Five Diamond, UL-certified monitoring center provides translation services for 140 languages.

Through the company’s Medical Alert Connect mobile app, a caregiver can keep an eye on their medical alert device’s status, update the contact list and test their system. Caregivers can monitor more than one profile and contact support directly through the app as well.

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home range: 800 feet
  • Mobile battery life: Up to five days
  • GPS: Available
  • Fall detection: Optional ($10 per month)
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Term: Month-to-month
  • Caregiver app: Yes
Medical Alert offers home-based and mobile systems. You can add fall detection to either type of system for an extra $10 per month.
  • Home System: Depending on the device’s connectivity, this model starts at either $19.95 per month (landline) or $29.95 per month (cellular). It comes with a two-way speaker and a lightweight button worn around the neck or wrist.
  • Mobile System: Monthly fees start at $39.95 per month when you pay annually. This system comes with a button pendant or bracelet, a two-way speaker device, GPS location services and Connect app access.

Your cost per month is lower if you pay annually instead of monthly. A protection plan to cover up to $350 in case your system is lost, damaged or stolen is available for an extra $1 per month.

A one-time $79 programming fee is charged upon initial order of your home or mobile system.

At least one reviewer said the device is uncomfortable to wear while driving. Another didn’t like the noise the alarm made.
People often appreciate Medical Alert’s fast responses, even when they accidentally trigger the device. A reviewer in Maryland said, “Every time it's gone off, I've dropped it or tested it, and the agents answered me.”

Others like that reps are easy to talk to. A reviewer in Minnesota said that the Medical Alert team knows “what they are doing and explain things in a way that I can understand.”

“I used my Medical Alert two or three times when I fell down and I couldn't get up. And I was here by myself,” a reviewer in Michigan said. “They came right away, took me in the ambulance, and they started working on me to check me out.”

A reviewer in Texas highlighted that systems are transferable: “My Medical Alert was my mother's. When she passed away, I had it transferred to my name. So far, so good.”

Good for fall detection Lifeline
  • Upfront cost: $79-$99.95
  • Monthly fee: $29.95-$58.95 per month
  • Featured equipment: On the Go
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lifeline on the go pendant

Lifeline offers devices designed to be used at home or on the go. With a personalized care plan, you can choose who responds when you call for help. On average, it takes 21 seconds for users to connect to the response center.

Lifeline uses AutoAlert automatic fall detection technology, which incorporates accelerometers, barometric sensors and an algorithm that can detect false alarms. (It’s worth pointing out that no fall detection technology catches 100% of falls; Philips reports that AutoAlert detects 95% of “many types of falls” and triggers fewer false alarms.) Fall detection comes with two of the three Lifeline systems.

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home range: Varies
  • Mobile battery life: Up to four days
  • GPS: Available
  • Fall detection: Included with some plans
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Term: Month-to-month
  • Caregiver app: Yes
Pricing varies for each package based on the connection (landline or cellular) and additional equipment selected. Lifeline charges installation fees of either $24.95 for DIY installation or $99 for professional installation, on top of its activation fees.
  • On the Go: This model costs $49.95 per month with a one-time $99.95 device fee. It comes with a water-resistant help button, built-in fall detection and a rechargeable battery. The system has multiple location technologies and requires a cellular connection.
  • HomeSafe Standard: This basic in-home system starts at $29.95 per month for a landline connection, or $43.95 for cellular, plus a one-time $50 activation fee. It comes with two-way voice communication, a waterproof button and a pendant or wristband.
  • HomeSafe with AutoAlert: This model starts at $44.95 per month with a landline or $58.95 with a cellular connection, plus a one-time $50 activation fee. It’s designed to be used at home and on the go, and it comes with everything in the standard package plus a fall-detection pendant.
A couple of reviews mention delays in shipping and deliveries. At least one former customer told us that Lifeline’s service was difficult to cancel, and its equipment might not work during power outages caused by storms.
Lifeline offers a dependable system with lots of available features. “There are other companies out there that say they're cheaper but their service is not as reliable as Philips,” according to a reviewer in South Carolina.

Others highlight the safety and efficiency of Lifeline’s systems: “I hardly touched the button and I got somebody on the line,” a reviewer in Massachusetts said.

A reviewer in Georgia, who has worn a Lifeline device day and night for years, said, “When I've needed it, I have pushed it. Lifeline has called in to see if I needed help and I've been able to tell them that I was fine. I appreciate them checking in because it could very easily be that I was down, couldn't say anything and get up.”

Compare Top Medical Alert System Reviews

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Find a Medical Alert System partner near you.

    Who should consider a medical alert system?

    If you or someone you love has an increased risk of needing emergency help, getting a medical alert system (sometimes called a personal emergency response system) may be worth the cost.

    Medical alert devices are often used by those at risk of serious falls (such as older people and those with injuries) or with medical conditions that can leave them unable to call for help when it’s needed.

    Medical alert systems aren’t just for older people.

    A medical alert system may be especially helpful if the intended user:

    • Lives alone or spends a great deal of time alone (older adults are more isolated than ever)
    • Has difficulty using a telephone
    • Has any form of dementia

    About 25% of people age 65 or older fall every year, and roughly 10% of falls result in serious injuries. To determine your or your loved one’s fall risk, try answering a few questions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Many medical alert devices also offer additional health or safety features that many people benefit from, including GPS tracking, medication reminders, weather notifications and caregiver aids. If any of these options appeal to you, be sure to keep them in mind as you shop for a medical alert device.

    How to choose a medical alert system

    There are many excellent medical alert systems available, so it’s worth taking some time to figure out which system is best for your budget, preferences and lifestyle.

    1. Think about who’s going to use the system

    As you shop for a medical alert system, make sure it’s functional for the person who will be using it most, whether that’s you or your loved one. Think about:

    • How the intended user behaves during emergencies
    • How familiar they are with technology
    • How likely they are to consistently use the system
    • How appearance-conscious they are
    • Whether they spend most of their time at home or on the go

    All of these factors can make a difference as you pick the right medical alert system for your situation. You don’t have to know exactly what you want from your device at this stage, but the point is that you keep the intended user in mind as you shop."

    For example, the most common type of medical alert system includes a simple push-button pendant worn around the neck or on the wrist, which many people who aren't tech-savvy find easy to use.

    The point is that you keep the intended user in mind as you shop.”

    If fashion or an active lifestyle is a priority, a medical alert smartwatch might be the right choice. These watches can offer the same response times as home-based systems while being discreet and easy to wear.

    They’re also a good choice for those with dementia because authorized caregivers and first responders can potentially track the wearer via GPS if they wander. However, you should keep in mind that these devices may be more complicated for some people to use.

    2. Decide if you want professional monitoring services

    Medical alert systems either operate without monitoring or with monitoring. Here’s how they differ:

    • Unmonitored systems: When triggered, an unmonitored system dials a preprogrammed contact — typically a loved one or 911. These systems are sometimes referred to as no-monthly-fee medical alert systems because they don’t require a service contract to function.
    • Monitored systems: A monitored system connects to a live dispatch center when triggered. The operator calls a caregiver, friend, family member or 911, depending on the user’s needs. Many centers provide help in multiple languages, and some include daily wellness checks and activity tracking. Most top companies are UL-certified or part of The Monitoring Association’s Five Diamond Designation program.

    Both monitored and unmonitored systems should include a panic button or an emergency call button, and many offer automatic fall detection.

    Because monitored medical alert systems can offer tailored responses and additional services, they’re often a better option if you aren’t sure it’s time for assisted living but still want some extra sense of security.

    3. Consider your budget and how you want to pay

    Total medical alert costs vary based on the system you choose, how you customize that system, what kind of connection you need (landline or cellular) and whether you pay for ongoing monitoring.

    • Unmonitored systems generally cost a few hundred dollars upfront. You own the equipment, and there's no recurring monthly fee.
    • Monitoring systems have a recurring fee, usually between $20 and $60 per month, and some companies offer packages with free equipment if you have an active monitoring subscription. New customers often get a price break if they enroll in a monitoring contract with a yearly payment plan.

    Price is a significant factor in comparing medical alert companies, especially if you’re on a fixed budget. (About half of seniors rely on Social Security for the majority of their income, according to recent poverty statistics.) However, price shouldn’t be the only factor you consider. Your medical alert system needs to work reliably and be convenient enough that it’s ready to help when you or your loved one needs it most.

    4. Think about where you’ll need it

    Before you buy a system, think about whether you want the option to use the device outside your home. Most medical alert systems fall into one of two broad categories:

    • Home-based: Traditional, home-based systems come with a help button that wirelessly connects to a base station. Base stations can run on landline or cellular connections, and help buttons typically have an operating range of 300 to 1,400 feet from the base station. Even if the intended user doesn’t leave home much, it’s a good idea to pick a system with enough range to cover their property, yard included.
    • Mobile: On-the-go medical alert systems are designed for more active lifestyles that take users away from home. They usually come with built-in GPS or geofencing features that help emergency services locate the user if something bad happens while they’re out and about. However, the batteries have to be charged regularly, and mobile devices typically run on a cellular connection, so you should make sure the service is supported where you live.

    In general, mobile systems have more impressive technology, but they also come with a higher price tag than traditional home-based systems. The extra cost is often worth it if you spend a lot of time out in the neighborhood, frequently run errands or make trips to visit with friends, though.

    5. Compare devices and features

    As a general rule — a home-based medical alert system comes with a base unit and a help button that you wear around your neck or on your wrist, but mobile systems and smartwatches are self-contained and work without a base station.

    No matter which type of system you choose, it’s good to have a help button that can get wet — many accidents happen in or around the shower. Luckily, most medical alert companies manufacture waterproof or water-resistant devices.

    Medical alert systems can offer a variety of features and capabilities beyond their basic functions, though. While you likely won’t need or want all of these features, it’s helpful to know what’s out there so that you don’t miss out on something that you would’ve wanted. Here are some additional features, equipment and factors to consider:

    Triggers an alarm when the device senses sudden downward movement, which eliminates the need to press an emergency button to call for help after an accident. It’s an appealing feature, but it’s important to note that the technology isn’t 100% accurate or reliable.
    Makes it possible to pinpoint a person’s exact location even if they don’t know where they are. Global positioning systems (GPS) are popular for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory issues, especially if they're prone to wandering and getting lost.
    Available with some monitoring plans. These services provide medication reminders and regular check-in calls as part of their plans.
    Let users share activity and location updates with friends, family and caregivers. Users can generally manage their accounts and update emergency contact information through the same dashboard.
    Securely stores a key to your home for authorized personnel in case of an emergency. This lets responders get into your home without breaking windows or damaging doorways.
    Can be critical if the intended user is more comfortable speaking a language other than English.
    Vary between devices, so you should ensure that your equipment can maintain a charge long enough for your needs. This is normally more of a problem with smartwatches and mobile systems, which may need to be recharged daily. Other units may never require charging, and systems that stay plugged in may feature battery backups that can last for days if the power goes out.
    Lets the device user talk with the response center about their situation and needs, whether they need immediate assistance or just activated the button accidentally.
    Allows the response center and caregivers to remotely monitor the temperature within the user’s home. Help will be dispatched immediately if a fire is suspected, and caregivers can respond if uncomfortable or unsafe air temperatures are detected.
    Offer additional protection in areas where wearable buttons may not be worn, like in the shower or next to the user’s bed.
    Lets you add another user in the household to your medical alert monitoring plan at a discounted rate.

    6. Read the fine print

    It’s important to read the fine print before opting into any monitoring contract — some companies charge high cancellation fees if you terminate services early. You should also look for a company that offers a price-lock guarantee to ensure the system stays affordable.

    Here are some other terms to look for:

    • Contract requirement: Most systems require a monitoring agreement. Keep an eye out for long-term contracts that are hard to cancel. Our top picks have month-to-month options.
    • Free trial period: It’s great if you can try the system out in your home for at least a month before you commit. Otherwise, you might get stuck with a system that doesn’t really work for you.
    • Service network: If you're getting a cellular system, make sure it runs on a network you know to be reliable in your area. For instance, you might live in a neighborhood where AT&T or Verizon is preferable.
    • Warranty: A good manufacturer’s warranty means that you won’t have to pay out of pocket for repairs or replacements.

    7. Compare your options and choose

    Once you’ve done your research and you know what you want from a medical alert system, there’s little left to do other than weigh your options and pick one. As with any important purchase, it’s a good idea to read reviews and ask the right questions before buying, though.

    Medical alert system costs

    We have a more detailed article on medical alert system costs that you might want to read before you buy, but the short version is that costs vary and can include:

    A medical alert system can be a smart investment for anyone who lives alone.
    • Equipment fees that usually range up to $300 (if they’re not waived as part of your monitoring contract)
    • Monthly monitoring fees that start at about $20 to $60 per month without add-ons (like fall detection, which usually costs about $10 more per month)
    • Activation fees of up to $200, if applicable
    • Installation fees of up to $100, if applicable

    Even though these costs may seem high, a medical alert system is often a smart investment, especially if it can delay a move to a long-term care facility.

    Many older people prefer aging in place to other senior living options, and products like medical alerts, walk-in bathtubs, hearing aids, bed rails and other items can make their homes safer and more accessible. The cost of aging in place is also relatively affordable compared with the cost of assisted living, which averages around $4,300 per month.

    You can learn more about elder care planning (like the difference between assisted and independent living) by checking out our other buyers guides and resources.

    Medical alert system FAQ

    What is a medical alert system?

    Medical alert systems are devices that contact emergency assistance when activated. They are often made up of a base unit and an emergency help button, which can be worn on a lanyard or bracelet. However, some systems are contained entirely in the wearable device.

    When activated, the system can connect you to a trained emergency response operator, relative or friend.

    Medical alert systems are designed for use either at home or both at home and on the go. They can be monitored or unmonitored, come with or without fall alert features, and connect to either home-based landline or cellular networks.

    How do medical alert systems work?

    In a technical sense, medical alert devices generally use small radio transmitters to contact their base stations (if applicable), which use cellular or landline networks to connect with monitoring centers or emergency contacts.

    In a more practical sense, here’s what you can expect when using a medical alert device:

    • Users generally wear a help button somewhere on their person at all times so they can signal for help when they need it.
    • If an emergency occurs, the user presses the button to signal for help. (Systems with fall detection may sense that help is needed without any signal.)
    • What happens next depends on whether your system is monitored or unmonitored:
      • Unmonitored systems should automatically reach out to a predetermined number (commonly either emergency services or the user’s emergency contact) to summon help.
      • Monitored systems generally route the user’s signal through a trained emergency operator, who talks to the user (if possible) and determines what type of assistance is required (caregiver, fire, police or medical) before calling for help. These operators usually stay on the line until help arrives, too.
    How long do medical alert system batteries last?

    Battery lives can vary among systems. For home-based systems that are connected to power, backup batteries are often included, and these can last anywhere from hours to several days. Mobile systems require more regular charging but usually last at least one day.

    How long does it take for someone to respond?

    Response times for medical alert systems are typically less than one minute, with some monitoring centers responding in as little as 21 seconds.

    Does insurance cover medical alert systems?

    While most types of health care coverage do not cover medical alert systems, there are some possible exceptions, like long-term care insurance, Medicare Part C and VA health care. Contact your insurance company or coverage provider directly to find out if help is available.

    Does Medicare cover medical alert systems?

    Medical alert systems are not covered by Medicare parts A or B or Medicare supplemental insurance. Some Medicare Advantage plans (also called Part C) may reimburse certain patient groups for the cost of a wearable device.

    It’s also worth mentioning that ConsumerAffairs can’t direct buyers to Medicaid-eligible systems, and any brand you contact will typically refer you to your Medicaid caseworker for further guidance.

    Alternatively, long-term care insurance may also provide reimbursement for medical alert systems.

    Can you get a discount on a medical alert system for being an AARP member?

    It’s common for medical alert companies to offer discounts and promotions, including for AARP members. For example, at the time of publishing, AARP members can get a 15% discount on Lifeline’s monthly service as well as free shipping and activation on a Lifeline medical alert system.

    Are medical alert systems tax deductible?

    The IRS doesn’t specifically itemize medical alert systems as eligible for tax deductions, but many medical expenses and aging-in-place home modifications are tax deductible. A tax professional can help you determine if you can deduct a medical alert system in your tax filings.

    What medical conditions require a medical alert bracelet?

    Medical alert bracelets, also called medical ID bracelets, are common for those with severe epilepsy, diabetes, serious drug or food allergies, or dementia. A medical alert bracelet is an identification tag that includes lifesaving information about any medical conditions that require immediate attention should the wearer be in distress and unable to speak.

    These bracelets are wearable tags and are not to be confused with medical alert systems or devices, which can also be worn around the wrist. They're pieces of jewelry that inform emergency responders and medical professionals of certain medical conditions.

    Are medical alert systems worth it?

    If you’re concerned about making sure help is on the way when you or a loved one needs it most, a medical alert system is likely worth the cost. Receiving fast assistance in case of an emergency can be critical, and it can even save you money in the long run.

    How can I help my loved one use their medical alert system?

    While it’s often helpful to handle device and plan decisions for your loved one, it’s also important to keep your loved one informed about what’s going on and what to expect.

    Once the system is ready to use, spend some time discussing the use of the system and how it works. Don’t forget to check in regularly to be sure your loved one is utilizing the system appropriately and remembers how and when to use it.

    See our video on how to talk to your loved one about a medical alert device at the bottom of this page for more guidance and insights from reviewers that have been through this process.

    Why is a medical alert system better than a cell phone?

    A medical alert is often safer than a cellphone for seniors. The help button might be more accessible during an emergency, especially in the shower or bath; if the user falls, has a sudden accident or otherwise needs medical assistance, they don’t have to worry about reaching a phone to call for help.

    Why is a medical alert system better than a smart speaker?

    While some voice assistants and smart speakers are able to dial 911 for you, their safety features generally end there. Unlike many medical alert systems, these devices usually don’t have:

    • Fall detection technology
    • Caregiver apps and benefits
    • Staff who are trained to determine what type of help is needed and dispatch it
    • Battery backups for when the power goes out
    medical alert systems faq with shelly webb


    To choose our picks, we started with a list of 23 medical alert companies. To narrow the list, we first considered overall satisfaction ratings and eliminated companies with below 3.5 stars. With 16 companies left, we decided to dig a little deeper.

    Medical alert companies had to have at least twice as many 5-star reviews as 1-star reviews over the last year (Jan. 10, 2021, through Jan. 10, 2022) to stay on the list. In total, we analyzed 1,344 reviews from this time period.

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team then graded the remaining companies on online reputation, equipment selection and price transparency and calculated the results to rank the top five. We gave preference to companies with a secured website and wide availability.

    To recap, our picks for the best medical alert systems are:

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page. Specific sources for this article include:
    1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Keep on Your Feet—Preventing Older Adult Falls.” Accessed Dec. 16, 2022.
    2. International Journal of General Medicine, “Analyzing the problem of falls among older people.” Accessed Dec. 22, 2022.
    3. Aging and Health Technology Watch, “The Future of Wearables and Older Adults 2021.” Accessed Sept. 28, 2021.
    4. National Council on Aging, “Get the Facts on Fall Prevention.” Accessed Sept. 28, 2021.
    5. Philips Lifeline, “Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) with Optimized Automatic Fall Detection Shows Greater Effectiveness than PERS Alone.” Accessed Sept. 29, 2021.

    Compare Top Medical Alert System Reviews

    How to talk to your loved one

    Are you trying to purchase a medical alert system for a loved one but haven’t spoken to them about it? Watch this video for tips on how to approach the topic of senior medical alert devices.

    how to talk to your elderly parent about getting a medical alert device