10 Best Medical Alerts of 2017

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Medical alerts are devices that allow users to contact emergency services in the event of a fall or other emergency. When activated, the alert immediately notifies a 24/7 monitoring company which dispatches emergency responders if necessary. Though usually associated with the elderly, they can be extremely useful to anyone with serious medical concerns, no matter their age.

Medical alerts, also known as Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), are especially useful for people who are at risk of falling, having a stroke, or a heart attack. Advances in technology, such as mobile GPS tracking, have not only helped independent seniors live active lives, but also allowed parents to track their children, and given people with disabilities or who are suffering from diseases, the peace of mind that comes with knowing that help is only the push of a button away.

When selecting a medical alert system, be aware that each company and product offers different benefits. For instance, a large home would benefit from an alert with a cellular connection, as opposed to a landline with less range. Depending on the user’s individual needs, specific features could be needed, such as voice activation. In the event of an emergency, it’s important to ensure that the company not only offers 24/7 monitoring, but redundant response centers, in case one is not reachable.

Before finally deciding on a medical alert plan, be sure to look at the fine print. Do batteries need to be replaced frequently? Will the company regularly test the equipment? Is the user responsible for damage incurred by everyday use? If these questions are asked and addressed up front, then there won’t be surprises down the line.

Top 10 Companies

Bay Alarm Medical
Our Partner
9.9 / 10
  • Most Popular Choice - A+ Rating with BBB
  • Special pricing for AARP and USAA members
  • FREE Equipment, Activation, and Gift!
  • $25.95/ Month (billed 2x a year). No Long-Term Contract or Hidden Fees.
  • 1,000 ft. Range, Waterproof Pendant & 36-hr Battery Life.
  • Landline, Cellular, and GPS with Automatic Fall Detection
  • USA-based and UL Certified 24/7 Monitoring Centers
Medical Guardian
Our Partner
9.3 / 10
  • A+ Rating with the BBB
  • 1,300 ft. button range & 72 hour Backup Battery 
  • Mobile (with GPS) & Fall Detection systems available
  • UL and CSAA Five Diamond Certified Monitoring Centers
  • No long-term Contracts
  • FREE Equipment, Activation, and Shipping!
  • Price Lock Guarantee & Lifetime Warranty on Equipment
Our Partner
8.7 / 10
  • Special pricing for AARP and USAA members
  • 24/7 monitoring - GPS location services - fall detection
  • Trusted by over 6,000,000
  • Unlimited range with 3G cellular option
  • Website doesn't show prices, just call for a quote!
Connect America
Our Partner
8.7 / 10
  • FREE - Shipping of Equipment + Lockbox + 1 Month of Service
  • 24/7 Response & Support Monitoring
  • Goes anywhere in the US
  • A+ BBB Rating
  • Popular for active seniors
  • No Long-Term Contracts or Commitments
  • Easy-to-use and lightweight devices
  • Fall Detection Available on Every System
  • Free Equipment With No Set-Up, Activation, or Cancellation Fees
Our Partner
8.7 / 10
  • UL Listed and CSAA Five Diamond Certified monitoring center
  • Monitoring center located in the US (no outsourcing)
  • In business since 1977
  • Ability to dispatch emergency and non-emergency responders
  • Free, quick and easy installation (plug and play)
  • No landline required
  • A+ Rating with BBB
  • Popular among mobile seniors
Mobile Help
Our Partner
8.7 / 10
  • From $29.95/mo with no equipment fees
  • 30 Day Risk Free Trial
  • Industry-leading hardware
  • No Contract & Lifetime Warranty
  • Offers Automatic Fall Detection Button
Our Partner
8.7 / 10
  • Starts as Low as $19.99/mo
  • Unlimited Range with GPS Technology
  • Mobile, Waterproof, 1-button Medical Alert
  • Free shipping
  • No landline required
  • No Contracts or Installation Fees
  • Fall Detection and Device Replacement
  • Use Promo Code: GCJB010 after you input your credit card at the very end for 10% off!
Medical Care Alert
Our Partner
8.7 / 10
  • No equipment purchases
  • No long term contract, cancel anytime
  • Lifetime price guarantee
  • 24/7 monitoring services
  • 30 day free trial
  • Fall detection, GPS and 2 way cellular voice communication
Our Partner
8.6 / 10
  • Prices starting at $24.95 per month
  • 480 ft. range standard, extendable to 1,500ft
  • A+ Rating with the BBB
  • Lifetime price & equipment guarantee. Spouses Free
  • Full product suite, including caregiver tools
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Waterproof pendants or wristbands
  • No time commitment
  • No activation and no equipment fees
Alert 1
Our Partner
7.8 / 10
  • $39.95-$69.95 per month (based on plan length)
  • No long-term contracts, cancel anytime
  • Home, fall detection, and GPS mobile systems available
  • Free unlimited talk time and button pushes
  • UL and CSAA Five Diamond Certified Monitoring Centers
  • 2- way voice communication in water resistant pendants
  • BBB Accreditation
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Best Medical Alerts: Summed Up

RankCompany NameStrengths
1Bay Alarm MedicalBest Overall
2Medical GuardianEquipment
4Connect AmericaMonitoring

How We Compare Medical Alerts

Select 2 medical alerts companies to compare
Equipment - 20%
Coverage - 10%
Maintenance & Repairs - 12%
Monitoring - 25%
Service Agreements - 18%
Contract & Price - 5%
Reputation - 10%

Customer Questions & Answers

How do medical alert systems work?

Medical alert systems typically come with an emergency help button that sends a signal to the company’s monitoring call-center when activated. A company representative will subsequently contact the system’s user over a 2-way intercom and offer assistance. Some systems are now wireless and include fall detection sensors and mobile buttons you can take anywhere.

Who should use a medical alert system?

Medical alert systems are ideal for those who live alone and could need medical assistance while family or caretakers are away. Medical alert systems are not only for seniors, but also for pregnant women, anyone with a debilitating health condition, people recovering from medical procedures such as surgery, and patients undergoing physical therapy or rehabilitation.

How much do medical alert systems cost?

The cost of your medical alert system will depend on the equipment you select—whether in-home or mobile—and the type of coverage you need. Most systems are priced between $25 and $50 a month and typically include equipment and monitoring, although activation fees may apply. Some companies offer annual or quarterly plans for lower monthly rates.

Can you get a medical alert system if you don't have a landline?

Yes. At one point in time, a landline connection was the only way a medial alert base unit could communicate with the monitoring center. Now, there is also the option for a cellular connection, which sends signals thought a cellular link, like a cell phone. Medical alert companies partner with high profile mobile phone service providers, like T-mobile or AT&T, and use their networks to connect cellular base units to the monitoring center. Don’t worry, just because your system operates off of T-Mobile’s network, doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay a bill for their services as well, it is included in your medical alert payments. As a result, cellular systems are typically slightly more expensive, but at the same time, you don’t have to pay for a landline if you don’t have one already.

Does Medicare or other insurance cover medical alerts?

Original Medicare, Part A and B, does not cover medical alert systems. However, people who receive their benefits through a Medicare Supplement plan can ask their providers if the cost of equipment can be covered, especially if the system is medically warranted. Those who have long-term care Insurance may also qualify for coverage or reimbursement.

Are medical alerts tax deductible?

The IRS does not currently list medical alert systems under tax-exempt medical expenses. However, if your medical alert system includes a feature that stores your medical information in a data bank that your physician can access, you may be able to claim the expense under the Medical Information Plan exemption.

Can I get a medical alert system for my parents, but have it charged to me?

Yes, most medical alerts are purchased by adult children for their elderly parents, so companies are familiar with this situation. When you sign up with the company know that this is your situation and they will be able to make those arrangements for you.

Is installing a medical alert system in my home difficult?

Installing medical alert systems is not at all difficult. Systems that use a base unit can be installed in minutes by plugging the device into a power source and connecting it to a wall phone outlet using a phone cord. Newer mobile versions take even less time to activate and test. Most companies offer online or over-the-phone installation support with detailed instructions.

How does fall detection technology work?

Some alert systems come with integrated fall detection technology. The wearable device, typically a pendant or wristband, continuously monitors the speed and direction of the user’s movements through accelerometers and gyroscopes that differentiate between falls and regular gestures. If it detects a fall, the device will alert the monitoring center after a period of inactivity.

Can the medical alert system monitor me and my spouse at the same time?

Some companies offer an additional alert button for a second user, providing free monitoring for the second device after its purchase. If the medical alert system works through a base unit, both devices can be linked to the same unit and be monitored simultaneously. Newer, mobile systems may have to be purchased separately.

Resources From Our Editors
Best Medical Alerts for Kids
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GPS Medical Alerts for Active Seniors
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Editor's Choice
Our Partner