How to Get a Free Medical Alert System
Are you looking for a free medical alert system? Unless you win one through a contest that comes with lifelong coverage of the monthly monitoring services, you probably aren’t going to find one. You can, however, tap into a free medical alert system when speaking specifically about the equipment. Lots of brands provide the equipment and installation for free as long as you sign a contract.
Don’t feel like spending your time signing up for contests that give away free medical alert systems? We don’t blame you. The good news is that you’re not out of luck. There are lots of low cost options when shopping for medical alert systems. Even better, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to save some money when buying one.
To make the most out of these tips and tricks, it’s important to understand how medical alert systems work.
How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?
Medical alert systems are available in many shapes and sizes.
- Pendant style
- Watch style
- Activity tracker
You can buy a medical alert system that comes with monthly monitoring services or buy a no monthly fee system. The latter will always be less expensive, but you lose out on monitoring services that could save your life.
A medical alert system that comes with monthly monitoring services means that when you press the CALL or HELP button, an operator from the monitoring center will answer your call and send medical assistance as needed. To tap into this feature, you will pay a monthly fee.
With a no monthly fee medical alert system, your call is not directed to a monitoring center. Instead, your call is routed to personal contacts who are stored in the system. If one of them does not answer, then your call is forwarded to local 911 operators.
What to Look for When Shopping for Free Medical Alert System
When you’re on the hunt for a low cost or free medical alert system, you’ll definitely want to keep your eye out for no monthly fee systems. With these systems, you pay for the equipment up front and don’t have to worry about making a monthly payment for monitoring services. And fortunately, some of today’s more advanced no monthly fee systems come with almost all of the features that you’ll find with monitored systems.
Notable features to look for when shopping for free medical alert systems include:
- Fall detection
- Two-way voice calling
- Medication reminder function
- Automated dialing and answer detection
- Customizable contact list
- Long range capability
- Cellular network connection that doesn't require a cell phone plan
You’ll also want to avoid making these common mistakes:
- Choosing a medical alert system that doesn't meet your needs
- Signing a long-term contract
- System doesn't provide enough coverage for your home
- Buying a system with a difficult installation process
How to Get a Free Medical Alert System
As mentioned before, you probably aren’t going to find a free medical alert system unless you follow a few tips and tricks.
The first trick is to check into the LifeLine federal government program. If you meet a certain low-income threshold, you may be able to lower or eliminate the cost of a home or wireless phone. This is helpful because almost all medical alert systems require you to have a phone. With your phone expense covered, you can then tap into our second tip for getting a free medical alert system, which is to check with your insurance.
Some private medical health insurance companies will cover the cost of a medical alert system. For those that don't, some will reimburse you for a portion of the cost. Most times, an insurance company will ask for the Personal Emergency Response System Procedure Code, and if it matches with their eligibility coverage criteria, you can get the medical alert system paid for by tapping into funds through a Health Savings Account. Some also allow you to tap into funds in a Flexible Spending Account to pay for a medical alert system.
Also important to remember is that many insurance companies will want to see that a doctor has given you a prescription/doctor's note for a personal emergency response system. If you have Medicare insurance, it can be difficult to get the insurance to pay for the system. However, many people tap into a free medical alert system by getting a Medicaid Waiver.
If you're a veteran, you should check with the Veteran's Administration to see if you can get a free phone dialer. The hardware provided as the phone dialer is almost identical to other medical alert systems. Important to note, though, is that the system is not monitored. You can program it with three to four numbers in which it will dial if press the CALL or HELP button.
Low-Cost Medical Alert System Options
Even though there aren’t really any free medical alert systems, there are low-cost options to choose from. We’ve performed extensive research and discovered some of the best low-cost options to consider.
Medical Guardian provides a system that comes with around-the-clock, US-based emergency monitoring services. It features landline or wireless connectivity along with a 32-hour backup battery and two-way communication. Fall detection is available along with GPS-enabled portable equipment. Best of all, it doesn't require you to sign a contract, and you get your equipment, shipping, and activation for free. You can pick from packages that range from $29.95 to $79.95 a month. If you want fall detection, this will cost an extra $10 a month.
MobileHelp has systems that feature nationwide coverage, data GPS technology, two-way voice communication, 30-hour backup battery, and much more. The company has no hidden fees, offers free shipping, and doesn't charge you for equipment. Packages range from $19.95 to $41.95 a month. You can get smart watch monitoring for an $24.95 each month.
Bay Alarm Medical is another low-cost option that provides 24/7 nationwide coverage, optional lockbox service, lifetime equipment warranty, in-car medical alert availability, mobile GPS monitoring, and more. The company offers a 30-day risk-free trial, and packages range from $19.95 to $59.95 a month.
Although completely free medical alert systems don’t really exist, there are ways to eliminate or reduce the cost of buying one. We hope you found our guide helpful. Just remember, a medical alert system is a wise investment and very well could save your life.