Medical Alert is part of the Connect America brand that has over 35 years of industry experience in the senior healthcare field, and a product lineup that includes both at-home and on-the-go medical alert systems. We've routinely tested out their equipment and features over the years, and have been pleasantly surprised by their low-cost solutions, mobile app for family monitoring, and customer-friendly policies, including no hidden fees or long-term contracts. With prices as low as $18.29 per month on select plans (if you opt to pay annually), you'll find that Medical Alert is on the affordable end compared to the competition. No brand is perfect, so there are a few disadvantages we came across, like limited range (600-foot) for their at-home systems and fairly basic packages. However, Medical Alert's systems are a great fit for those who want to keep things simple, and the smaller coverage range won't be an issue unless you live in a very large home.
Medical Alert offers three main medical alert systems to choose from, including two in-home options and a more modern and sleek On The Go option for seniors who prefer a more fashionable design while running errands or visiting with friends. Note that this plan is a bit pricier compared to other mobile alert systems from companies like Bay Alarm Medical — yet, still cheaper than Philips Lifeline. Overall, in this year's review, we found their systems to be user-friendly and reliable. Below, we'll look at the pros and cons and everything else you need to know about Medical Alert to make an informed decision that best suits your lifestyle and budget.
At this point, you might be thinking to yourself: all of this sounds well and good, but I have a cell phone or landline I can easily use to call for help. And while that is true, the stats also tell us that 80 percent of falls and some of the most fatal injuries occur in the bathrooms when you're showering and don't have access to your phone.1 In fact, 1 in 4 Americans over 65 experience a fall each year, which accounts for falls being the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among seniors.2
Thankfully, companies like Medical Alert provide a life-saving device in the form of a waterproof wearable help button that can be worn in the shower or tub. In the event of an emergency, you'll just need to press the button to be connected to a live operator straight away. That way, you won't have to worry about the phone being out of reach or being unable to use it in the water. You can also add fall detection to any Medical Alert package, which detects falls automatically, so first responders will be notified straight away even if you are unconscious or unable to press the help button. With one senior being treated for a fall in the emergency room every 11 seconds in America,2 this feature is well worth the additional $10 per month.
Not only does Medical Alert provide the latest help pendants and fall detection, but their parent brand, Connect America, is one of the country's largest providers of medical alert systems and the main medical alert provider for over 7,000 CVS stores nationwide. They provide 24/7 emergency monitoring services and count on UL-accredited and Five Diamond Certified monitoring centers to keep you safe at all times.
Does Medical Alert sound like a good fit for you? Keep reading as we break down each Medical Alert system's pricing, features, and benefits below!
As you can see from the chart below, each of Medical Alert's packages get cheaper if you choose their semi-annual or annual subscriptions. The annual plans give you the added perks of free ground shipping, a free key lockbox, and one free month of service. Don't you just love the word free? There's also no activation fees to worry about or other hidden costs you might find with other companies. With Medical Alert, what you see is what you get!
|System||System & Connection Type||Available Monthly Plans|
|At Home Landline||In-home Landline Alert||– Monthly: $22.95 per month
– Semi-Annually: $19.95 per month
– Annually: $18.29 per month
|At Home No Landline||At-home Cellular Alert (AT&T)||– Monthly: $32.95 per month
– Semi-Annually: $29.95 per month
– Annually: $27.45 per month
|On The Go||Cellular Mobile Alert (AT&T)||– Monthly: $37.95 per month
– Semi-Annually: $34.95 per month
– Annually: $32.04 per month
The At Home Landline is Medical Alert's standard option. Beginning at $18.29 per month (when paid annually), this basic plan is on the cheaper side compared to most alert systems. The system comes with a standard base unit with a built-in two-way speaker and a water-resistant wearable help button (wrist or lanyard). The system's 600-foot range from the base unit to pedant is smaller than some of its major competitors. For comparison, Medical Guardian and One Call Alert have long in-home range capabilities up to 1,400 feet included with their basic options. However, if you live in a smaller home or place the base station in a central location, you should be covered with Medical Alert, no problem.
We recommend The At Home Landline system if you're on a tight budget with a smaller living space, you prefer a landline connection, or if you could just use some basic coverage.
Medical Alert's No Landline option is a better option for homebodies who'd prefer a cellular connection over a landline. Starting at $27.45 per month, it's around $9 more per month than the landline system, and it's comparable to similar offerings from other companies like LifeStation or Lifefone.
Buyer's Tip: We like that you won't have to pay any equipment fees when signing up with Medical Alert, but keep in mind that you will have to return all of your devices if you end your subscription since you don't own them.
The system comes with wireless equipment (your standard base station and wearable help button), and, other than the connection, it operates exactly like the At Home Landline system. At Home No Landline runs on AT&T's cellular network, so as long as you live in an area with reliable coverage you'll be set.
Starting at $32.04 per month, On The Go is Medical Alert's most expensive plan, but it also gives you the most value for your buck. It's a sleeker and more modern design for loved ones who appreciate a more fashionable look, and it comes with a travel-friendly base unit you can take with you on the go. The system is cellular and the base unit comes with built-in GPS technology, so help can be sent to you wherever you are.
You also get your standard water-resistant pendant and can opt for adding on fall detection (at an additional $10 per month). Simply throw on your help pendant and place your portable base unit wherever is convenient, and you'll be good to go. We appreciate that you get a convenient carrying case and charging cradle for your mobile device at no extra cost with this package.
FYI: All Medical Alert systems come with free access to their Medical Alert Connect mobile app — a simple and quick way for caregivers and family members to check in on their loved ones. The app allows you to receive instant notifications in the case of an emergency or when a user presses their help button.
As we've mentioned, there are a few mobile options on the market that are a few bucks cheaper than this system, especially if you pay monthly, but overall we feel that it's reasonably priced. That said, if you decide to go with Medical Alert, this is the system we most recommend. Whether you're picking up groceries or taking a brisk walk in town, you can have greater peace of mind knowing help is only the press of a button away.
As we've mentioned before, Medical Alert has some pretty decent deals when you go for their semi-annual or annual payment options. For instance, if you opt to pay yearly for their On The Go system, you can save over $70 every year, and you'll even receive one month of service free. And depending on the package you select, you get access to some high-quality freebies like free ground shipping and a free key lockbox. The latter allows first responders to quickly enter your home in case of an emergency.
Did You Know: Medical Alert provides a free key lockbox with select plans. Most companies charge an additional fee for this equipment, so we found this to be a great value, as it gives first responders quick access to your home if/when there is an emergency, which will prevent costly damage to your front door.3
Keep in mind, deals and promotions are always changing, so it's best to stay up to date with their website or speak to a company representative who can help you choose the best plan for your lifestyle and budget. If you do try out Medical Alert and you're not completely satisfied with their service, they allow you to return your system within 30 days from the equipment delivery date for a full refund less shipping costs.4
|Fall Detection||$10 per month||– Automatically detects falls – Waterproof wearable pendant that calls for help even if button isn't pressed.|
|Protection Plan||$5 per month||– Equipment warranty up to $350 if your system gets lost, stolen, or damaged.|
|Medical Alert Connect||Free||– Mobile app for subscribers and caregivers with instant notifications if your loved one presses their help button.|
|Key Lockbox||Free||– Comes free with annual subscriptions – Gives emergency personnel quick access to your door key in event of emergency|
All in all, we found Medical Alert to be a great entry-level plan for seniors who prefer a more straightforward system without all the bells and whistles. Medical Alert has some of the lowest prices and one of the best mobile apps we've seen in the industry, which makes it a great option for those on a budget. If it still doesn't have everything you're looking for, check out our list of this year's best medical alert systems.
Compared to companies like GreatCall or QMedic that will run you $7 to nearly $15 more per month, we found Medical Alert's low-cost solutions to be a great value for their high-quality service, freebies, faster than average response times, and excellent customer service. We also like that you don't have to worry about any hidden fees or signing lengthy contracts. The biggest drawbacks we saw were the company's limited at-home coverage (600 feet is still on the low side for alert systems), and a lack of add-on equipment and features. That said, there's still a lot to love about the brand, especially if you're just looking for a simple, affordable system. With a 30-day money-back guarantee, there's really no risk to trying out Medical Alert.
The prices for your Medical Alert system will depend on your chosen system and whether you choose to pay monthly, semi-annually, or annually. At the moment, their current offerings can run you anywhere from $18.29 to $37.95 per month.
Yes, Medical Alert doesn’t require long-term contracts. While you will have to sign a monitoring agreement, you can pay on a month-to-month basis and cancel at any time. You also won’t have to pay any activation or equipment fees.
Yes, you can shower with Medical Alert equipment. Their wearable devices are waterproof so you can safely press your help button while showering or in the bath to receive help in the event of a fall or injury. The company also offers waterproof fall detection service for an additional $10 per month.
Medical Alert offers reliable 24-hour monitoring, and they have relatively fast response times (30 seconds) compared to the industry average.
Aging.com. (2020). Falls Are, Unfortunately, A Common Occurrence.
NCOA. (2020). Falls Prevention Facts.
Medical Alert. (2020). How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?