Life Alert is a home personal emergency response system that’s designed to help people (particularly older individuals or those with physical health problems) live at home comfortably and safely. The personal emergency response system uses unique audio monitoring technology to alert personnel when a member experiences a health or medical emergency and requires assistance. It is a life-changing solution for those wondering how to maintain their independence without giving up their safety. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about this program.
How Does Life Alert Work?
A medical notification system makes it possible to contact emergency personnel with a simple push of a button. The button is designed to be worn on the individual at all times. This type of system comes in handy for those with known medical conditions. It is also frequently used by aging individuals who are at higher risk of falling and being unable to get to their cell phones or telephones to call for assistance.
When the alert system is triggered, either by a push of a button or potentially by a fall, the alarm monitoring system receives a signal indicating the person needs immediate assistance. Life Alert sends someone to respond to the affected person and provide appropriate care.
How Much Does Life Alert Cost?
The basic system, which includes the base speakerphone unit and a pendant with a call button, is $49.95 per month. The service requires a one-time $95 activation fee as well. Adding on an additional device (GPS unit or help button) raises the activation fee to $198 and the monthly fee to $69.90. There are also additional services available that could affect the monthly fee and/or activation fee.
Does Life Alert Have Contracts?
Like many monthly services, Life Alert requires a contract. The minimum contract length is three years and can only be canceled if the user is admitted into a nursing home or passes away.
Is Life Alert Covered by Insurance?
Unfortunately, most insurance plans don’t offer coverage for personal emergency response systems, even though the systems can save lives. If you have any questions about whether your policy covers the service, talk to your insurance provider. In some cases, certain providers may reimburse some or all of the cost of a life-saving alert system if it was purchased at a doctor’s recommendation or if the individual has special circumstances.
Can I Deduct a Life Alert System From My Taxes?
The IRS allows for certain medical deductions, but they don’t specifically state that medical alert services can be deducted. However, monthly monitoring and response services may be eligible for deduction if you place them under the “Medical Information Plans” section. Consult with your tax preparer to make sure you’re listing deductions for your at-home monitoring system in the correct section on your tax documents.
Remember, to get a tax break for qualifying medical expenses, your medical deductions have to be itemized and must exceed 7.5% of your gross income minus specific itemized and personal deduction allowances (adjusted gross income).
Does Medicare or Medicaid Pay for Life Alert?
Medicare Parts A and B unfortunately will not pay for medical equipment such as fall alert devices. In some cases, Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage) may help cover the expense of a personal emergency response system. If interested in this possibility, you need to call your insurance company or carefully check your Medicare Advance policy to see if your device qualifies for coverage.
Four Medicaid programs will pay for some emergency response devices, but whether you qualify for coverage depends on your state’s unique regulations. The four programs that sometimes pay for at-home medical monitoring services include Money Follows the Person, HCBS Programs, Medicaid State Plan Personal Care Attendant Programs and Consumer Directed Services.
If you discover that your Medicare, private insurance company or Medicaid won’t cover your device, consider contacting your state’s Department of Aging Services or Department of Human Resources to see if there is a senior citizen assistance program that will help pay for your device.
Is Life Alert Waterproof?
Falls can happen anywhere, so it’s important to have a medical emergency response device that can get wet. Fortunately, Life Alert is waterproof and wireless, so it can be worn in the shower.
Does the Button Work When I’m Away From Home?
Life Alert mobile can be worn anywhere and is ideal for emergencies that happen away from home. For those with physical health concerns who want to able to enjoy various activities worry-free, this mobile feature can literally be life-saving.
Who Does My Button Call?
Your at-home medical monitoring button calls a Life Alert dispatcher, who will talk to you over the loudspeaker to determine what type of assistance you need. Depending on the nature of your emergency, the dispatcher may call policemen, firemen or other emergency responders to assist you.
What Benefits Does Life Alert Offer?
There are various personal medical response services out there, so what makes Life Alert unique? Here are a few of the top benefits the service offers:
- No battery charging needed: All buttons and pendants have a 10-year battery life, so you don’t need to worry about recharging them frequently.
- Worry-free installation: A customer service member will call you on the day you receive your system in the mail to schedule your installation.
- Fast shipping: Your system will be shipped to you via two-day air as soon as you place your order.
- Insured equipment: A professional technician will come out to repair or replace your equipment if it stops working for any reason.
- No fees or penalties: False alarms are not penalized, so if you accidentally push the button without requiring assistance, you won’t be charged extra.
- Exceptional service and response times: Life Alert has been in the business for decades and has developed an exceptional monitoring service with fast response times.
At-home medical monitoring systems can give individuals with physical limitations a greater sense of safety and independence. To learn more about Life Alert’s protection services, call today.