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Medical Alert

Editor's Rating:

4.4 / 5

Medical Alert is a personal emergency response system (PERS) that provides both at home and on the go monitoring for older adults. The system, a subset of the Connect America company, makes it possible for older adults to age safely in place at their own homes and avoid having to move into assisted living facilities. Founded in 1977, Connect America has been a leader in the medical technology field for more than three decades. The company, headquartered in Broomall, Pennsylvania, offers a variety of emergency medical alert products.

These days it’s imperative to do your homework on medical alert systems, since there are so many options on the market. With each system I look at, I analyze the different products, their pricing, and their capabilities. What caught my eye with Medical Alert was the sheer variety of products and the many features they offered.

So how do you know if Medical Alert is the system for you? Below I’ll lay out everything you need to know about each Medical Alert product, including how they are used, how they are installed, and how they compare to the rest of the competition.

Why Is Medical Alert Special?

Medical Alert is part of Connect America, the largest independent provider of emergency medical systems. With a rapidly aging population, it’s important to have faith that a company can accommodate an increasing number of older adults. According to the National Institute of Aging, there are more Americans over the age of 65 than ever before; just over 49 million to be exact. Connect America has established itself as a reliable company with 35 years of experience in the medical technology field, giving me the utmost confidence, they can keep up with our aging population.

Some appealing features of Medical Alert are their affordable prices and lack of long-term contract requirements. There are no equipment costs, no hidden fees, and no activation fees, which I’ll get into more later on. Flexible payment options are a big bonus that isn’t always offered with other systems like Life Alert.

How Do I Get My Hands On A Medical Alert System?

Purchasing from Medical Alert is simple and hassle-free. There is the option to buy either online or over the phone, which is great for older adults who may not feel confident making online purchases.

Before buying the product, you can browse their user-friendly website. While it’s not the most modern site, it is well laid out and easy to navigate. I took advantage of the company’s free medical monitoring system assessment. After answering a series of questions including if I lived at home alone, if I’ve ever fallen, and if I ever got dizzy, I received an email with the company’s suggested product for my needs.

I ended up ordering my system online and it was a breeze. There were no upfront costs for the equipment meaning I just had to sign up for a payment plan, wait for my system to arrive, do a quick install, and I was good to go. Because the equipment is leased and included with the monthly payments, it is your responsibility to return it to the company in the event that you cancel your subscription. With no long-term contracts, you can cancel at any point; however, the company won’t suspend payments until the equipment is returned.

Money Saving Tip: There are monthly, semi-annual and annual payment options. The monthly payment option is the most expensive and the annual option is the least expensive. Because you have the flexibility to cancel at any point, we recommend going with the annual payment plan as a way to save a little money.

What Systems Does Medical Alert Offer?

Medical Alert offers three main systems, two for at home and one for on the go. Below is a snapshot of their systems, including key features and pricing plans.

At Home Landline

PlanPriceFeatures
Monthly$22.95· 24/7 monitoring
· Two-way speaker
· Waterproof pendant or bracelet
· Base Unit
Semi-Annually$19.95· 24/7 monitoring
· Two-way speaker
· Waterproof pendant or bracelet
· Base Unit
· Free Shipping
Annually$18.29· 24/7 monitoring
· Two-way speaker
· Waterproof pendant or bracelet
· Base Unit
· Free Shipping
· Free Lockbox

At Home No Landline

PlanPriceFeatures
Monthly$32.95· 24/7 monitoring
· Two-way speaker
· Waterproof pendant or bracelet
· Wireless Connection
· Base Unit
Semi-Annually$29.95· 24/7 monitoring
· Two-way speaker
· Waterproof pendant or bracelet
· Base Unit
· Wireless Connection
· Free Shipping
Annually$27.45· 24/7 monitoring
· Two-way speaker
· Waterproof pendant or bracelet
· Base Unit
· Wireless Connection
· One month free
· Free Shipping
· Free Lockbox

On The Go MobileElite Medical System

PlanPriceFeatures
Monthly$37.95· Lightweight help button
· Interchangeable neck and wrist options
· Two-way speaker
· Handheld device
· Carrying Case
· GPS location services
Semi-Annually$34.96· Lightweight help button
· Interchangeable neck and wrist options
· Two-way speaker
· Handheld device
· Carrying Case
· GPS location services
· Free shipping
Annually$32.04· Lightweight help button
· Interchangeable neck and wrist options
· Two-way speaker
· Handheld device
· Carrying Case
· GPS location services
· One month free

What Medical Alert System Is Best For Me?

Now that you have an idea of what Medical Alert systems cost and what features they include, let’s take a closer look at each option to better understand what those features mean.

At Home Landline

The At Home Landline is one of Medical Alert’s least expensive options, starting at $22.95 per month and gets less expensive if you opt in to a semi-annual or annual pricing plan. The At Home Landline is great to use inside your home or apartment since it does need to be connected to a landline phone in order to work. Included in the At Home Landline system is a base unit and a push button that you can get as either a pendant or wristband, based on your personal preference.

At Home Landline medical alert system from Medical Alert.
Medical Alert At Home Landline Base

Both the pendant and wristband are waterproof and can be worn in both the shower and bath. This is a key feature for any medical alert system because falls are more common in slippery areas. Having access to help at all times, including the bathroom, could be the difference between life and death, with the total mortality rate of older adults who received help within an hour being 12 percent versus 67 percent for older adults who received help more than 72 hours after falling.

But having a waterproof button isn’t the only factor that goes into getting help quickly; it’s also imperative to have access to help at all times. That’s why Medical Alert has a 24-hour, seven day a week call center that you connect to whenever you push your button. Operators immediately begin talking with you and determine what kind of help you need. They will also stay on the line with you until help actually arrives.

At Home No Landline

The At Home No Landline is best for older adults who no longer use a landline service. Because less than half of Americans live in a home with a landline, the technology used with this system means you can get medical monitoring without having to worry about reinstalling a home phone line. The system connects wirelessly to the 24/7 emergency response operators and includes a waterproof pendant or wristband and base unit.

Medical Alert At Home No Landline
Medical Alert At Home No Landline Equipment

If you decide to go with this system and sign up for an annual plan, you will not only get a discounted rate, you will also receive a free month of service, free shipping, and a free lockbox. Lockboxes are great because you can keep your key in it, which gives emergency response teams access to your home if the door is locked and you have fallen. Otherwise, they may need to break down the door or window to get to you.

On The Go MobileElite Medical System

Medical Alert’s On The Go MobileElite Medical System is for older adults who live a more active lifestyle. This system provides around the clock security whether you’re at home, at the store, or on vacation. With GPS location services, operators at Medical Alert’s call center can dispatch help no matter where you are.

Medical Alert System Guide
Medical Alert MobileElite System

The system, which works anywhere there’s AT&T wireless coverage, comes with a lightweight button and interchangeable neck and wrist options, meaning you’ll be comfortable regardless of how you choose to wear the help button. The handheld receiver device comes with a carrying case so you can easily transport it with you as well as a charging station and 24/7 monitoring. The 24/7 monitoring gives you access to the call center at all times so help can get to you whenever you need it.

What Add-Ons Are Offered Through Medical Alert?

In addition to the medical alert features and the equipment that comes with the monthly costs, the company offers add-ons that provide even more safety.

Automatic Fall Detection

Automatic Fall Detection can be bundled with any of Medical Alert’s systems for an added cost of $10 a month. This is the company’s most popular add-on and one we strongly recommend. That’s because, with automatic fall detection, the monitoring center operators will be notified if you fall, even if you are unable to press your button. That means you will still receive immediate help even if you are unconscious or just can’t muster up the strength to press the button.

Keep In Mind: Automatic Fall Detection is available for any of the Medical Alert systems but it does cost an extra $10 a month.

Protection Plan

By adding a Protection Plan to your purchase you’ll be covered if the system is lost, damaged or stolen. The protection plan costs an extra $5 a month but could save you up to $350 of out of pocket expenses if you end up needing to replace a system.

You Should Know: Once you pick your system and payment plan, you will receive prompts asking if you want any of the add-ons. The add-on options pop up immediately after you add your product to your cart. You can opt in or out for them.

Does Medical Alert Have A Mobile App?

There is a Medical Alert Mobile App that can be used by a subscriber, a family member or a caregiver. The app allows you to keep track of device statuses, testing schedules and contact lists. It allows app users to get instant notifications that update you when a subscriber is using the device and whether or not there is an actual emergency taking place. Additionally, if you don’t have your push button but have your phone with the app, you can connect directly to the call center through the app.

Pricing, Installation, and Warranties

Medical Alert doesn’t offer warranties for any of the systems. However, the company does offer a thirty-day free trial. That means if you get the alert system and don’t like it, you can send it back at any point within those thirty days and you are guaranteed your money back.

In terms of pricing, there are no hidden fees or upfront costs. The equipment is included in the monthly, semi-annually and annual payments. Because you don’t buy the equipment, it is your responsibility to send it back if you cancel service and refunds won’t be issued until the equipment is received. And speaking of shipping, Medical Alert does offer free shipping, but only with some of the payment plans.

When it comes to installing Medical Alert, systems are easy to set-up. If you’re using the At Home Landline system, all you need to do is plug the base unit into an outlet, connect it to your landline phone and turn it on. For the other two systems, you’re good to go after plugging it into the outlet and turning it on.

Pro Tip: Make sure you check out the website for promotions and special pricing. Medical Alert usually has specials running which will help you save money.

What’s the Verdict?

Overall, Medical Alert is a solid choice when it comes to medical alert systems. The simple set up, mobile app and at home and on the go options make it a system that works for a variety of lifestyles. And like other medical alert system companies, Medical Alert offers automatic fall technology for an additional cost, which isn’t uncommon for the industry.

And if that wasn’t enough, the lack of long-term contracts, no hidden fees, and affordable pricing make this system a great pick for older adults on a budget. While it’s not the cheapest system on the market, it’s nowhere near the most expensive, and it allows you to get the monitoring needed without having to break the bank.

What Are Some Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of customer service is offered by Medical Alert?

    Medical Alert has a customer service and support page that has the answers to some questions, but we would suggest calling the number on the website for help. Medical Alert customer service reps are well-versed in the products and always eager to help with any inquiry.

  • Are all Medical Alert systems waterproof?

    All Medical Alert systems are waterproof and can be worn in the shower or the bath. Because a lot of falls tend to occur in slippery places, having a waterproof pendant or wristband is key to ensure around-the-clock safety.

  • Can I use Medical Alert if I don’t speak English?

    Medical Alert hires staff who speak languages other than English. In addition, the company trains every operator to use the International Language Line, a real-time translation service with 140 language options.

  • Is it possible to change between systems?

    Medical Alert’s goal is to make you feel safe, so you are able to swap out systems. If you get one system but feel your lifestyle better fits the features of another system, just call customer service and a representative can help you find the system that works best for you.

  • Do Medical Alert systems have fall detection?

    All Medical Alert systems have fall technology available, however, it is an extra cost. When ordering online you will be prompted to add automatic fall detection to your cart after you select your system and payment plan. When ordering on the phone, make sure to tell your customer service representative that you are interested in automatic fall detection.

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