Medicare Coverage of Medical Alert Systems
In the vast majority of cases, Medicare will not cover medical alert systems, including Life Alert.
Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facility care, hospice care, and home health care. None of this is applicable to medical alert systems.
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers services from doctors, services from other health care providers, preventive services, home health care, and durable medical equipment.
Durable medical equipment (DME) items include oxygen concentrators, wheelchairs, and CPAP machines, among others; however, medical alert systems are not considered DME and are not covered by Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Coverage of Medical Alert Systems
While Original Medicare will not cover Life Alert or other medical alert systems, some Medicare Advantage plans may cover part or all of the costs.
Medicare Advantage plans are a private alternative to Original Medicare. In addition to offering coverage that is equal to that of Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans often offer additional benefits. These may include:
- Dental coverage
- Partial hearing aid coverage
- OTC medication discounts
- Medical alert system discounts or coverage
Since Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies, these extra benefits will vary significantly by the company. If you’re looking for medical alert system coverage, be sure to reach out to your insurer, and see if they offer any plans with this type of coverage.
Medical Alert System Costs
Medical alert systems cost anywhere from $20 to $50 per month, with some providers like Life Alert costing upward of $80 per month.
With most medical alert companies, you do not have to purchase your equipment; rather, you pay a one-time activation fee (anywhere from $20 to $100) and then a monthly fee to lease the equipment. With most companies, you can cancel your service, return your equipment, and stop paying the monthly charge at any time.
To learn more about medical alert systems and how they can help your loved one age in place, read our full guide to medical alert systems.
To learn more about our experience with Life Alert, read our full Life Alert review.