Are Medical Alert Systems Covered by Medicare?
A medical alert system can help you summon help in the case of an emergency. Health experts say that anyone who is at risk of a fall or who has a serious medical condition may benefit from such a device.
These devices can give you peace of mind knowing that help is just a push away. In some cases, you do not need to even push the device to get help. Many systems feature fall detection that can automatically sense if you fall.
Medical alert systems come with a range of features from GPS tracking to cellular monitoring. The costs for medical alert systems can range from $19.99 a month to $89.95 a month depending on the features that you choose.
If you are on a limited income, you might be concerned about the costs of a medical alert system.
Does Medicare Cover Any Medical Alert Systems?
One of the most frequently asked questions that people ask is “will Medicare pay for medical alert systems?” Medicare does not traditionally pay for the cost of a medical alert system.
Does Medicare Offer Free Medical Alert Systems?
Medicare does not offer free medical alert systems. However, if you have long-term care insurance or a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be able to get reimbursement for a medical alert system. Many Medicare Advantage plans offer extra benefits and may cover part or all of the cost for a medical alert system. The coverage varies greatly by plan so it is best to contact your insurance company directly for answers.
Do Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plans Pay for Medical Alert Systems?
Medicare supplement insurance plans, sometimes called Medigap plans, typically cover gaps in coverage and out-of-pocket expenses for Traditional Medicare plans. Because Medicare supplemental insurance plans only pay for things covered under traditional Medicare, they will usually not cover medical alert systems. However, because these plans are administered by private companies, they may offer additional benefits. It is always a good idea to call your Medicare supplemental insurance plan for more information.
How to Pay for a Medical Alert System if Medicare Will Not Cover the Cost
If Medicare will not pay for a medical alert system, don’t give up. There are ways to get these systems very cheap or at least discounted. Here are some tips.
Don’t Just Choose the Cheapest System
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on a medical alert system, it might be tempting to just go with the cheapest system that you can find. However, not all medical alert systems are created equal. The cheapest system may not meet your needs. For example, many of the lower cost medical alerts require a landline phone. It can be more expensive to install a landline if you do not have one than simply choosing a cellular medical alert system. Another example would be choosing the wrong kinds of system. If you are outside of the home often, you might need a GPS-based system, which probably won’t be the cheapest. The right system for your needs may not be the least expensive.
See If There Are Any Discounts Available
Many medical alert providers offer discounts. So, check with the provider to see if they are running any specials or discounts. If you are a member of AARP, USAA or AAA, you may eligible for a cheaper monthly rate. Check with the specific medical alert provider for more information.
Check With Your Local Agency on Aging
Some local senior centers or agencies on aging help pay for the costs of these lifesaving medical alert systems for seniors. Check with your local senior community center to see if there are any local agencies that help seniors pay for these devices.
Ask If the Company Offers Flexible Payment Plans
Most medical alert companies offer flexible payment plans so you can pay monthly, quarterly or even yearly. Although paying monthly can be easier if you have limited funds, many companies offer discounts for paying quarterly or yearly.
Carefully Read Contracts
Once you do choose a medical alert company, make sure you carefully read the contract. All the terms are spelled out in the contract, so read it carefully. Some companies allow you to cancel anytime. Others require monthly monitoring for a period. There could be substantial fees for canceling early. So, make sure you look for hidden fees or early cancellation charges.
Compare Medical Alert Companies
Medical alert systems vary greatly in terms of features and price. For instance, some companies do not require a monthly subscription fee to use the service. However, and they usually charge an upfront cost for the equipment. Other companies charge a higher monthly fee but do not charge any fees for equipment. One of the easiest ways to compare medical alert companies is by using our website. We offer an in-depth review of major medical alert systems, including the pros and cons, costs, and things to look for when choosing a service. We’ve done the research to help you save time and money.