When you’re shopping around for a medical alert system, you want to go with a provider with a wealth of experience and a great reputation. We’ve spent weeks researching and testing Bay Alarm Medical, and we think you’re going to be surprised with what we found. The short version is this, though: Their services and equipment will perform when you most need them.
Also, Bay Alarm Medical’s parent organization has been around since 1946, so you know they’ve had plenty of time to fine tune their services. They offer reliable 24/7 monitoring, exceptional customer service, and some of the best equipment on the market today.
One recently added feature worth pointing out is the caregiver tracker that is available on certain systems. Elderly loved ones, particularly those in states of advanced cognitive decline, have been known to wander away from home. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six out of 10 dementia patients will get lost at least once.1 The caregiver tracker will help you locate your family member quickly in the event of this scary scenario.
With every new subscription, Bay Alarm even provides a complimentary Vial of Life, a tool for managing your medical information in your home. This is a very helpful add-on – if you’re ever incapacitated, an emergency medical provider will be aware of your medications, allergies, etc.
And all of this is available for an affordable price. In fact, when we compare Bay Alarm Medical’s pricing to other top providers, like Medical Guardian, they look even better.
Monthly rates start at just $24.95, and if more than one family member will be on the account, Bay Alarm Medical charges about half of what we’ve seen with competitors. What’s more, neither of their high-quality at-home systems charge an equipment fee, and you can bundle these systems with on-the-go equipment for even more savings.
For an overview, a Bay Alarm Medical alert system will run you between $25 to $30 in monthly fees for an at-home system and about $30 to $40 for a mobile or on-the-go system. The at-home systems don’t have equipment costs, however all of the on-the-go systems have an associated equipment fee (generally between $99 and $159). You’ll find these prices are competitive for the medical alert industry.
Pro Tip: As of right now, Bay Alarm Medical is running a pretty significant sale. You can get 20 percent off their mobile devices as well as free shipping and one month of monitoring for free.
While comparing prices is crucial, especially if you live on a fixed income, it’s just as important to look at brand policies and perks. You don’t want any cause for headaches, like a long-term contract or yearly price hikes.
Fortunately, Bay Alarm has some of the most customer-friendly policies market-wide. There’s a 30-day trial period that comes with every system, backed by a money-back guarantee. On top of that, your monthly rate is guaranteed and locked throughout your contract. We don’t see those a lot from other companies.
It’s also worth noting that Bay Alarm Medical’s pricing is transparent and designed with the user in mind. Each system comes with a 30-day trial period backed by a money-back guarantee. To add to your peace of mind, your monthly rate is locked in through the duration of your contract, meaning you’re not going to be surprised by any hidden fees or price hikes.
That said, there are some built-in costs you need to be aware of. For example, shipping and handling is free for some, but not all, packages. With the in-home systems, it is free for the In-Home Preferred and In-Home Premium packages but not the In-Home Basic package. And this is true only when you opt for a quarterly or annual (rather than monthly) payment plan. Additionally, although it is a small cost, you will pay for return shipping (about $15) when you no longer need the equipment. Note that when Bay Alarm Medical processes a return, they stop monthly billing.
Did You Know? In 2004, over 90 percent of U.S. households had a landline. By 2020, that number had dropped to around 40 percent.2
Now that we have those minor caveats out of the way, we invite you to take a closer look at the competitive pricing that Bay Alarm Medical offers.
Bay Alarm offers two at-home systems, one with a landline connection and one with a cellular connection. They also offer three unique on-the-go options: a traditional pendant, a smartwatch-style device, and an all-in-one device for use both at home and away. See below for the different plans and monthly rates that you can expect.
|Type of System||Bay Alarm Equipment||Best For||One-Time Equipment Cost||Monthly Cost|
|In-Home||SOS Home / Landline||Home, Apartment or Condo Living||$0||$24.95 per month|
|In-Home||SOS Home / Cellular||Home, Apartment or Condo Living||$0||$21.95 per month|
|In-Home||SOS Home Cellular w/ Fall Detection||Seniors at Risk of Falling||$30||$39.95 per month|
|On-the-Go||SOS Mobile||Active Seniors + Caregivers||$99||$31.95 per month|
|On-the-Go||SOS All-in-One w/Fall Detection||Active Seniors who Might be at Risk of Falling||$99||$49.95 per month|
|On-the-Go||SOS Smartwatch||Active Seniors||$159||$34.95 per month|
|On-the-Go||SOS Smartwatch w/Fall Detection||Active Seniors||$159||$44.95 per month|
Note that if you order more than one system, you’ll earn discounts. You can also take advantage of freebies and pay for upgrades.
You can customize your Bay Alarm Medical plan with fall detection and other upgrades. Here’s a rundown of your options:
|Auto Fall Detection||$8-$10 per month
($15 per month for the second fall detection button)
|Additional In-Home Help Button||$30 Equipment Charge|
|In-Home Monitoring for a Second Person||Free|
|Bella Charms for In-Home Pendant||$25 one-time charge for each or $90 for all four|
|Lockbox for House Key||$30 one-time charge|
|Monitored Wall-Mounted Button||2 for $5 per month / 4 for $10 per month|
|Equipment Insurance||$1.95 – $4.95 per month|
|Account Manager App||Free|
|Additional Vial of Life||$8|
FYI: Bella Charms, the stylish charms that can be added to the personal help button pendant, are a fashionable way to convince more reluctant users to try one. A person shouldn’t have to choose between safety and beauty!
When we calculate total costs, Bay Alarm Medical tends to match or beat some of the other best medical alert systems available. Bay products are also very reliable. When we pressed the help button during testing, a highly-trained emergency response agent was on the line immediately.
Pro Tip: Medical emergencies aren’t the only dangers you need to help protect your elderly relatives from. Check out our guide to preventing household fires to better ensure their safety.
After testing the system several more times, we came to the conclusion that Bay Alarm Medical surpases the industry average response time of 30 seconds. We averaged around 25 seconds. If you’re looking for fast response times you’ll find them here, but if you’re interested in shopping around a little more, you should also look into Lifeline alert systems.
Bay Alarm Medical provides two ways to customize your package. First, they offer a tiered pricing system. For example, if you decide that you want to go with an at-home system, you can order one of three packages: a landline system for $24.95, a cellular system for $29.95, or a cellular system with wall help buttons for $39.95. You can also make the system your own by tacking on an add-on or two.
We have provided a synopsis for each of Bay Alarm’s packages below.
If you have a landline, the most cost-effective solution is the Basic Protection Plan. At $24.95, it’s at least $10 cheaper than the cellular packages, while still offering decent features.
You can use the wearable help button from anywhere within 1,000 feet of the landline-connected base station. Moreover, the button doesn’t need recharging; they work for about five years, and when you need a replacement, Bay Alarm Medical will send one for free.
One wearable button, which you can wear around your neck or on your wrist, is included for free, and you can add another for a nominal one-time fee. You can also upgrade to a help button with automatic fall detection.
Best For: Seniors who don’t leave home alone.
For another easy-to-use in-home system with more features, we recommend reading our hands-on review of Aloe Care Health.
This package has the exact same inclusions as the Basic package; the only difference is that it’s 4G cellular-enabled. This package costs $10 more than the Basic package, but it’s worth it especially if your home is not equipped with a landline. A few benefits come with a cellular system (as long as you have decent coverage in your home). For one, cellular systems are easier to install; just plug them in, flip the “ON” switch, and they’ll connect automatically. Another advantage is that it’s faster. According to Bay Alarm, its cellular systems are 60 percent faster than landline devices, and that difference in speed can save a life.
Best for: Seniors who don’t leave home and don’t have a landline.
The Premium Protection package includes everything in the Preferred Protection package plus it adds wall-mounted panic buttons which provide an extra layer of protection for high-risk areas in your home. For an additional $39.95 a month, $10 more than the previous package, you will receive four buttons with the Premium Protection package.
We think this high-tier indoor system is only worth the extra money if you are someone who either is resistant to wearing the help button around your neck or on your wrist or forgets to put it on. If you do wear the help button consistently while at home, the wall buttons are redundant.
Best for: Seniors who do not leave the home often and do not consistently wear the help button.
For just $29.95 per month, Bay Alarm Medical will monitor a button on-the-go. The SOS Mobile is Bay Alarms’s newest product offering, introduced to the market in 2022. We really like that you can choose to connect with the AT&T or Verizon 4G cellular network, depending on which provider offers the strongest signal in your area. It is also a great device for those older adults who have a pacemaker; the medical alert does not include a magnet. And it offers caregiver tracking and optional fall detection. The SOS Mobile comes with a $99 equipment fee.
Best For: Bay’s SOS Mobile is best for seniors who need emergency alert coverage at home and away.
Pro Tip: The Bay Alarm Medical app, available with the 4G LTE GPS, can send caregiver alerts if a subscriber leaves boundaries set on a map. Alerts can be lifesaving for a senior who is prone to wandering.
We recently tested the SOS Smartwatch, and the device, which presents as tech-savvy and contemporary, offers two important safety features — two-way talk and GPS location detection. What active seniors will also love about this watch is the extras that it provides such as multiple screen options, step tracking and the ability to make non-emergency calls to those designated as contacts.
One thing to note is that Bay Alarm does not offer fall detection on its smartwatch. However, this is not unusual for wrist devices. Most medical alert companies agree that fall detection sensors work less effectively when worn on a wrist. A supplementary fall detection pendant is an option.
Even without fall detection, at $29.95 per month, you can’t beat the price for a safety device that many seniors will love to wear. Even better, if you choose to go with a dual system, you will save over $10 per month. Instead of paying $60 a month if you purchase an in-home system and the SOS Smartwatch separately, you’ll only pay $49.95 monthly if you bundle them together.
FYI: Our top-rated alert system, Medical Guardian, also offers a smartwatch alert system. The MGMove costs slightly more than Bay’s option at $39.95 per month, and that’s after purchasing the device for $199.95. Still, it’s worth a look! You can read all about it in our Medical Guardian review.
Best for: The SOS Smartwatch is best for active, independent seniors who value a modern and discreet look.
Bay Alarm Medical is currently offering free shipping and a free month of service for quarterly and annual plans. But deals are constantly changing, so we recommend checking their website for up-to-date deals and discounts. Also, keep in mind that discounts apply automatically if you choose two or more systems. For example, you could save $10 per month when combining an in-home system with the SOS Mobile.
For an all-around amazing value, Bay Alarm Medical is a top-notch choice for basic emergency backup. No matter if you decide on a home system or one for while you’re away, you can rest assured you are getting a solid value with Bay–and likely a better deal than with other well-known brands.
Savings are especially great if you’re getting in-home coverage for two people or two buttons, as the $24.95 per month monitoring account can be shared. You will receive savings if you sign up for two on-the-go systems, too. After paying for the first user, the second user receives a discounted monthly price, saving up to $20 per month.
Not every brand offers free or discounted coverage for a spouse or roommate, so this sets Bay Alarm Medical apart. Some other brands may offer this, but they might nickel and dime you in other ways. For instance, while doing research for our Life Alert price guide, we found their monthly costs to be much higher than the industry average.
Optional features are priced fairly, too. Like most competitors, Bay Alarm Medical charges $10 per month for fall detection. Some brands charge just $5 for this feature, but you’ll probably see that they charge more in another way. We also like how Bay’s caregiver tracking app is included with the On the Go 4G LTE system and how they monitor wall-mounted panic buttons for just $5 per month.
FYI: Although it’s not 100% accurate, we recommend signing up with fall detection, especially if you or your loved one is prone to falling.
Bay Alarm Medical is a division of Bay Alarm, a home and business security provider established in 1946. The company has always been family-owned, and we think this shines through in their treatment of customers. We’ve always felt regarded as individuals, not dollar signs, during sales and customer service calls.
In 2016 the two brothers at the company’s helm were inducted into the Security Sales & Integration Industry Hall of Fame.3 This was partly in recognition of Bay’s clever in-car alert system, which was the first of its kind to hit the market.
Today the company serves about 150,000 accounts and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.4 You can learn more about Bay Alarm Medical’s background, as well as its features and offerings in our in-depth review of the company.
Yes, the Smartwatch as well as the help button on both the wristband and necklace are waterproof. On their website, Bay Alarm states that most customers choose to take off their Smartwatch before showering so that it doesn’t get in the way. At the same time, showers/bathtubs can be a high-risk area for falls. We recommend replacing the SOS Smartwatch with the wristband or necklace during a shower or bath to ensure safety.
No, the Smartwatch does not need to be connected to a smartphone. It runs on a pre-installed 4G LTE sim card. The watch is preprogrammed for ideal lighting and clear communication.
The base unit for the in-home system has a battery for 32 hours of back-up protection in the case of a power outage. The battery automatically recharges itself when power returns. Most in-home systems match this battery life. For those who are especially concerned about battery life, such as individuals who live in areas prone to hurricanes, a system that has a more extensive battery life might be a good call.
The standard help buttons have a battery that will last up to 5 years. When it needs replacing, it will automatically send a signal to the monitoring center. An associate will contact you with instructions on battery replacement. Note that the help buttons with fall detection have a battery life up to two years. *The SOS Smartwatch has a battery life up to 24 hours. It should be recharged daily.
The SOS Smartwatch does not include caregiver tracking at this time. However, Bay Alarm Medical says they hope to add this feature to the watch in the near future.
Bay Alarm partners with Language Line Services to provide support for seniors who do not speak English or for whom English is a second language. More than 170 languages are available.
Alzheimer's Association. (Retrieved February 2023). Wandering and getting lost: Who’s at risk and how to be prepared.
National Center for Health Statistics. (Retrieved February 2023). Wireless Substitutions.
Bay Alarm News. (2016, April 6). Bay Alarm Brothers Inducted Into Security Sales and Integration Industry Hall of Fame.
Bay Alarm Medical: Better Business Bureau® Profile. (Retrieved May 2020). BBB.