Bay Alarm Medical is a longtime leader among medical alert companies. We’ve tested their equipment on a regular basis for years, and Bay consistently earns great scores for reliable 24/7 response, high-quality features, and customer-friendly policies like no long-term contracts. And when we compare Bay Alarm Medical’s pricing, plans, and packages to other top providers like Medical Guardian, it’s easy to see that they offer plenty of value.
The monthly rate starts as low as $19.95, and if you want to share an account with a spouse, Bay Alarm Medical charges about half of what we’ve seen from its competitors. So let’s see if Bay Alarm Medical has an alert system and monitoring plan that makes sense for you or your loved one.
It’s nice to know that Bay Alarm Medical doesn’t require long-term contracts and offers a 30-day trial period with a money-back guarantee.
As far as extra fees go, you may need to read the fine print. For example, shipping and handling is free for most packages, but it is not free for two of the three in-home systems. For these in-home systems, shipping is free only if you purchase the system with four wall buttons. And 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.
Watch out for another additional cost that could crop up. Base prices listed on Bay Alarm’s website often reflect a plan that utilizes a landline. A system that uses cellular connection usually costs up to $10 more per month. This is standard for the industry.
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.1
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.
Here are 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||Single Pendant Help Button||Apartment or Condo Living||$0||$19.95|
|In-Home||Single Pendant Help Button (4G Cellular-Enabled)||Apartment or Condo Living||$0||$29.95|
|In-Home||Pendant + 4-Pack Wall Button (4G Cellular-Enabled)||Multi-Level Home||$0||$39.95|
|On-the-Go||GPS Help Button||Active Seniors + Caregivers||$79||$29.95|
|On-the-Go||SOS Smartwatch||Active Seniors||$159||$29.95|
|Dual System||In-Home + GPS||Active Seniors Who Live Alone||$79||$39.95 landline
|Dual System||In-Home + Smartwatch||Active Seniors Who Live Alone||$159||$39.95 landline
Note that if you order more than one system, you’ll earn discounts. You can also take advantage of freebies and pay for upgrades as we’ve described below.
You can customize your Bay Alarm Medical plan with fall detection and other upgrades. Here’s a rundown of your options:
Vial of LifeOne is free. $8 one-time charge for the second
|Auto Fall Detection||$10 per month
($15 per month for the second fall detection button)
|Additional In-Home Help Button||$39 Equipment Charge|
|In-Home Monitoring for a Second Person||Free|
|Additional On-the-Go GPS Help Button||$79 Equipment Charge / $20 per month|
|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|
|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|
FYI: Bella Charms can enhance in-home medical alert systems for women. Available in designs ranging from pastel to bold black, they make pendants look more like fashion jewelry than alert devices.2
When we calculate total costs, Bay Alarm Medical tends to match or beat some of the other best medical alert systems available. And as mentioned, Bay is very reliable. When we pressed the help button during testing, a highly-trained emergency response agent was on the line immediately.
In fact, after testing the system several more times, we concluded that Bay Alarm Medical surpasses the industry average response time of 30 seconds. All of the calls came through on our two-way talk at 27 seconds or under. Two of these calls were even answered after 21 seconds. We were impressed! If a fast response time is important to you, we’d also recommend looking into Lifeline alert systems.
Bay Alarm Medical sorts its products by your place of need: home only, car only or both. Also, the company automatically applies discounts if you choose more than one system. These deals are applied online and by phone.
Each system is shown below. We start with the home-only category, then move on to the on-the-go systems.
Bay’s Basic Protection systems can send alerts over landlines or the company’s cellular account. If you have a landline, the base price is $19.95 per month. Without a landline, the rate is $29.95. This system includes a long-range base station (1,000 feet).
One wearable button for the wrist or neck is free, and you can add another for a small one-time fee. These home-only buttons don’t need recharging; they work for about five years, and then Bay sends replacements. Keep in mind that neck pendants can be upgraded with fall detection and Bella charms.
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. Even if you do have a landline, cellular systems are still worth considering, as it has benefits over landline. 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. We like how this gives backup anywhere along AT&T’s 4G cell network.3 And, unlike some other brands’ setups, two-way voice communication and a cellular chip are built into the pendant. Thus you won’t need to tote around a base station. You can also add fall detection and GPS access for caregivers. Similar to what we saw when we tested and reviewed MobileHelp, Bay Alarm offers total peace of mind while on-the-go.
Best For: Bay’s 4G LTE GPS Help Button 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.
The SOS Smartwatch is Bay’s newest addition. We recently tested this 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 $50 a month if you purchase an in-home system and the SOS Smartwatch separately, you’ll only pay $39.95 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 $5 per month when combining an in-home system with a GPS button.
Basic emergency backup from Bay Alarm Medical is an all-around top value. You can certainly count on the equipment to work. And whether you choose a system for home or away, you will likely pay less for Bay than you would for other leading brands.
As mentioned above, savings are especially great if you’re getting in-home coverage for two people or two buttons, as the $19.95 per month monitoring account can be shared.
Not every brand offers free or discounted coverage for a spouse or roommate, so kudos to Bay Alarm Medical. 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.4 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.5 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.
BayAlarmMedical.com. (Retrieved May 2020). Frequently Asked Questions.
Alina Nguygen. (Retrieved May 2020). Bella Charms.
AT&T. (2020). Benefits of the AT&T 4G LTE network.
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.
After earning a degree in journalism, Jenny Wisniewski spent much of her professional life in education; however, she returned to writing in earnest in the senior care space, acting as caregiver to her mother. She has hand-tested the industry’s top medical alert systems, writing nearly 50 in-depth articles that help seniors age safely in place. Jenny also covers caregiving, Medicare, assisted living, memory care, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Previously, she’s written for national publications such as Country Magazine and Sierra Magazine. Jenny holds dual bachelor’s degrees in English/Journalism and Political Science from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She currently resides in Milwaukee, WI.