While predominantly associated with seniors, medical alert (or personal emergency response) devices can be useful to individuals with certain medical conditions or special needs regardless of age. These potentially lifesaving tools are generally small and portable pendants, bracelets or watch-style designs to provide users a level of discretion when on the go. How much you will pay for your initial equipment or for 24/7 medical alert monitoring services will depend on the company you choose and the features you want.
Some top amenities that customers often opt for that may cost more include both landline and cellular monitoring, fall detection, and GPS location tracking. Another recommended service is an emergency lock box that allows emergency responders to access the home when no one can answer the door. Below we will discuss a bit more in depth about overall pricing, monitoring, contracts, activation and other useful details such as medical alert discounts.
Personal Medical Response Equipment Pricing
The majority of medical alert equipment providers and monitoring companies don’t charge anything up front for the equipment. Rather, the devices are provided to customers as a part of their monitoring contract. Should the contract be terminated, the customer is expected to return any and all equipment in good condition. On the downside, this means that if you lose or break any components due to misuse, you could be facing a hefty bill of several hundred dollars to compensate the company for that equipment. That being said, you can opt to buy devices from companies, but they will not be compatible with other monitoring services.
Medical Alert Device Activation
Most medical alert devices will arrive by mail and will have instructions concerning how to activate the device. Generally, it will need to plugged in and charged before performing the activation to ensure it will have long, sustainable battery life. Once fully charged, customers may need to call the monitoring company to complete activation. However, other companies may tell you to simply perform a ‘test call’ when you receive the system, as they have activated it already and perhaps even pre-set your preferred emergency contacts. With this in mind, many companies do not charge for activation, but others may charge a one-time fee of around $50.
Medical Alert Monitoring Cost Comparison
There are quite a few choices for personal alert monitoring companies today ranging from newcomers to those who pioneered the industry. Each typically offers customers a few packages and plans to choose from that allow you to have service at home and options to keep you protected when you are away. How much you pay will depend on your plan, services and contract length. Here are some top medical alert monitoring company’s costs compared for your convenience.
Personal Alert System Contracts
Regardless of the type of device you choose, it will be of no use without a monthly monitoring service. Most companies offer monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual contract lengths that will fit most budgets. The benefits of signing a longer contract generally include lower monitoring rates and additional ‘freebies’ upon enrollment. On the downside, there can be hefty fees for canceling a long-term contract early, so read the fine print before choosing an annual plan or longer.
Medical Alert Deals & Discounts
Even though they save lives and prevent tragedy, standard Medicare and most insurance companies don’t provide coverage for medical alert devices. However, it won’t hurt to contact your insurance provider to ask about any possibility of reimbursement. The good news is that seniors often qualify for discounts if they are members of the American Association for Retired Persons or the American Seniors Association.
The key to getting the best deals with companies is to enroll for a longer contract, where you are more likely to get perks such as free shipping, complimentary second buttons, a free month of service or a lockbox at no additional cost. Be sure to take advantage of your chosen provider’s free trial period before signing a contract.