Formed in 1976, LifeFone is an established medical alert company. Though it’s an older brand, LifeFone has kept up with technology and always fares well in our reviews. We like how their emergency monitoring is high quality yet affordable, and how unique upgrade options are available, too. These range from jewelry-inspired pendants to daily phone calls to check in on you or your loved one.
The cost for using a LifeFone button starts at $24.95 per month, and there’s no charge for equipment or activation. You could also skip the wearable and subscribe to LifeFone’s smartphone emergency service for another $7.95 per month. That’s cheap! But as you might imagine, the extras can really add up. Let’s see if LifeFone is your best bet for peace of mind and independent living.
Thankfully, LifeFone doesn’t charge for the main equipment. They ship base stations and help buttons for free, and they only charge for emergency monitoring and upgrades. You can either pay month-by-month or get a discount by paying more up-front.
|LifeFone Alert System||Annual Plan||Quarterly Plan||Monthly Plan|
|At-Home + On-The-Go||$36.95/mo||$39.95/mo||$39.95/mo|
|At Home + On-The-Go + Voice In Pendant||$42.95/mo||$44.95/mo||$46.95/mo|
Each plan is pretty risk-free, as LifeFone promises a full refund if you end up canceling within the first 30 days… and if you cancel later, they’ll apply a prorated refund.1 These customer-friendly policies help us feel comfortable recommending the brand.
Our favorite LifeFone accessories are extra buttons, and they are offered at a reasonable price. We think a second standard button for At Home systems makes LifeFone affordable for couples, as two people (at the same address) can share a $24.95 monthly account. Also, we think the LifeFone vanity button is an attractive alternative to the standard wearables. Here are prices for these and other add-ons:
|LifeFone Accessory||One-Time Cost||Description|
|Additional Wearable Help Button||$39.95||A second pendant or wrist button for At-Home medical alert systems|
|Beaded Lanyard||$21.95||An alternative to the standard lanyard for At-Home pendants; handmade with a choice of two bead colors|
|Fashion Pendant||$72.00||A jewelry-inspired pendant compatible with At-Home medical alert systems; includes a brass chain in place of lanyard|
|Wall-Mounted Help Button||$39.95||A panic button with simple Velcro installation; wirelessly connects with At-Home base stations|
|Master Lock Box||$29.95 – $39.95||Wall-mounted and hanging lock boxes for secure house key storage, giving emergency helpers quick access to a home|
|Leather Carrying Case||$18.95||A protective black leather case for LifeFone’s pocket-sized mobile base station|
|Mobile Device Charging Cradle||$39.95||An AC plug for charging the On-the-Go base station|
Fall detection is available with all four LifeFone systems for just $5 per month, which is 50% cheaper than the industry average. LifeFone also offers caregiving tools and other services you won’t see elsewhere. In fact, some services don’t even require a medical alert system.
Have a look at the price chart below to better understand the service fees. Keep in mind though, discounts may apply if you choose more than one add-on or upgrade.
|LifeFone Add-On Service||Description||Cost||Requires Medical Alert Base Station?|
|Mobile Alert||A mobile app with one-button connection to emergency operators||$7.95/mo||No|
|Family Guard||A wearable button with GPS tracking for parents and children of all ages||$9.95/mo*|
*One button. Extra buttons $5.95 each.
|Fall Detection||Sends an emergency signal if a fall is detected||$5/mo||Yes, available with systems for home and away|
|Medication Reminders||An automated service that sends audio reminders to the base station||$6/mo||Yes, available with At Home systems|
|Activity Assurance||Subscribers check in with LifeFone during a preset time daily||$6/mo||Yes, available with At Home systems|
|Daily Check-In Call||LifeFone makes a friendly daily phone call that can include medication reminders and other customization||$19/mo||Yes, available with At Home systems|
|Location Service||Caregivers can check a subscriber’s location up to 30 times per month||$9/mo*|
*Or $14 for a total of 60 GPS checks per month
|Yes, available with On-the-Go medical alert systems|
|Equipment Protection||Insurance in case equipment becomes lost, stolen, or damaged||$5/mo||Yes, available with all systems|
Like most alert brands these days, LifeFone sells medical alert systems for home and away. The At-Home systems have up to 1,300-ft range depending on home layout, so they allow for more space to roam compared to other top brands we’ve tested. And LifeFone’s On-the-Go systems work anywhere they can receive an AT&T cellular signal. AT&T advertises that the coverage is robust in most parts of the US except Alaska.2 We found this to be accurate based on our hands-on experience with LifeFone.
Did You Know: LifeFone isn’t only for medical alerts.You can also push a wearable or wall button in case of fire, burglary or other danger. Also, their emergency smartphone app can serve as a virtual security escort; use it to keep an operator on the line until you arrive someplace safe.
At-Home Landline is LifeFone’s most affordable medical alert package. Its starting price is $24.95 per month. Also, note that fall detection can be added to this or any system below for only $5 per month. LifeFone includes one standard wearable button for the wrist or neck. The base station can also use your home landline to send alerts from a second standard wearable, a Belle pendant, and wall-mounted buttons.
Best For: LifeFone At-Home Landline is best for seniors who don’t leave home alone.
At-Home Cellular provides protection without a home landline connection, as the base station has a 4G cellular chip for signaling. The starting rate is $29.95 per month. Like the landline base station, the At-Home Cellular plan can monitor buttons from up to 1,300 feet away. This works for LifeFone’s standard wearable buttons, vanity pendants, and wall-mounted panic buttons. Just one wearable is included for free, but two people can share the system. Extra buttons are sold separately as described below.
Best For: At-Home Cellular plan is best for seniors who do not have a landline and don’t leave home alone.
FYI: With a LifeFone At-Home system, you won’t need to recharge your standard pendant or wrist button. The battery lasts for up to five years. LifeFone monitors the charge and sends a free replacement if power drops to 20 percent.
This LifeFone plan gives coverage on AT&T’s 4G network. It includes a home base station, a portable base station, and a wearable button. The base stations allow two-way voice communication with emergency operators; the pendant itself doesn’t have audio. Service starts at $36.95 per month.
Best For: Seniors who want emergency coverage at home and away, and don’t mind carrying a pocket-sized base station when on-the-go
LifeFone’s top-of-the-line GPS system has two-way voice communication built into the pendant. In our experience, it’s more convenient than the GPS unit above, as you don’t need to keep a base station nearby. Monitoring starts at $39.99 per month. Note that the system includes a home charging unit and a wearable button.
Best For: Seniors who want the most convenient technology for emergency coverage at home and away
All LifeFone plans currently include free shipping and at least one month of free monitoring. If you choose a long-term plan and/or buy a vanity pendant, you can get up to two months of free monitoring, which we think is a great deal.
Also, remember that other LifeFone discounts are applied if you choose more than one add-on service during online signup. For example, you might see a discount if you add medication reminders and location tracking. That said, LifeFone deals frequently change. So we recommend checking their homepage for the most up-to-date info possible.
FYI: Automatic fall detection can sense about 95 percent of falls. It’s an option with any LifeFone pendant worn around the neck (At-Home or On-the-Go).
We rate LifeFone high in overall value. Unlike Life Alert and some other brands, LifeFone doesn’t charge for equipment or activation. For basic landline service, they charge $24.95 per month for monitoring, as do some of their best-priced competitors. And as mentioned, you won’t be skimping on quality; the range on LifeFone in-home systems is among the best in the business. Thirteen hundred feet is like three and a half football fields!
Fall detection is very affordable at just $5 per month, as most brands charge $10. And with LifeFone’s spouse discount, at-home coverage for two people can be surprisingly cheap. Another one of our favorite low-cost alert systems for seniors with fall detection is Medical Guardian.
As for mobile emergency service, we think LifeFone’s $39.99 monthly price for their top-of-the-line GPS system is a decent value compared to the industry average. LifeFone’s emergency mobile app is also a good deal at $7.95 per month with another LifeFone service, or $11.95 monthly on its own.
As mentioned, LifeFone has been in business since 1976. Initially, they provided medical alert buttons for healthcare facilities to monitor on their own. By the early 1980s, LifeFone established its own call center and began offering home medical alert systems. Today LifeFone fields landline and cellular alerts from its call center in White Plains and has contracts with backup call centers in Syracuse, NY, and Corona, CA.
Over the last four decades, the company has earned accolades and accreditations from respected consumer advocates such as the Better Business Bureau,3 Consumer Affairs, TrustPilot,4 WebMD, A Place for Mom, and many more. Overall, we think LifeFone’s package options and monthly monitoring plans are worth considering.
No, all plans are available month-to-month. A benefit of opting for a long-term plan is saving up to 20 percent on monitoring. You can cancel anytime by returning the equipment provided. LifeFone has a 30-day risk-free period and gives prorated refunds as well.
No, LifeFone doesn’t charge for equipment activation as some other competitors do.
No. LifeFone can provide At-Home systems with built-in cellular chips. As with most medical alert companies though, their landline systems have the lowest monitoring costs.
LifeFone lets you customize your emergency call instructions during account setup or anytime. If a caregiver lives nearby, then you might instruct LifeFone to try calling him or her before they try EMS. Also, LifeFone can text caregivers if EMS is called.
The most advanced LifeFone system is On-the-Go GPS with Voice in Pendant. It works along the nationwide AT&T cellular network and doesn’t require a portable base station, unlike their cheaper mobile system. But for homebound seniors an At-Home system is best.
LifeFone.com. (Accessed May 2020). Frequently Asked Questions.
AT&T. (Accessed May 2020). Wireless Coverage.
LifeFone: Better Business Bureau® Profile. (Accessed May 2020). BBB.
TrustPilot. (Accessed May 2020.) LifeFone.com.