Seniors and their families have been relying on Rescue Alert for 40 years. This brand has brought new technology to the medical alert industry, and they have flexible payment options and plans that make their devices affordable. But does that make Rescue Alert the best option for you and your family?
In our most recent evaluation of Rescue Alert, we took a closer look at their plans, packages, and pricing to help you determine if their alert systems make sense for your budget and lifestyle.
As you weigh your options, know that Rescue Alert offers fewer devices at a higher price point than other brands. But what they lack in selection, they make up for with quality hardware and dependable monitoring. So depending on your needs, this brand might be a good fit. Let’s dive in to see if Rescue Alert makes sense for you.
The best features of the Rescue Alert system:
Medical alert companies take two different approaches when it comes to covering the cost of the equipment itself (as opposed to service fees). Some rent the equipment, wrapping the cost into the monthly fees. Customers then return the equipment when they cancel their service. Other companies sell the equipment at the front end, and customers keep the equipment even after ending service. This tends to be the case with higher quality equipment that add functions that move beyond just safety, such as smartwatches.
Rescue Alert is unique. It offers you the choice of buying the at-home equipment, which results in lower monthly fees, or renting the equipment. Note that Rescue Alert offers only equipment rental for its on-the-go system.
Let’s start with the basic monthly cost (assuming that the equipment is rented) for Rescue Alert’s three medical alert systems. Take a look at the pricing snapshot below.
|Rescue Alert Systems||System Type||Monthly Plan Cost|
|MXD||At-Home Landline||$32.95 per month|
|MXD LTE||At-Home Cellular||$42.95 per month|
|Rescue Alert GPS||Cellular GPS Alert||$44.95 per month|
Now, let’s consider the overall cost of purchasing the equipment, using the MXD as an example. If you decide to pay $199 to purchase the equipment, you’ll only have a $15.99 per month monitoring fee to worry about. You may be wondering how long it will take to break even if you go this route. Well, I’ve done the math for you! Drum roll please … it will take you almost 12 months to break even. Then, you will be saving almost $17 every month.
FYI: If you are considering purchasing equipment, know that Rescue Alert offers a 30-day free trial. Therefore, if you buy the equipment but aren’t satisfied, you can send the equipment back for a refund.
If you are looking at renting the equipment, the $32.95 for a landline-based system or $42.95 for a cellular system is definitely on the high end when compared to other at-home medical alert systems. Fortunately, Rescue Alert offers a number of in-between options, in which you can pay monthly, quarterly, annually, or even in a one-time payment up front. I like this flexibility, which is pretty rare for the industry. However, they still don’t keep up with the low prices you will find in, say, Medical Guardian pricing plans.
Keep a few things in mind with Rescue Alert’s equipment options. The base systems work well on their own. But add-ons like automatic fall detection wearables and additional buttons around the home are offered as upgrades, so they do cost more. Unfortunately, upgrades are only available for the at-home systems. So no fall detection option for the Rescue Alert GPS — this is disappointing as 48 percent of falls among adults 80 years and older occur while away from home.1
Rescue Alert keeps it simple with their additional offerings. Some medical alert companies offer a full menu of extra products and services. For example, I found nearly a dozen options when I reviewed LifeFone. Still, some people want an uncomplicated system, and for these individuals Rescue Alert could be a great fit. Take a look at Rescue Alert’s additional offerings below.
|Rescue Alert Add-Ons||Device Type||Price|
|myActive Alert||Additional Wearable||$10 per month|
|Wall Button||Indoor Help Button||$5 per month|
|Keysafe||Lockbox||$39.99 one-time cost plus shipping|
While the monthly cost of the fall detection button is on par with the cost other medical alert companies charge, and the wall button is slightly higher (but nothing to lose sleep over), the lockbox seems a bit out of step. Many companies offer a lockbox that is $10 less expensive. However, a free accessory is offered with the purchase of either system. If you order the on-the-go system, a free lockbox is included. If you order an at-home system, your choice of a free lockbox or a second personal help button is included. So, few people actually pay for the somewhat expensive lockbox.
In addition, it is always important to look at the big picture when selecting a system. Rescue Alert does appear to provide a solid system with reliable devices. But if you’re looking for something that is more budget-friendly or already includes all of the necessities for the price of the system, I suggest looking into Bay Alarm Medical plans, an alert brand that offers dependable service for a little less per month.
When it comes to system options, Rescue Alert is a little lacking. We’ve found that most brands offer several different systems, while Rescue Alert only offers three — two at-home units and one mobile GPS unit. For a closer look, read a synopsis of each below.
This system includes a base station, a personal help button that has a 600-foot range to the base unit, and a free lockbox or second personal help button. It’s a straightforward, basic unit with no frills or fuss. But I appreciate that this unit can work with VoIP, cable, or a traditional telephone line.
At its cheapest price plan, the MXD costs $27.95 per month, making it one of the more affordable options. But to enjoy this monthly price, you will have to pay for a full year up front. (This option will cost $335.40, which is not cheap!) The MXD base unit has all of the bells and whistles that we might expect from a newer, more expensive unit, including self-diagnostic checks to monitor its own battery and the status of the phone connection.2
Who It’s Best For: The MXD is best for seniors who prefer to stay home and have a VoIP, cable, or traditional telephone line.
Pro Tip: The response center can help in more ways than one. If there’s an emergency, they can contact family, friends, and/or emergency services.
The MXD LTE is a system similar to the MDX in many ways. However, for $42.95 per month it offers cellular monitoring using the AT&T 4G LTE network. By paying an additional $10 per month (compared to what you would pay for the MDX), you will be getting a faster and more reliable system. And coming soon, Rescue Alert will also be utilizing Verizon for even better coverage. However, like the MDX, this price is steep when compared to other parallel systems on the market.
With the MDX LTE base unit, you will receive a personal help button that has a range of 600 feet from the base unit. You will also receive a free lockbox or second personal help button.
Who It’s Best For: This system is best for seniors who stay close to home and want the best speed and dependability possible from their at-home medical alert system.
Pro Tip: Bundling products together can help you save money. For example, if you choose to bundle the Rescue Alert GPS with an MXD , the price of the MXD Unit drops to only $15 per month.
Rescue Alert only offers one GPS system, but it seems to be simple and effective. While its cost, at $44.95, is slightly higher than the in-home cellular unit as well as the industry average, you may find several pricing plans that could work for your budget. Despite its higher cost, this mobile unit works great at keeping track of your loved one with an AT&T 4G network connection. The GPS device offers 24/7 monitoring by EMD-certified dispatchers and updated GPS coordinates every 15 minutes. But be aware that it does not include fall detection or other add-ons.
Take Note: Beginning in the summer of 2021, Rescue Alert will be using Verizon, in addition to AT&T. This means that if you are unable to receive a good AT&T connection in your area, this supplement could improve coverage.
This lightweight alert system can be placed in a pocket or purse, or worn as a necklace or on a belt clip. It offers over 48 hours of battery life, which is helpful for active seniors. While you will pay a higher price than many other brands, at 10 ounces, this device is among the lightest that I have seen, and is sleeker and more discreet than countless others. If only it included fall detection!
If interested in another lightweight mobile device that includes fall detection yet comes in at a slightly lower cost, read my review of Medical Care Alert’s Home & Away Ultra.
Who It’s Best For: The Rescue Alert GPS system is best for active seniors who are often out and about and away from their home.
FYI: When ordering the Rescue Alert GPS, you’ll get a couple of free accessories including a necklace lanyard, a carrying case with a belt clip, a charging cradle, a USB charger, and a free lockbox.
Rescue Alert systems are available at a variety of price points and payment options. While the monthly cost is a bit higher than most, you can opt for monthly, quarterly, annual, or one-time rates (in addition to purchasing the equipment for a flat fee) so you only pay for monitoring charges.
Additionally, Rescue Alert often includes free gifts, additional equipment, and bundled rates when you sign up. Other discounts and sales may be available as well. Check out the currently available Rescue Alert prices below.
|MXD In-Home Landline||MXD LTE In-Home Wireless||Rescue Alert GPS|
|24/7 U.S.-Based Monitoring||24/7 U.S.-Based Monitoring||24/7 U.S.-Based Monitoring|
|Two-Way Communication||Two-Way Communication||Two-Way Communication|
|MXD Base Unit||MXD LTE Base Unit||Lightweight Mobile Device|
|Personal Help Button||Personal Help Button||Charging Cradle|
|Free Lockbox or Second Personal Help Button||Free Lockbox or Second Personal Help Button||Carrying Case with Belt Clip|
|myActive Alert Fall Detection pendant||myActive Alert Fall Detection pendant|
|Wall Button||Wall Button|
|Lock Box||Lock Box|
Overall, Rescue Alert has been offering peace of mind and quality devices to their customers for the past 40 years. While the products are more expensive than some other brands, and the equipment options are quite limited, the company does offer easy-to-use devices that get the job done. Additionally, I really like that Rescue Alert monitoring centers are U.S.-based and have EMD-certified dispatchers. For the sake of comparison, read about the best medical alert systems available.
Only three main systems are available through Rescue Alert, but these devices can provide dependable coverage. With a variety of plans and easy-to-use technology, Rescue Alert does a fine job at offering peace of mind and a sense of independence for seniors and their families.
There are similar medical alert companies that offer comparable service for less, but I love the hardware extras in the at-home systems like a self-diagnosing home unit, multiple connection options, and a unit that can monitor medication. Additionally, considering most homes no longer use a landline connection,3 having a device that can also use VoIP or cable connections for monitoring without extra cables and wires is a great benefit.
And although it lacks fall detection, you will probably be drawn to the sleek design and lightweight nature of Rescue Alert’s mobile device.
For those who are looking for a solid yet simple system, and don’t mind paying a little extra, Rescue Alert may be the right fit.
As a family-owned company, Rescue Alert has been helping seniors live independently for many years. Founder Richard Bangerter created the company with a desire to constantly evolve and advance the equipment. In fact, Rescue Alert was the first company to offer a cellular alert device. Today, they sell reliable devices that are easy to use and give seniors and their family peace of mind. You can learn more about the company and their services in our full review of Rescue Alert.
No, Rescue Alert does not require a minimum contract, so you can cancel at any time. They do offer larger discounts the longer the term that you sign up — monthly, quarterly, or annually — but if for any reason you’re unhappy, you can cancel the service.
No, you can connect with VoIP, cable, or a traditional landline using the MDX or connect through wireless using the MDX LTE.
Yes, Rescue Alert uses U.S.-based monitoring centers and EMD-certified agents.
I did not find any activation or initiation fees. Shipping is also free.
Rescue Alert does offer a 30-day, money-back guarantee on all equipment and fees except shipping.
National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2006). Outdoor Falls Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Neglected Public Health Problem.
RescueAlert. (2021). MXD – Landline Base Unit.
NPR. (2017). The Daredevils Without Landlines — And Why Health Experts Are Tracking Them.
As SafeHome.org’s medical alert system expert, Jenny Wisniewski researches, tests, and reviews the best solutions to help seniors age in place. Her experience includes providing caregiving for her own Mother and regularly writing in the elder care consulting space. Jenny pays attention to the nuances in each alert system she reviews so that seniors and family members can find the best fit for their needs. In addition to elder care, Jenny also enjoys writing about travel, education, and the environment. And in her free time, she loves spending time outdoors with her family and golden doodle. Learn more about Jenny here