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The Best Medical Alert Systems for AARP Members in 2023

Jul 28, 2023
Fact Checked
We selected the best medical alert systems for AARP members as Lifeline and invisaWear based on the discounts they offer to members. See how the two discounts compare, as well as discounts from other medical alerts like Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm Medical.
Written by:
Reviewed by: BSPharm, MPH, Senior Director, NCOA Center for Healthy Aging

Key Takeaways

  • AARP members can get a discount on Lifeline medical alert systems and invisaWear safety devices.
  • An AARP membership costs $16 per year and is available to anyone 50 years or older.
  • Medical Guardian, Bay Alarm Medical, and MobileHelp are other popular, affordable medical alert system options.
  • Local organizations in your area may also offer medical alert system discounts.

Did you know AARP members get discounts on a range of services and products for less than $20 a year? This includes discounts on health products, like medical alert systems. If you’re currently a member or are considering joining the organization, you’ll have access to AARP-exclusive discounts for Lifeline and invisaWear. Membership is open to anyone 50 years and older for $16 per year.

If you’re an older adult, experience reduced mobility, live alone, or would like the security of knowing you’re always connected to immediate assistance, consider a medical alert system. Research shows that using a medical alert system and knowing help is only a button away can help provide a sense of security and independence. [1] Stokke, R. The Personal Emergency Response System as a Technology Innovation in Primary Health Care Services: An Integrative Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. July 2016. Found on the internet at

Medical alert systems are important safety tools, but costs can add up quickly. Medical alert costs can start at $20 and go up to $50 per month, even without additional fees. In this article, our Reviews Team compared AARP medical alert system discounts with three alternative, affordable options to help you find the right device for your budget and lifestyle.

Why you can trust our expert review

Hours of Research
Surveys Deployed
Brands Tested
Experts Consulted

Our Reviews Team spent more than 2,500 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. During our process, we:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • Consulted with licensed adult caregivers, doctors, and nurse practitioners who specialize in older adult care
  • Mystery shopped 13 medical alert system brands
  • Surveyed 1,000 medical alert system users
  • Tested various medical alert systems
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties, such as Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot

Read more about our medical alert systems review methodology.

AARP medical alert partnerships

AARP currently has a partnership with two medical alert and safety device companies: Lifeline and invisaWear. Lifeline (formerly Philips Lifeline) offers standard at-home and mobile medical alert systems, while invisaWear safety devices are available as delicate necklaces, bracelets, and keychain charms.

AARP members are eligible for the following discounts:

  • Lifeline: 15% off monthly monitoring services, plus free shipping and activation
  • invisaWear: 15% off accessories and jewelry and 15% off optional monitoring services provided by ADT

In the past, AARP offered a discount for Lively medical alert systems, but our Reviews Team confirmed with a customer representative that pricing is now the same for AARP members and nonmembers.

You can see all resources and discounts available to AARP members by visiting the Membership & Benefits page. The benefits are organized into categories, such as health, money, caregiving, travel, and more.

Scroll down the list on the left-hand side, labeled All Benefits A–Z, and select Family Caregiving to see AARP Lifeline and invisaWear discounts (see below). Click on the box to see discount details.

Red arrow pointing to the Family Caregiving category in the left-hand bar of AARP Membership & Benefits page

Medical alert discounts are under the Family Caregiving category under Membership & Benefits.

If you’re viewing the webpage on a mobile device, press Browse Categories at the top left and scroll down until you see Family Caregiving. Select this category and scroll down to view the Lifeline and invisaWear discounts.

Table 1 Comparison of discounted AARP medical alert system to other medical alert systems, as of April 2023

Starting monthly costQuarterly costAnnual costEquipment feeActivation feeDeals
Lifeline$29.95 N/AN/A$0 $50–$99.9515% off monthly monitoring service and free shipping and activation
invisaWear$19.99 N/AN/A$129–$299N/A15% off accessories and jewelry 15% off optional 24/7 monitoring services from ADT
Medical Guardian$29.95 $89.85 $329.45 $0–$199.95N/A16% off monthly monitoring fee with an annual subscription
Bay Alarm Medical$24.95 $74.85 $299.40 $0–$159$0–$30Mobile system starting at $29.95 plus fall detection for $10 per month
MobileHelp$19.95 $98.85 $359.40 $0 $0 $0 equipment fees

Best AARP medical alert systems

Lifeline (formerly Philips Lifeline)

Lifeline medical alert device

Pros AARP discount available More than 40 years of industry experience Fall detection automatically included with mobile system
Cons Fall detection price for at-home system is higher than the average Expensive activation fees without AARP discount ($50–$99.95) At-home necklace and bracelet aren’t interchangeable

Lifeline medical alert system models:

  • HomeSafe (at-home system with cellular or landline connection)
  • On the Go (mobile system with cellular and GPS connection)

Starting monthly fee: $29.95

Available device type: At-home, on-the-go

At-home device range: Up to 800 feet

Connection type: Landline, AT&T cellular, GPS

AARP discount: AARP members receive a 15% discount on the Lifeline monthly monitoring fee, plus free shipping and activation.

Founded in 1974 as Lifeline Systems, Lifeline is one of the oldest medical alert companies. The brand offers at-home and mobile systems: HomeSafe and On the Go. The HomeSafe is a standard base station that includes a two-way speaker, help button, and either a necklace or bracelet. You can contact the 24/7 monitoring center with the necklace or bracelet up to 800 feet away from the base station.

Fall detection is available for both the HomeSafe and On the Go systems. Our Reviews Team likes that fall detection is automatically bundled into the On the Go monthly fee, but it costs an additional $15 each month to upgrade from the HomeSafe Standard (without fall detection necklace) to HomeSafe with AutoAlert (with fall detection necklace).

On average, fall detection is $10 per month for most competitors, meaning you’ll pay an extra $60 per year for Lifeline fall detection.

Medical alert systems with fall detection usually come with a necklace with a built-in sensor that detects downward motion. If the necklace detects a fall, it automatically contacts the monitoring center, even if you didn’t press the help button. Fall detection does not prevent falls, but it can help you receive immediate assistance after a fall.

While research from 2016 [2] Gjoreski, Martin, et al. How Accurately Can Your Wrist Device Recognize Daily Activities and Detect Falls? Sensors. June 2016. Found on the internet at showed high fall detection accuracy when a sensor was worn on the left wrist, studies from 2014 and 2021 found fall detection to be less accurate when a device was worn around the wrist, [3] Pannurat, Natthapon, et al. Automatic Fall Monitoring: A Review. Sensors. July 2014. Found on the internet at while hand and arm activity has been found to set off false alarms with wrist devices, [4] Javier González-Cañete, Francisco and Casilari, Eduardo. A Feasibility Study of the Use of Smartwatches in Wearable Fall Detection Systems. Sensors. March 23, 2021. Found on the internet at so a fall detection necklace may be the better option. 

Keep in mind the brand’s high one-time fees when determining your medical alert system budget. Without the AARP discount waiving the activation fee ($50 or $99.95, depending on the system) and shipping fee ($29.95), you would pay $80–$130 in additional one-time fees on top of the monthly monitoring fee.

For you and your caregiver, Lifeline offers an app, called Lifeline Cares. The app is available in the Apple App Store or Google Play and can also be accessed on your web browser. Lifeline Cares allows caregivers to communicate about your mobility, comfort, memory, nutrition, social activities, and general updates. You can also use it to track your account billing information, view battery status, and see a log of calls to the monitoring center, which is useful information for caregivers.

Lifeline customer reviews

There aren’t many Lifeline customer reviews online, so it’s hard to get a good sense of customer satisfaction. The brand does have a Better Business Bureau (BBB) listing with 1.46 out of 5 stars based on 13 customer reviews. Lifeline is accredited by the BBB with an A+ rating, meaning it works to respond to every customer complaint. As of this writing, there is one positive review praising the brand’s customer service and high-quality products.

The top complaints in BBB reviews are customers having issues returning equipment, shipment delays, and equipment malfunctions. Lifeline has replied to a majority of negative reviews.

Customer service

The customer service team at Lifeline is available by phone at 800-635-6156 or through an online form on the brand’s website.

Customer service hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.


Hands holding smartphone with invisaWear app and charm on wrist

Pros Alert button disguised as delicate jewelry charms Monitoring services available from ADT, an established security company 30-day trial
Cons Cell phone must be within 30 feet for device to work Fall detection not available

Starting monthly fee: $19.99

Device type: On-the-go

Device range: Up to 30 feet away from cell phone

Connection type: Cellular

AARP discount: AARP members receive 15% off invisaWear accessories and jewelry and 15% off optional monitoring services provided by ADT.

Unique to medical alert systems, invisaWear disguises a small panic button as a delicate necklace, bracelet, or keychain charm. While it’s not a typical medical alert system, its main function is the same: to quickly provide help with the press of a button. When you click the back of the charm twice, the invisaWear app, which is paired to the charm, will send an alert, plus your location to up to five emergency contacts.

The invisaWear jewelry pieces normally cost between $129–$299 (about $109–$254 with the AARP discount). This one-time purchase comes with your jewelry panic button and access to the invisaWear app but not professional monitoring services. ADT monitoring services can be added for an additional $19.99 per month ($17 with the AARP discount).

This monthly subscription adds 24/7 monitoring services to your invisaWear jewelry, similar to a medical alert system. ADT monitoring center staff are available via the jewelry alert button or by calling or texting them from the invisaWear app. Staff can contact 911 to send emergency services to your location, and they’ll also send text messages to your emergency contacts to keep them updated during an emergency.

You can also contact the monitoring center if you’re feeling unsafe but may not need immediate emergency services. On top of calling or texting an ADT monitoring staff member from the invisaWear app, you can also invite them to a live video stream or follow your location using GPS tracking for a set amount of time. They’ll call emergency services if you don’t respond after the timer is up.

While the monitoring fee is lower than the starting price of many medical alert brands, the jewelry is more expensive than most brands’ one-time equipment fees. Fall detection is also not available with invisaWear jewelry.

Check out our ADT review to learn more about the company’s medical alert and monitoring services.

InvisaWear customer reviews

InvisaWear has 3.1 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot based on six reviews. This is a small sampling size, with reviews split evenly—three five-star reviews and three one-star reviews—as of April 2023. Positive reviewers praise the jewelry’s discreet and beautiful design, peace of mind when wearing it, and the reasonable price point for its monitoring and tracking features.

Negative reviews cited connection issues between the jewelry and the invisaWear app, difficulty getting in touch with customer service, as well as issues with canceling the subscription. InvisaWear replies to all negative reviews and encourages reviewers to contact the brand directly via phone or email.

On Amazon, invisaWear has 4 out of 5 stars based on 108 ratings. A majority of reviewers were pleased with the jewelry design and sense of security they feel when wearing it. One reviewer purchased it for her grandmother and mentioned how easy it was to set up.

Most negative reviews cited poor product quality, the expensive cost to replace the battery after one to two years, and issues connecting to the invisaWear app via Bluetooth.

Customer service

The invisaWear customer service team can be reached by email address at or through an online form on the brand’s website.

Customer service hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

InvisaWear does not have a phone number listed on its website.

Other affordable medical alert systems

Best Annual Subscription Discount: Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian medical alert unboxed

Pros 1,300–1,400-foot at-home range (about the length of four football fields) Smartwatch option Medication reminders available 30-day trial period
Cons No free warranty for wear and tear (protection plan costs extra) Telehealth features not available

Score (based on hands-on testing): 4.3/5

Starting monthly fee: $29.95

Device type: At-home, on-the-go, smartwatch

Device range:

  • Up to 1,300 feet (Classic Guardian)
  • Up to 1,400 feet (Home 2.0)

Connection type: Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular

Medical Guardian offers a significant perk for anyone signing up for an annual subscription: Get 16% off your monthly monitoring fee on top of a free month, free lockbox, and free shipping. When you choose an annual subscription, you’ll pay all costs upfront as opposed to paying month-by-month.

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you’re automatically locked into a full-year subscription. You can cancel your Medical Guardian subscription within 30 days and receive a prorated refund for the months of service you didn’t use.

One of the biggest standouts of Medical Guardian is the far connection range for the landline (1,300 feet) and cellular at-home systems (1,400 feet). Unlike most at-home medical alert systems, you won’t have to sacrifice a significantly shorter coverage range if you need or prefer a landline connection—you can connect to the monitoring center with your help button from roughly up to three and a half football fields away from the base station.

Customize your at-home medical alert system with additional safety accessories, like voice-activated or standard wall buttons and extra necklaces or bracelets to monitor your partner or roommate. Fall detection is available for every system, excluding the MGMove Smartwatch, for an additional $10 per month.

MyGuardian is a free app or online portal available for users and caregivers. You can track the system’s battery status, connection status, billing information, and even the device’s real-time location on Google Maps. As long as you have your medical alert system with you, this allows your caregiver to always know where you are.

Read our full Medical Guardian review for a detailed overview of each model, as well as additional accessories and services available.

Best Priced Mobile System: Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical medical alert system necklace

Pros $29.95 starting monthly price for SOS Mobile Fall detection is $10 per month Smartwatch option 30-day trial period
Cons One-time equipment fee for some systems ($0–$159) Warranty costs extra ($2.95–$4.95 per month)

Score: 4.3/5

Starting monthly fee: $29.95

Device type: At-home, on-the-go, smartwatch

Device range: Up to 1,000 feet

Connection type: Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular

Most mobile medical alert devices start at almost $40 per month even before the additional fall detection fee. The Bay Alarm Medical SOS Mobile starts at $29.95 per month, with optional fall detection available for an additional $10 per month. A $159 one-time fee will also apply.

Even with fall detection included in the price, the SOS Mobile is just less than $40 per month, which is still less than the Lifeline On the Go monthly price with the AARP discount.

The SOS Mobile has all the features fit for an on-the-go system: a six-day battery life, GPS location tracking for caregivers, two wearable options (belt clip and lanyard), and it weighs less than two AA batteries.

Bay Alarm Medical offers two additional mobile systems, the SOS All-in-One and the SOS Smartwatch. Both starting monthly prices are higher than the SOS Mobile, but they include additional features. The SOS All-in-One is designed to be used as both an at-home base station and mobile system, so it comes with an interchangeable help button necklace and bracelet that pairs with the small, compact system.

The SOS Smartwatch is a touchscreen medical alert watch. When you press the help button on the side of the watch face to connect to the monitoring center, you’ll be able to speak with the monitoring center staff directly from your watch. It also has a built-in step tracker and supports fall detection for an additional $10 per month.

Bay Alarm also offers a variety of packages that bundle fall detection and multiple medical alert systems. Check out our full Bay Alarm Medical review to compare costs and features for all available packages.

Lowest Starting Monthly Fee: MobileHelp

MobileHelp medical alert system

Pros No equipment or activation fees Telehealth add-on available Free lockbox with every order 30-day trial period
Cons Fall detection is $11 per month (average is $10 per month) 600-foot range for select at-home systems

Score: 4.1/5

Starting monthly fee: $19.95

Device type: At-home, on-the-go

Device range:

  • Up to 600 feet (Wired Home and MobileHelp Touch)
  • Up to 1,400 feet (MobileHelp Classic)

Connection type: Landline, AT&T cellular

At $19.95 per month, the MobileHelp Classic Classic is our Review Team’s best medical alert system with the lowest starting price (tied only with One Call Alert, which MobileHelp owns). And because MobileHelp doesn’t charge activation or equipment fees, your starting price is actually $19.95. This at-home system connects to the monitoring center via cellular connection, and you can press the paired necklace or bracelet up to 1,400 feet away from the base station.

MobileHelp is the only brand to offer a smart tablet system: the MobileHelp Touch. This touchscreen tablet is an at-home base station offering messaging, Sudoku, a photo gallery, and health articles and videos. Between the Touch, Wired Home, and Classic, you have three at-home systems to choose from, while most brands offer only two.

Our Reviews Team also likes the optional health and wellness features you can add to any system, such as medication reminders and telehealth services. MDLive is available for an additional $9.95 per month and offers virtual appointments with a board-certified doctor to help answer medical questions and write or refill prescriptions—no insurance or copay is required.

Christopher Norman, a geriatric nurse practitioner based in New York state, noted some health insurance plans don’t authorize out-of-network providers to write prescriptions, so even if a prescription is written, you may not be able to fill it. He also advises users to make sure MDLive physicians have easy access to their current health records.

“While a competent health care provider can do a decent assessment virtually, if they don’t have access to your health record and what medications you’re actually taking (not what you ordered—what you’re taking), then they might be able to prescribe based on the condition you’re describing. But is it the right prescription for you? Before prescribing something a health care provider should know as much about you as possible,” said Norman. “That means health record transparency and efficient coordination with your existing health care providers.”

Norman advised proceeding with caution if MDLive does not access or want to access your existing health record and care providers.

Read our MobileHelp review to see a detailed overview of each model, features, and available accessories.

Other organizations offering medical alert discounts

Area agencies on aging

Local area agencies on aging are city- or county-wide agencies that provide services and resources to help older adults age safely and comfortably in their communities. Enter your ZIP code in the area agency on aging directory to see available agencies in your area. Some local programs may offer a discount or partial coverage for a medical alert system.

Government Employees Health Association

The Government Employees Health Association (GEHA) offers health insurance for federal employees, retired federal employees, retired military personnel, and their dependents. The only medical alert system that qualifies for a GEHA discount is Life Alert. Both enrolled and extended family members are eligible for 10% off the monthly monitoring fee and free activation.

Major drawbacks of Life Alert are a three-year contract, no fall detection, high monthly fees, and no pricing information on the brand’s website. Read our full Life Alert review to learn why our Reviews Team doesn’t recommend this medical alert system.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

If you are a military veteran or spouse of a veteran, you may be able to get full or partial coverage for a medical alert system through your VA benefits.

Use NCOA’s Benefits CheckUp tool to search resources and programs in your area that may be available to help cover the cost of a medical alert system.

AARP membership

Today, there are more than 38 million AARP members enjoying discounts on everyday products and services, as well as free online educational resources. From benefits and discounts related to health and wellness, leisure, travel, technology, finance, auto, and more, there are perks for a variety of lifestyles and needs.

Some AARP Health and Wellness benefits our Reviews Team would like to highlight include:

You can register for your AARP membership online or over the phone by calling 888-687-2277.

How to use your AARP medical alert discount

Your AARP discount can be used when purchasing a Lifeline or invisaWear medical alert system online or over the phone—all you need is your AARP member number. If you buy your Lifeline medical alert system online, you must verify your AARP member number to confirm you’re eligible for the discount.

For invisaWear, you’ll enter the promo code “AARP” during online checkout to receive the discount. While the AARP website doesn’t mention you need to confirm your AARP membership number during online checkout, we assume you’ll need to verify it at some point in the purchasing process.

Bottom line

AARP doesn’t endorse one medical alert system brand, but it does offer discounts for Lifeline (formerly Philips Lifeline) and invisaWear. Lifeline is an established medical alert brand that offers medical alert necklaces and bracelets that connect to an at-home base station or mobile system. AARP members get 15% off monthly monitoring, free activation, and free shipping.

The 800-foot base station range for Lifeline is shorter than Bay Alarm Medical (up to 1,000 feet) and Medical Guardian (1,300–1,400 feet), but it’s longer than the MobileHelp Touch and Wired Home at-home systems (up to 600 feet).

InvisaWear is not your average medical alert system. The brand offers necklace, bracelet, and keychain charms that double as alert buttons. You can purchase an invisaWear device for a one-time fee, and your alert button will notify up to five emergency contacts when you press it. Or you can add ADT monitoring services for an additional monthly fee. AARP members receive 15% off jewelry and 15% off optional monthly monitoring.

Frequently asked questions

Have questions about this review? Email us at


  1. Stokke, R. The Personal Emergency Response System as a Technology Innovation in Primary Health Care Services: An Integrative Review. Journal of Medical Internet Research. July 2016. Found on the internet at
  2. Gjoreski, Martin, et al. How Accurately Can Your Wrist Device Recognize Daily Activities and Detect Falls? Sensors. June 2016. Found on the internet at
  3. Pannurat, Natthapon, et al. Automatic Fall Monitoring: A Review. Sensors. July 2014. Found on the internet at
  4. Javier González-Cañete, Francisco and Casilari, Eduardo. A Feasibility Study of the Use of Smartwatches in Wearable Fall Detection Systems. Sensors. March 23, 2021. Found on the internet at

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