Bay Alarm Medical Review 2024: Cost and Features

Nov 27, 2023
Fact Checked
With affordable pricing and quality features, Bay Alarm Medical provides one of the safest and top medical alert systems on the market.
Bay Alarm Medical Best for the Price

  30-day risk-free trial

  No long-term contracts

  GPS location tracking for no additional cost

Bay Alarm Medical Review: Key Takeaways

Bay Alarm Medical is one of our Reviews Team’s picks for the top medical alert systems on the market. It’s an established home security company with above average customer reviews and affordable rates. 

But how does the company compare to other medical alert security companies? Is Bay Alarm Medical better than LifeStation? To help alleviate some of the stress of researching medical alert systems and deciding which one will be best for you or your loved one, in this review we’ll dig into some of the specific services and features Bay Alarm Medical offers. 

Read more to discover the pros and cons of Bay Alarm Medical services and customer support options, compare the different medical alert systems’ costs and features, and decide whether accessories and added services are worth the cost.

Why you can trust our Reviews Team’s 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:

Read more about our medical alert systems review methodology.

Why Bay Alarm Medical is one of our Reviews Team’s top picks

Our Reviews Team chose to review Bay Alarm Medical after we named the company “Best for the Price” in our best medical alert systems review. Bay Alarm Medical users who responded to our Reviews Team’s survey identified price (13%) as the third most important factor in a medical alert system, right behind “fast response time” (18%) and “ease of set up and use” (17%).

When our Reviews Team tested Bay Alarm Medical devices, the company earned 4.7 out of 5 stars for its fast response time (1–15 seconds, compared to the industry average of 30), variety of device choices (smartwatch, bracelet, wristband, and necklace), and its low starting monthly fee ($27.95).

We also chose Bay Alarm Medical for our best medical alert systems with fall detection, where it won “Best for Battery Life,” and for our best medical alert systems with GPS, where we selected it for “Best Affordable Medical Alert System with GPS.”

Bay Alarm Medical offers fall detection, a mobile app for caregivers and loved ones, and GPS location tracking, which were also the top three special features selected by our survey respondents (40.09% combined). By the end of this review, we hope you’ll have all the information you need to help you decide whether Bay Alarm Medical has the features you’re looking for.

Pros and cons of Bay Alarm Medical

Pros 30-day, risk-free trial No long-term contracts GPS location tracking for no additional cost Supports more than 170 non-English languages Fall detection option ($10 per month) Bella Charms accessories to make buttons look like jewelry
Cons One-time equipment fee required for most systems ($30–$159) Warranty costs extra
($2.95–$4.95 per month)

Table 1 Comparisons of Bay Alarm Medical systems

Bay Alarm Medical system

SOS Home

SOS Mobile

SOS Smartwatch

SOS All-in-One

Starting monthly fee

depending on connection type

One-time equipment fee$0–$30$99$159$119
Device typeAt-homeOn-the-goOn-the-goOn-the-go
Device range (feet)1,000UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Connection type

Landline or cellular
(AT&T or Verizon)

(AT&T or Verizon)

(AT&T or Verizon)

(AT&T or Verizon)

Battery life (hours)

32 (base unit);

5 years (call button)

72 (call button)6–18

72 (all-in-one button);

5 years (additional help button)

Location trackingNoYesYesYes
Wearable device optionYesYesYesYes
WaterproofYesNo, water-resistantNo, water-resistantNo, water-resistant
Bay Alarm Medical In Home

SOS Home

Pros Waterproof wall buttons ($5 for two, $10 for four) Battery for call button lasts five years Includes two-way communication Optional fall detection button for $10 per month
Cons No GPS location tracking No app or caregiver monitoring

The SOS Home from Bay Alarm Medical connects to Bay Alarm monitoring centers via landline or cellular networks. Landline connection is the least expensive option the company offers and may also be a better choice if you don’t have strong cell coverage in your area (enter your address into the AT&T coverage map or the Verizon coverage map to ensure your area has coverage).

What’s included

Both the landline and cellular systems come with the standard base unit (the part plugged into the wall, syncs with your wearable button, and calls the monitoring center when you press the help button) and a wearable help button, which is waterproof for users to take into the shower or bath area—one of the three most common areas where falls occur in the home (in addition to the stairs and bedroom, according to research from 2020).1

The SOS Home system includes both a wristband and a lanyard, so you can wear your button around your wrist or as a necklace. At no extra cost, you can choose the color you want for the standard button: black or white.

Bella Charms and Bands

For those hesitant about the look of a medical alert necklace, you can purchase a Bella Charm that clips onto your button device to make it look like jewelry ($25 each or $90 for a set of four). If you’d like a wristband option for your button, Bella Bands come in four colors ($17 each or $60 for all four).

Improving the look of a medical alert device was important to our Reviews Team’s survey respondents—”it doesn’t look appealing” was the third biggest challenge respondents cited with their medical alert devices, behind only “not having enough special features” and “not knowing how to use all the features.” If you choose to purchase the larger fall detection button, available for an additional $10 per month, it only comes in white, and it cannot be dressed up with a Bella Charm.

SOS Home packages

Bay Alarm Medical offers the following three SOS Home packages:

Wall buttons, available as add-ons for $35 each, connect to the base unit, allowing you to press the buttons and call for help from rooms throughout your home. You can place the wall buttons in areas where the risk of falls is high, like bathrooms and stairways. Other add-ons include emergency key lockboxes for $30, extra Vial of Life kits for $8, and extra fall detection buttons for $10.

The SOS Home is a good option if you spend most of your time at home and are looking for a less expensive system. If you find yourself on-the-go more, you might want to consider the Bay Alarm Medical SOS Mobile or SOS Smartwatch options.

SOS Mobile Review

Bay Alarm Medical SOS Mobile

SOS Mobile

Pros Connects to Caregiver Tracking app Battery lasts 72 hours Location tracking available
Cons Not meant for in-home use Water resistant, but not waterproof

The Bay Alarm Medical SOS Mobile system has GPS location tracking and two-way communication so monitoring center staff can contact you for details, pinpoint your location, and get help to you quickly.

What’s included

The SOS Mobile system includes a belt clip and a lanyard so you can clip your device to your belt, pocket, or purse, or wear it as a necklace. Unlike the at-home wearable button, which can be taken into a bath or swimming pool, the mobile system should not be submerged in water. The on-the-go system is water resistant, not waterproof like the at-home system. The company says if the mobile device is exposed to water, it should be dried with a towel.

The on-the-go mobile system battery lasts 72 hours, more than twice as long as the at-home base unit. It takes 2–3 hours to fully charge the mobile device.

Similar to the at-home cellular option, users connect SOS Mobile through a cell phone provider (AT&T or Verizon). This service is included in the monthly cost of a Bay Alarm Medical system, so you will not receive separate bills from a cellular service provider.

Caregiver Tracking app

The SOS Mobile also allows caregivers and loved ones to check in on users in real time. Caregivers can download the Caregiver Tracking app onto an iOS or Android device, which allows them to track the medical alert system user’s location and activity history, as well as monitor the weather in the user’s area and check the medical alert’s battery status.

By registering in the app, caregivers can sign up to receive alerts when the user pushes the help button. The app even allows caregivers to receive an alert when the user leaves a certain predefined geographical area (like their home or neighborhood).

If you’re on-the-go and looking for a device with a battery that lasts three days, the SOS Mobile could be a good choice for you. If you’re looking for a more modern medical alert style, like a medical alert smartwatch with unlimited device range, you might want to consider the Bay Alarm Medical SOS Smartwatch.

SOS Smartwatch Review

Bay Alarm Medical SOS Smartwatch

SOS Smartwatch

Pros Unlimited device range in the United States GPS location tracking Lightweight
Cons No caregiver alerts Short battery life (6–18 hours)

The water-resistant SOS Smartwatch weighs less than 2 ounces and is connected through a cellular network (either AT&T or Verizon). Although the battery doesn’t last as long as the SOS Mobile (6–18 hours versus 72 hours), like the SOS Mobile, the SOS Smartwatch has GPS tracking with an unlimited device range, giving monitoring center staff the ability to find you and send help no matter where you are. But the SOS Smartwatch has several special features the SOS Mobile doesn’t, such as a step tracker, touch screen, and a network connection signal.

What’s included

The watch comes with a charging station and wristband, which is available in two sizes: standard (to fit wrists up to 7 inches around) and large (to fit wrists up to 8 inches around).

The SOS Smartwatch has built-in GPS and two-way communication. In the event you need help and press the SOS button on the side of the watch, monitoring center staff will pinpoint your location for emergency services and talk to you through the two-way speaker until help has arrived. A perk of this system: You don’t need to have a smartphone or base unit to use this device.

Special features

For special features, the Bay Alarm Medical SOS Smartwatch has a step-counter for tracking activity and goals, a touch screen, and options for either analog or digital clock faces, for whichever style you prefer reading. It also comes with fall detection for an additional $10 per month.

If you prefer simplicity and aren’t concerned with having a lot of unnecessary features, this medical alert system smartwatch may be a good choice for you. But if you’re looking for a watch with more special features, other medical alert watches might be a better fit, like the Apple Watch, which has ECG (a recording of the heart’s electrical activity), blood oxygen, and health tracking, or the UnaliWear Kanega Watch, which has medication reminders.

SOS All-in-One Review

Bay Alarm Medical SOS All-in-One device

SOS All-in-One

Pros Protection on-the-go and at-home with the additional help button Battery lasts 72 hours GPS location tracking and caregiver app available
Cons Slightly larger than the SOS Mobile Water resistant, but not waterproof

The SOS All-in-One from Bay Alarm Medical is a two-way help button that has GPS location tracking and connects to the Caregiver Tracking app. It also comes with an additional wearable help button for protection on-the-go and at-home, to help keep a peace of mind for you and loved ones.

What’s included

The SOS All-in-One comes with a two-way speaker help button that you can use to communicate with the monitoring center in the case of an emergency. It also comes with a wearable help button (can be worn around the neck or wrist) that you can use as backup while the all-in-one device is charging. Though, this button doesn’t have two-way communication, so it’s just the button to call for help.

A belt clip and charging cradle for the device is also included. Similar to the SOS Mobile system, the SOS All-in-One battery lasts for 72 hours and takes two to three 2–3 hours to fully charge, and it is water-resistant, not waterproof. The SOS All-in-One is slightly bigger than the SOS Mobile and weighs half an ounce more.

Additional accessories and features

The SOS All-in-One has similar features to the other devices from Bay Alarm Medical, such as Bella Charms, Bella Bands, and the Caregiver Tracking app. Bella Charms cover the additional help button of the SOS All-in-One, and come in four different color schemes: leopard print (Gemma), elegant animal print (Marella), starry night with dark tones and sparkles (Stella), and a mix of blue, purple, and pink hues (Marina). Bella Bands come in four colors: Midnight, Sky, Mint, and Lavender.

The Caregiver Tracking app can track a user’s location, activity history, weather, and battery status.

Wall buttons are available as add-ons for $42 each.

The Bay Alarm Medical SOS All-in-One could be a good fit for those wanting protection inside and outside the home, and include many of the accessories and features of the other devices on this list. If you want a specific at-home device or a smartwatch, check out the other medical alert systems on this list.

How much does a Bay Alarm Medical system cost?

Bay Alarm Medical alert systems range from $27.95–$62.95 per month, depending on the system you choose, whether you bundle systems, and whether you want fall detection. You have the option to select monthly, quarterly, or annual payment plans. See the table below for more details.

Table 2 Bay Alarm Medical plans and prices

Bay Alarm Medical system

SOS In-Home landline

SOS In-Home cellular

SOS Mobile

SOS Smartwatch

SOS All-in-One

Monthly cost*$27.9532.95–42.95$32.95–$42.95$34.95–$44.95$39.95–$49.95
Quarterly cost*$83.85$89.85–$128.85$89.85–$128.85$104.85–$134.85$119.85–$149.85
Annual cost*$335.40$395.40–$515.40$395.40–$515.40$419.40–$539.40$479.40–$599.40
Annual cost for bundled deals**Not applicableNot applicable$731.40$755.40–$995.40Not applicable
One-time equipment fee$0$0–$30$99$159$119
Activation fee$0$0$0$0$0

*The higher cost includes fall detection for $10 per month.
**The higher cost on the bundled deals is for fall detection for the SOS Home buttons. 

Does Medicare cover Bay Alarm Medical systems?

Original Medicare doesn’t cover medical alert systems, but if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C), you may qualify for support, depending on your specific plan. Check with your insurance provider to determine if you’re covered.

Warranty and ways to save on Bay Alarm Medical systems

Bay Alarm Medical offers different types of optional warranties, depending on the system you purchase.

You can save money on medical alert systems in a few ways.

Paul Sundin, tax strategist, personal finance expert, certified public accountant (CPA), and CEO of Emparion retirement services, suggested that you can also save money on medical alert systems if you itemize the expenses on your federal tax return. “In terms of eligibility, medical alert systems may qualify as a medical expense as long as it falls under one of these two categories: A) it’s a piece of medically necessary equipment prescribed by a doctor, and B) it’s a piece of special equipment for the purposes of medical care in your home,” said Sundin.

Logan Allec, CPA and owner of Choice Tax Relief, explained taxpayers should have no problem using their HSAs and FSAs to cover the cost of medical alert systems. He referenced IRS Publication 502, noting “special equipment installed in a home, or for improvements, if their main purpose is medical care for you, your spouse, or your dependent” would qualify for the medical expense deduction.4

Sundin recommended consulting with your tax preparer to determine whether you can claim a medical alert system as a deduction. “Depending on what they say, you may need a prescription from a doctor in order to meet the [IRS] eligibility requirements.”

Payment methods

Bay Alarm Medical accepts payments in the form of credit or debit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, JCB, and Diners Club.

The Bay Alarm Medical app and accessories

Bay Alarm Medical offers several accessories (see Table 3) as well as a Caregiver Tracking app, which allows caregivers to track a medical alert system user’s location, activity history, battery status, and local weather.

Table 3 Add-on accessories for Bay Alarm Medical




Wall buttonsTo place in high-risk areas such as bathrooms and at the bottom of stairs$35–$42
Additional wrist/lanyard buttonTo give one to a spouse or someone who lives with you, or for use as a backup in high-risk fall areas$39
Additional fall detection buttonsAvailable for SOS Home, SOS Mobile 360°, and SOS Smartwatch 360°; recommended for those who have frequent loss of consciousness or history of fainting$10
Bella Bands and CharmsTo disguise standard emergency help buttons as jewelry$17–$25
LockboxFor emergency services to access house keys and avoid damaging doors or windows into your home$30
Vial of lifeA form with your emergency medical information that paramedics can refer to during an emergency$8

Bay Alarm Medical customer service and satisfaction

You can contact Bay Alarm Medical three ways:

On the website, the company also has an FAQ page and helpful videos and help guides on how to use Bay Alarm Medical medical alert systems.

When our Reviews Team contacted Bay Alarm Medical via the chat for this review and via the phone for our Bay Alarm Medical vs. Lifestation reviews article, customer support was informative and friendly, without high-pressure sales tactics.

Table 4 Comparisons of Bay Alarm Medical vs. other companies, as of April 2023


Bay Alarm Medical


Medical Guardian

Medical Alert

Life Alert


Starting monthly cost$27.95$19.95$29.95$19.95$49.95$24.99
Device range for at-home system (feet)1,000600–1,4001,300–1,400800800No at-home system
Connection typeLandline or cellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellularLandline or cellularCellular
Fall detectionYesYesYesYesNoYes
Battery life (depending on the system)6–72 hours24 hours–5 years32 hours–5 days30 hours–5 days10 years80 hours–4 months
Response time (seconds)1–151–151–1515–25N/AN/A
Location trackingYesYesYesYesYesYes

Bay Alarm Medical customer reviews

Bay Alarm Medical has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with 4.3 out of 5 stars, based on 138 customer reviews.5 The company also has a “great” rating on Trustpilot, with 4.1 out of 5 stars, based on 938 reviews.6

Rep was very helpful and explained exactly what was coming in the mail. He also included a form that I had requested earlier which had failed to arrive. I have used Bay Alarm for years now, and it has come in VERY HANDY multiple times, as I fall a lot. They have always called, and sent out EMS when necessary, and have always been dependable and nice. I wouldn’t think of changing!


So far they have been very responsive. No emergencies, just a couple of equipment tests and one call resulting from putting the device down too hard and pressing the button in error. The response was fast and very professional. Needed a little help setting the equipment up but the support people walked us through it and even called back when the call was dropped by mistake.


“Got a ‘low battery’ notification, which is a great tool. My mother is using the equipment, so this is a great way for me to monitor the status of the battery from miles away. When she initially called, she was told her necklace needed replacing as it was a low battery. We have only had the service for 9 months and I was told it would last 2–3 years. I called back and the next person retested all the equipment remotely with the help of my mother. We were told that all the equipment was fine. The low battery signal may have been triggered due to a power failure. So we got two different results from seemingly the same test, which is concerning.


Will Bay Alarm Medical help prevent falls?

Bay Alarm Medical does not guarantee the prevention of all falls. Even though the company offers fall detection on its devices for $10 per month, fall detection doesn’t detect 100% of falls. For example, when someone falls from standing (fast) versus falling from a bed or chair (slow), slow falls are not detected as reliably as fast falls.

Falls prevention is important for older adults and their caregivers. Learn more about what you can do to prevent injuries from falls with our 6 steps to help prevent falls article. You can also check your risk of falling with our free Falls CheckUp tool, or consult with your health care provider or allied professional (physical or occupational therapist) that specializes in older adult care or falls prevention.

Bay Alarm Medical Review: Bottom line

Buying a medical alert system can be hard, from learning how medical alert systems work to researching which medical alert system company and model will be best for you. In this article, our Reviews Team talked about the pros, cons, and details related to four medical alert systems offered by Bay Alarm Medical: SOS Home, SOS Mobile, SOS Smartwatch, and SOS All-in-One.

The company has an easy-to-navigate website, friendly customer support, fast response time, variety of device choices, and a lower cost compared to other medical alert system companies. Bay Alarm Medical may be the right choice if you’re looking for no activation fees, at-home and on-the-go bundled deals, and fall detection. If you want a free warranty, Bay Alarm Medical might not be a good option for you.

Frequently asked questions

Yes. Bay Alarm Medical has an A+ rating on the BBB with 4.3 out of 5 stars, based on 138 customer reviews. The company also has a “great” rating on Trustpilot, with 4.1 out of 5 stars, based on 938 reviews.

Bay Alarm Medical is TMA Five Diamond certified by The Monitoring Association (TMA), which means the company agrees to allow random inspections of its monitoring centers and follows TMA quality control guidelines.

The Bay Alarm Medical SOS Home System is waterproof, so you can take your help buttons into high-risk areas such as the bath or shower. The SOS Mobile, and SOS Smartwatch, and SOS All-in-One medical alert systems are water-resistant, not waterproof, so the company recommends not submerging them in water and drying them thoroughly when they do get wet.

Bay Alarm Medical was founded by Everett and Marj Westphal in 1946 as a home security service in Oakland, California, and in 2008 the Westphal family expanded its services to include medical alert services under the name, Bay Alarm Medical.

To find the best medical alert system, consider your highest needs first. For example, if you’re on a tight budget, Bay Alarm Medical might be the best fit since it is the most affordable medical alert system in several categories. If you need a technologically advanced system so you can stay in touch with loved ones and caregivers, HandsFree Health could be a better option.

Visit our Reviews Team’s 13 Best Medical Alert Systems for more options to consider, including Aloe Care Health, which won “Best for Caregivers,” and Medical Guardian, which was selected for “Best Premium Features.”

Have questions about this review? Email us at


  1. Moreland M, et al. A Descriptive Analysis of Location of Older Adult Falls That Resulted in Emergency Department Visits in the United States, 2015. Found on the internet at
  2. Eldercare Locator. Area agencies on aging. Found on the internet at
  3. About VA health benefits. Found on the internet at
  4. Internal Revenue Service. Publication 502 (2021). Found on the internet at
  5. Better Business Bureau. Bay Alarm Medical customer reviews and complaints. Found on the internet at
  6. Trustpilot. Bay Alarm Medical reviews. Found on the internet at
chrissy holm headshot
Chrissy Holm Author
Chrissy Holm is a writer and content editor with experience in health and wellness, weight loss, and hypertension. With her degree in Public Health Education and Promotion, she has designed promotional items, helped clients reach their health goals, and has written about sustainable agriculture and healthy food access for a local Minnesota nonprofit.
Christopher Norman Headshot
Christopher Norman Medical Reviewer
Christopher Norman is a Board-Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and Holistic Nurse. As a nurse’s aide, registered nurse and now nurse practitioner, he has loved working with older adults since 2004.
Kathleen Cameron
Kathleen Cameron Reviewer
Kathleen Cameron, BSPharm, MPH, has more than 25 years of experience in the health care field as a pharmacist, researcher, and program director focusing on falls prevention, geriatric pharmacotherapy, mental health, long-term services and supports, and caregiving. Cameron is Senior Director of the NCOA Center for Healthy Aging, where she provides subject matter expertise on health care programmatic and policy related issues and oversees the Modernizing Senior Center Resource Center.
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