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Best Medical Alert Bracelets of June 2023

We hand-tested and chose the best medical alert bracelets based on price, features, connectivity range, and more.
May 10, 2023

By Emily Breaux
Medically Reviewed by Christopher Norman, MSN, APRN, APHN-BC, GNP-BC
Reviewed by Kathleen Cameron, BSPharm, MPH, Senior Director, NCOA Center for Healthy Aging
Fact Checked

Best Medical Alert Bracelets: Key Takeaways

  • Medical alert bracelets are a discreet way to stay connected to your medical alert system and 24/7 monitoring center during an emergency. You can contact the monitoring center by pressing the bracelet button within a certain range of your medical alert system (about 600–1,400 feet, depending on the model).
  • Also known as life alert bracelets, medical alert bracelets are lightweight and roughly the size of a watch. They are included with most medical alert systems at no extra cost.
  • Most medical alert bracelets do not support fall detection. You must purchase a separate fall detection necklace or lanyard for all brands featured here.

Calling for help is as simple as pushing a button when you have a medical alert system—and most at-home and mobile medical alert systems include a medical alert bracelet as an additional safety accessory.

Also known as life alert bracelets, medical alert bracelets are wirelessly connected to your medical alert system. Even if you’re hundreds or more than a thousand feet from the system, all you have to do is press the bracelet button to contact the 24/7 monitoring center.

If you’re an older adult aging at home, have a chronic disease, are at risk for falling, or experience reduced mobility, these devices were designed for you. 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

Our Reviews Team researched and tested a variety of the best medical alert bracelets to help you find the best medical alert bracelet for you or your loved one. See our top medical alert bracelets and why we picked them.

Our top medical alert bracelet picks

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 bracelet 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 review methodology.

Table 1 Comparison of the best medical alert bracelets, as of January 2023

BrandMedical GuardianMobileHelpBay Alarm MedicalAlert1
Score (out of 5)
Starting monthly fee$29.95 $19.95 $24.95 $19.95
In-Home range (feet)1,300–1,400600–1,400 1,000 600
Connection type Landline, CellularLandline, CellularLandline, CellularLandline, Cellular
Bracelet battery life (years)Up to 53–5Up to 5Up to 5
Average response time (seconds)1–2525–501–251–25
Fall detectionYes, $10 per monthYes, $11 per monthYes, $10 per monthYes, $10 per month
Warranty includedOnly for smartwatchNoYesNo
Protection plan $6.99 per month$6.00 per month $2.95–$4.95 per month$8.33 per month

Best medical alert bracelets of 2023

Best At-Home Range: Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian Classic system kit

Pros One of the longest device ranges in the industry (1,300 feet for landline and 1,400 feet for cellular) Additional bracelets available for $2.99 each per month Tied with longest battery life on this list (up to five years)
Cons Must pay a monthly fee for additional bracelets instead of a one-time fee Warranty included only with smartwatch (protection plan costs extra) Highest starting monthly fee on this list
  • Score: 4.3/5
  • Starting monthly fee: $29.95
  • Device range: 1,300 feet (Classic Guardian) and 1,400 feet (Home 2.0)
  • Connection type: Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular
  • Bracelet dimensions: 7.25 inches by 0.88 inches (length x height)
  • Bracelet weight: 1.5 ounces (oz)
  • Battery life:
    • Up to five years (medical alert bracelet)
    • 32-backup battery (at-home system)
    • Up to five days (mobile systems)
  • Response time: 1–25 seconds

Medical Guardian has three packages that include a medical alert bracelet: two at-home systems and one mobile. Picture the length of four football fields—that’s your coverage range for both the landline and cellular at-home systems. The Classic Guardian (using a landline connection) offers 1,300 feet of coverage between your water-resistant bracelet and the base station, while the Home 2.0 (using a cellular connection) offers 1,400 feet. Our Reviews Team named Medical Guardian “Best At-Home Range” because of the generous coverage for both systems (most landline medical alert systems only offer a few hundred feet).

We liked the option to choose a black or white medical alert bracelet and add up to eight bracelets for $2.99 per month each. Additional bracelets are convenient to monitor an extra person in your home or to have as backup in case you misplace your medical alert bracelet.

Medical Guardian bracelet packages

Medical Guardian offers medical alert bracelets with the following packages:

  • Classic Guardian: $29.95 per month plus:
    • $2.99 per month for additional help button bracelet
  • Home 2.0: $37.95 per month plus:
    • $149.95 equipment fee for base unit
    • $2.99 per month for additional help button bracelet
  • Mobile 2.0: $44.95 per month plus:
    • $2.99 per month for additional help button bracelet

We also liked that Medical Guardian offers MyGuardian, a free, online caregiver portal to store important user and caregiver information. Caregivers can coordinate care, set daily reminders, message their loved one, and update the user’s medical history and emergency contact information in the MyGuardian desktop portal or app.

Fall detection is also an option with the above packages for an additional $10 per month, but this feature isn’t available for the medical alert bracelet. That’s because research from 2016 shows fall detection worn around your neck is more accurate than fall detection worn around your wrist.2 To purchase fall detection, you can order a fall detection necklace that will automatically contact the monitoring center if it senses a fall.

The two Medical Guardian mobile systems connect to the monitoring center from anywhere with cellular service, but the Mobile 2.0 is the only one that includes a medical alert bracelet. While the product page doesn’t state this explicitly, our Reviews Team received a medical alert bracelet when we purchased the Mobile 2.0 package.

Medical Guardian Mobile 2.0 kit

The Mobile 2.0 device is slightly longer than a credit card (2.6 inches) and weighs less than a deck of cards (2.7 ounces), so it’s easy to slip into your pocket or purse while wearing your medical alert bracelet. If you need help, press the help button on your bracelet, and the mobile device will verbally confirm it’s contacting the monitoring center.

When our Reviews Team tested the Mobile 2.0, it took about five seconds for the automated voice to switch to live monitoring center staff. The staff member spoke to us through the Mobile 2.0’s two-way speaker.

Unfortunately, the Mobile 2.0 doesn’t have built-in fall detection, which means you’ll have to wear the designated fall detection necklace instead of the mobile device if you want that protection. Our Reviews Team recommends Medical Guardian’s at-home systems if you’re interested in the convenience of a medical alert bracelet and spend most of your time at home or in your yard.

Customer service

Phone: 800-313-1191

  • 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday
  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Saturday

Website: Online contact form


Our Reviews Team found that ordering directly from the Medical Guardian site was an easy, intuitive process. Although the company doesn’t charge cancellation fees, the terms and conditions state customers may be charged a restocking fee of up to $50. Customer service representatives were helpful wherever we called, and a representative even helped us set up our MyGuardian account over the phone.

Payment options

  • Credit card
  • Check (must purchase over the phone)

Best for Partners or Roommates: MobileHelp

MobileHelp Medical Alert Bracelets

Pros 1,400-foot range from bracelet to at-home system (with cellular connection) Additional life alert bracelets available for $2 per month Bracelet battery life is monitored by the brand’s technical support team and replaced for free No equipment fees
Cons Can’t add bracelets to the Wired Home package when ordering online Monthly fee for additional bracelets instead of a one-time fee
  • Score: 4.1/5
  • Starting monthly fee: $19.95
  • Device range:
    • 600 feet (Wired Home and MobileHelp Touch)
    • 1,400 feet (MobileHelp Classic)
  • Connection type: Landline, AT&T cellular
  • Bracelet dimensions:
    • Strap: 9.8”
    • Center button: 1.38” L x 0.25” H
  • Bracelet weight: 1.1 oz
  • Battery life:
    • Five years (medical alert bracelet)
    • Up to 30 hours back-up battery (at-home system)
    • More than 24 hours (mobile systems)
  • Response time: 25–50 seconds

MobileHelp has three packages that bundle two medical alert systems under one monthly monitoring fee. Depending on which package you choose, you’ll receive either an at-home system and a mobile system, or two mobile systems.

Our Reviews Team loved the flexibility of bundle packages for two people in the same home. If you’re out running errands but your partner is at home, you’ll both stay connected to the monitoring center with a separate system. This is why MobileHelp earned the title of “Best for Partners or Roommates” from our Reviews Team.

Keep in mind that all MobileHelp subscriptions include a medical alert bracelet, but you have to select the wristband option under System Buttons on the checkout page to receive it with your package. We spoke with a customer service representative and confirmed that the technical support team monitors the bracelet’s battery life and sends a free replacement when the battery is low.

Screenshot of System Buttons options on MobileHelp

Choose the White or Black Wrist Button to receive a bracelet with your MobileHelp medical alert system.

Even MobileHelp bundles only include one free button. If you’re planning to purchase a bundle and would like both users to have a bracelet paired with a medical alert system, you’ll have to order an extra bracelet for an additional $2 per month.

MobileHelp bracelet packages

MobileHelp offers medical alert bracelets with the following packages:


  • Wired Home: $24.95 per month
  • MobileHelp Classic $19.95 per month
  • Touch Classic: $54.95 per month


  • Solo: $37.95 per month
  • Micro: $39.95 per month

Bundle packages:

  • Duo (at-home base station and mobile system): $41.95 per month
  • Mobile Duo (two mobile systems): $44.95 per month
  • Touch Duo (touchscreen base station and mobile system): $54.95 per month

MobileHelp doesn’t charge extra equipment or activation fees, making bundle packages an even more affordable option. For example, if you purchase the Mobile Duo ($37.95 per month) and an additional medical alert bracelet ($2 per month) to monitor you and your partner, each mobile system breaks down to less than $20 per month.

While MobileHelp offers a standard landline and cellular at-home system, our Reviews Team especially enjoyed testing the MobileHelp Touch at-home system. The unique touchscreen base station offers a variety of features, including health vitals monitoring, health articles and videos, a personal photo gallery, Sudoku, and messaging features. Reminders and activity tracking are available with Connect Premium ($6 per month).

The medical alert bracelet connects up to 600 feet from the MobileHelp Touch and Wired Home landline system, while the MobileHelp Classic cellular system offers a 1,400-foot connection range from the bracelet to the base station. All three at-home base stations have a two-way speaker to communicate with monitoring center staff.

Fall detection is an optional add-on for $11 per month (higher than the $10 industry average) and is available for all packages but Wired Home. It’s important to note that fall detection is not available with the bracelet.

Customer service

Phone: 800-809-9664

  • 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday
  • 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Saturday

Website: Online chat

Our Reviews Team didn’t realize we had to choose a button when ordering our MobileHelp package, so we didn’t receive a medical alert bracelet with one of our systems. Getting in touch with a customer service representative was difficult: We had to navigate multiple menu options and wait several minutes before speaking with someone. The customer service representative was not helpful and unable to tell our Reviews Team if our package should have included a medical alert bracelet.

Payment options

  • Credit card

Best Mobile Option: Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical SOS All-In-One kit

Pros One-time fee for additional medical alert bracelet Bracelet has a five-year battery life Nine out of the 10 available packages include a bracelet
Cons Landline and cellular at-home systems have the same connection range (1,000 feet) You’re responsible for paying equipment and shipping fees to replace bracelet when the battery is low unless you have a paid protection plan
  • Score: 4.5/5
  • Starting monthly fee: $24.95
  • Device range:
    • 1,000 feet (In-Home Basic, In-Home Preferred, and In-Home Premium)
  • Connection type: Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular
  • Bracelet dimensions:
    • Strap: 18”
    • Center button: 1.5” L x 1.5” H
  • Bracelet weight: Less than 1 oz
  • Battery life:
    • Up to five years (medical alert bracelet)
    • 32-hour back-up battery (at-home system)
    • 72 hours to 16 days (mobile systems)
    • Six to 18 hours (SOS Smartwatch)
  • Response time: 1–25 seconds

You have multiple options when shopping Bay Alarm Medical packages, but we want to highlight the SOS All-in-One mobile device since it includes a medical alert bracelet. The SOS All-in-One is a compact (weighs as much as two AA batteries), water-resistant mobile system that connects to the monitoring center anywhere with cellular service. If you add fall detection to your All-in-One package, the sensors are built into the device—unlike the Medical Guardian Mobile 2.0. That means you won’t need an extra fall detection device, like you would with the Medical Guardian Mobile 2.0.

The All-in-One’s built-in fall detection, two-way speaker, durable design, and GPS location tracking are why we chose Bay Alarm Medical as the “Best Mobile Option” to pair with a medical alert bracelet.

Although the monitoring center tracks your medical alert bracelet’s battery life, we don’t like that Bay Alarm Medical doesn’t automatically send you a new bracelet when the battery is low. Instead, monitoring center staff will notify you to call the company to order a new bracelet. Unless you added a protection plan to your package ($2.95–$4.95 per month, depending on the system), you’ll have to pay a $30 equipment fee and $12 shipping to receive a new bracelet.

Bay Alarm Medical bracelet packages

You can add extra medical alert bracelets to any package for $39 each. Bay Alarm Medical offers bracelets with the following packages:

At-home systems:

  • SOS Home Landline: $24.95 per month
  • SOS Home Cellular: $29.95 per month
  • SOS Home Cellular With Fall Detection: $39.95 per month plus a $30 equipment fee

Mobile sytems:

  • SOS All-in-One: $37.95 per month plus a $99 equipment fee
  • SOS All-in-One With Fall Detection: $47.95 per month plus a $129 equipment fee
  • SOS Mobile: $29.95 per month plus a $99 equipment fee
  • SOS Mobile With Fall Detection: $39.95 per month plus a $99 equipment fee


  • SOS Mobile 360° Bundle (SOS Mobile + SOS Home): $49.95 per month plus a $99 equipment fee
  • SOS Smartwatch 360° Bundle (SOS Smartwatch + SOS Home): $49.95 per month plus a $159 equipment fee

The SOS Home Landline’s 1,000-foot range between the bracelet and base station is impressive for a landline system. But we’d like to see a range longer than 1,000 feet for the SOS Home Cellular systems, since they cost $5–$15 more than the landline system, and it only offers a 600-foot range between the bracelet and SOS All-in-One.

Fall detection is available for an extra $10 per month for all Bay Alarm Medical alert systems besides the SOS Smartwatch. The SOS Smartwatch 360° Bundle also includes a medical alert bracelet and fall detection necklace, but they connect to the at-home base station, not the smartwatch.

Customer service

Phone: 877-522-9633

  • 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday
  • 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT, Saturday

Email: (for existing customers)

Website: Online chat

We liked how easy it was to compare packages and prices on the brand’s site. The online ordering process was simple and smooth for our Reviews Team. Whenever we called customer support with a troubleshooting issue, a representative was always able to answer our questions or direct us to a technical support representative.

The online support chat is excellent to answer quick questions while shopping around the site. If a customer service representative isn’t online, you can leave a message and you’ll receive an email answering your question once someone is available. We left a message asking about the connection range between the SOS All-in-One and medical alert bracelet, and in less than an hour we received an email confirming the 600-foot range.

Best Style Options: Alert1

Alert1 Color Bracelets

Pros Blue, purple, and gray medical alert bracelet options available Five-year bracelet battery life Can add safety accessories to your package like a medical ID bracelet, smoke detector, surge guard, and more
Cons Landline and cellular at-home systems have the same short connection range (600 feet) Expensive landline system compared to competitors ($28.95) if paying monthly Most expensive protection plan on this list ($8.33 per month)
  • Score: 4.4/5
  • Starting monthly fee: $28.95
  • Device range: 600 feet (In-Home landline and cellular system)
  • Connection type: Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular
  • Bracelet dimensions:
    • Strap: 10.5” L x 0.9” W
    • Center button: 1.5” L x 1.5” W
  • Bracelet weight: About 1 oz
  • Battery life:
    • Up to five years (medical alert bracelet)
    • 24 hours back-up battery (at-home system)
  • Response time: 1–25 seconds

Alert1 offers standard medical alert bracelets as well as solid gray, blue, or purple bracelets to show off your favorite color and keep you connected to the monitoring center in style. Designed to fit Alert1’s standard help buttons, these vibrant medical alert bracelets earned Alert1 the title “Best Style Options” from our Reviews Team. The colorful bracelets are one size fits all, waterproof, and available for $9.95 each.

Monitoring center staff will check the medical alert bracelet battery level during monthly test calls and will automatically send you a new medical alert bracelet for free when the battery is low.

Alert1 bracelet packages

Additional bracelets are $19.95 each. Alert1 offers bracelets with the following packages:

  • In-Home Medical Alert (landline): $28.95 per month plus a $19.95 activation fee
  • In-Home (Medical Alert cellular): $38.95 per month
  • In-Home + Fall Detection Medical Alert (landline): $38.95 per month plus a $19.95 activation fee
  • In-Home + Fall Detection Medical Alert (cellular): $48.95 per month
  • On-the-Go + In-the-Home Fall Detection Medical Alert: $58.95 per month

Landline and cellular at-home systems from Alert1 include a medical alert bracelet that connects up to 600 feet from the base station. The mobile system doesn’t pair with a bracelet, so we recommend Alert1 medical alert bracelets if you spend most of your time in or around your home and want a standard, at-home system. If you want to add fall detection, a necklace is available for an extra $10 per month.

In addition to stylish, colorful medical alert bracelets, Alert1 offers a variety of safety accessories—most of which are available for a one-time fee and can be added to any package. Accessories include:

  • Medication reminder and organizer ($149.95)
  • Fall protection package: two wall buttons, motion-sensing night lights, adhesive tub strips, and corner guards ($200)
  • Lockbox ($39.95)
  • Monitored smoke detector ($10 per month)

You can also save money on your monthly payment by choosing an annual subscription. Although you’re paying upfront for a year of service, your monthly monitoring fees are almost $10 less each month than if you choose a monthly subscription, saving you almost $120 per year.

Customer service

Phone: 877-659-3528

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Saturday


Our Reviews Team thought Alert1’s website was difficult to navigate compared to other brands in this review. The Pricing button at the top of the site leads to a page that doesn’t list out pricing—it only states how inexpensive Alert1 systems are compared to competitors.

Product page prices can be misleading since the monthly price automatically listed on every page reflects the monthly payment if you purchased an annual subscription, not a monthly subscription. You have to click the Pay Monthly button next to Pre-Pay for Annual to see the monthly subscription price.

Alert1 Product Page Screenshot

The price listed under the model is for an annual subscription, not a monthly subscription.

You’ll pay almost $10 more per month if you opt for a monthly subscription instead of an annual subscription.

Alert1 doesn’t have an online chat or messaging service—instead, you must call to speak with customer service. The customer service representative we spoke with was friendly, answered all our questions, and wasn’t pushy about making a sale when asked a few basic questions. Not having an online chat service still may deter younger caregivers or family members from learning more about Alert1’s products and services.

Read more in our full Alert1 medical alert review.

What are medical alert bracelets?

Life Alert Bracelet On Wrist

A medical alert, or life alert, bracelet is a silicone wristband with a button connected to your at-home or mobile medical alert system. The center button is often called a help button. You can usually switch your help button from an adjustable bracelet to a necklace, if the necklace is included with your system.

While most medical alert bracelets have the same design and function, there are some distinguishing features to keep in mind when shopping around, including:

  • Connection distance between the bracelet and medical alert base unit (if it’s an in-home unit)
  • Bracelet battery life
  • Battery alert system
  • Replacement policy

Medical alert bracelets vs. medical ID bracelets

Medical alert bracelets and medical ID bracelets are not the same thing, although they are often used interchangeably.

Medical ID bracelets display important medical information needed during an emergency, such as the wearer’s blood type, allergies, chronic conditions, and current medications. Unlike medical alert bracelets, medical ID bracelets are not connected to a 24/7 monitoring center and can’t be used to call for help.

John Landry, BS, RRT, a registered respiratory therapist with HCA Healthcare in Memphis, Tennessee, added, “Medical ID bracelets can also be useful for people who take multiple medications or have complex medical histories, as they can provide a quick and easy way for health care providers to access this information.”

Medical ID jewelry is also becoming more common for those with Alzheimer’s disease, according to Christopher Norman, a geriatric nurse practitioner based in New York state. “ID jewelry is being increasingly used for people with this disease that might be prone to wander or get lost in familiar places,” he said.

Medical ID bracelets can be paired with a medical alert bracelet, especially if you or your loved one have any chronic conditions or health concerns. By shopping for a medical alert bracelet, you’re already taking a proactive step for you or your loved one’s safety.

Alert1 offers medical ID bracelets as an add-on accessory with your medical alert system for $34.95 each.

Pros and cons of medical alert bracelets

Pros Discreet, comfortable bracelet connected to a 24/7 monitoring center Multi-year battery life and no charging required Waterproof or water-resistant Soft silicone material
Cons Limited range with at-home base station No speaker in the bracelet to talk with monitoring center staff Fall detection not supported

How do medical alert bracelets work?

When you push the bracelet button, your medical alert system contacts the monitoring center. You’ll speak to monitoring center staff through the base station or mobile system speaker since medical alert bracelets don’t have built-in speakers. The staff member will dispatch emergency services and contact your loved ones if you confirm it’s an emergency or you’re unresponsive.

Your medical alert bracelet must be within range of the main system to connect to the monitoring center. We recommend testing your bracelet at the maximum distance from the system when you first receive your package.

For example, the Medical Guardian Home 2.0 has an advertised range of 1,400 feet from the base station, but what does that distance look like in and around your home?

Caregiver tips for testing the bracelet range: You can test the bracelet’s range using an online conversion tool that converts feet to steps (Home 2.0’s 1,400-foot range converts to approximately 560 steps). Count out the steps with your loved one while they’re wearing their medical alert bracelet. While you return to the base station, they should stay put and press the bracelet button to test if the base station connects to the monitoring center. If it does, let monitoring center staff know you’re testing the system. If it doesn’t, tell your loved one and have them move a few feet closer to the base station. Continue testing the medical alert bracelet until it contacts the monitoring center.

Medical alert bracelets don’t need to be charged—they have built-in batteries lasting about three to five years, depending on how often you use them.

Waterproof vs. water-resistant bracelets

Medical alert bracelets are usually waterproof or water-resistant. A waterproof medical alert bracelet can be completely submerged in water without getting damaged. A water-resistant bracelet can get wet, but it can’t be submerged for a long time.

Most medical alert brands list their medical alert bracelets as waterproof or water resistant on their site’s product pages. You can also contact customer service to check if a bracelet is waterproof or water resistant.

How much do medical alert bracelets cost?

Medical alert bracelets usually have starting costs of $20–$30 per month. The cost of your medical alert bracelet is bundled into your monthly monitoring fee unless you’re purchasing additional bracelets. Your monthly monitoring fee varies by the system, features, and any additional costs.

Standard in-home medical alert systems cost about $20–$30 per month. More advanced systems like mobile systems, smartwatches, or systems with smart technology may cost $40 to more than $50 per month.

  • Lowest monthly cost in this review: MobileHelp Classic ($19.95)
  • Highest monthly cost in this review: MobileHelp Touch Class and Touch Duo ($54.95)

Equipment and activation fees

Some medical alert brands charge a one-time equipment or activation fee on top of the monthly monitoring fee. When you pay an equipment fee, you’re purchasing the product. You won’t have to return your medical alert equipment even if you cancel your monitoring service.

MobileHelp and Alert1 are the only brands in our review that don’t charge equipment fees, meaning you’re renting the equipment instead of purchasing it. If you cancel your subscription, you’ll be asked to return the equipment according to the company’s return policy instructions.

An activation fee is a one-time charge to “activate” the medical alert system. Alert1 is the only brand featured here that charges an activation fee ($19.95) for all monthly subscription packages.

Add-on features and accessories

Fall detection, GPS tracking, medication reminders, and other add-on features are usually an additional charge each month. Medical Guardian, Bay Alarm Medical, and Alert1 charge $10 per month for fall detection, while MobileHelp charges $11 per month.

Optional accessories like extra medical alert bracelets, wall buttons, and lockboxes will either be an additional one-time fee or a monthly charge, depending on the brand.

How to save money on medical alert bracelets

Fees for medical alert systems can quickly add up. Fortunately, many medical alert companies run discounts on equipment, features, and other costs throughout the year, which can help you save money on your medical alert bracelet.

Some brands offer a lower monthly monitoring price and waive certain fees if you choose an annual, semiannual (pay twice a year), or quarterly (pay four times a year) subscription.

As of writing, all brands covered offer a subscription discount:

  • Medical Guardian: Save 16% on your monthly monitoring fee, receive a free lockbox, and free ground shipping with an annual subscription.
  • Bay Alarm Medical: Receive free shipping with a quarterly subscription plus a free month of monitoring with an annual subscription.
  • MobileHelp: Receive a discounted monthly monitoring fee and 50% off fall detection with an annual subscription.
  • Alert1: Receive a discounted monthly monitoring fee and waive the activation fee with an annual subscription.

Does Medicare cover medical alert bracelets?

Traditional Medicare, also known as Medicare Part A and B, does not cover medical alert bracelets. Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C) may cover some or all medical alert equipment costs, but your coverage depends on your plan. Contact your insurance provider to confirm coverage.

Learn more about your Medicare coverage options and how to maximize your benefits with the comprehensive Medicare Guide on NCOA’s Age Well Planner.

Who could benefit from a medical alert bracelet?

Medical alert bracelets connect users to emergency services at any time of the day or night with the push of a button. This service was designed for older adults aging in place, as well as individuals with chronic conditions or physical or visual limitations.

Keep in mind the medical alert bracelets in this guide don’t have fall detection sensors, a crucial safety feature for many medical alert users. Our Reviews Team surveyed 1,000 medical alert users and caregivers, and fall detection was the most popular feature in a medical alert system—60% of respondents said it’s the most important feature they want in a medical alert system.

You can still press your bracelet button to connect to the monitoring center after a fall, but a fall detection necklace provides more safeguards if you’re unconscious or unable to reach your bracelet. If your fall detection necklace senses a fall, it will automatically trigger a call to the monitoring center.

“Necklace/pendent devices may be more accurate [than bracelets] because they sit closer to a person’s center of gravity and are at a greater distance from the floor than a wrist device would be,” said Jessica L. Israel, MD, a geriatrics and palliative care physician and chief medical officer at Complete Care Management in New Jersey. Even though necklaces are better suited for fall detection, fall detection devices are not always 100% accurate. “Body position at the time of the fall is important,” added Norman. “A fall from a standing position is often more likely to be detected than a fall from a seated position.”

Research shows that fall detection is not 100% accurate. This 2020 research survey found an average accuracy rate of 93% for fall detection devices, but numbers vary.3 This 2017 study4 found an average accuracy rate of 80%, and a 2018 review of 22 different studies5 found that, in order to arrive at a standard accuracy rate of fall detection systems, more real-world research is needed. Generally, researchers agree it’s not 100% accurate, but very close.

Israel advised anyone at risk of falling to work with a physician and care team to address any underlying conditions and develop a plan for falls prevention.

Assess your risk for a fall with NCOA’s Falls Free CheckUp tool and learn how to create a safer home environment with falls prevention tips from NCOA.

Best medical alert bracelets: bottom line

Medical alert bracelets are a comfortable, discreet way to stay connected to a 24/7 monitoring center inside and outside your home. After researching and testing the models, our Reviews Team recommends Medical Guardian and Alert1 if you’re looking for simple protection at home. If you have a large yard, consider Medical Guardian and its impressive 1,300- to 1,400-foot connection range between the base station and medical alert bracelet.

Bay Alarm Medical SOS All-in-One mobile system paired with a medical alert bracelet is excellent for on-the-go protection if you still drive independently and enjoy spending time outside your home.

If you want to protect two people in the same home, MobileHelp offers multiple medical alert system bundles to cover you and a loved one. You’ll receive two medical alert systems, but remember to purchase an additional wristband, so both you and your partner have a medical alert bracelet to connect to each device.

While the Unaliwear Kanega Watch isn’t a standard medical alert bracelet, our Reviews Team wanted to mention it here since it’s one of the only wristband-style medical alert smartwatches with built-in fall detection. The Kanega Watch is slightly bulkier than a medical alert bracelet because of its large watch face and rechargeable batteries.

  • Monthly subscription: $69.95 monthly monitoring fee plus $299 equipment fee
  • Annual subscription: $59.95 monthly monitoring fee plus $199 equipment fee

Frequently asked questions

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  1. Stokke, R. The Personal Emergency Response System as a Technology Innovation in Primary Health Care Services: An Integrative Review. 2016. Found on the internet at
  2. Gjoreski, et al. How Accurately Can Your Wrist Device Recognize Daily Activities and Detect Falls? Found on the internet at
  3. Ramachandran, Karuppiah. A Survey on Recent Advances in Wearable Fall Detection Systems. Found on the internet at
  4. Aziz, et al. Validation of accuracy of SVM-based fall detection system using real-world fall and non-fall datasets. Found on the internet at
  5. Broadley, et al. Methods for the Real-World Evaluation of Fall Detection Technology: A Scoping Review. Found on the internet at
  6. NCOA Adviser Medical Alert System Survey. 1,000 respondents. Conducted using Pollfish. Launched Nov. 11, 2022

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