Our top medical alert systems as of May 2024:

1
Best Variety
9.8
Exceptional
Average response time: under 25 seconds
24/7 monitoring center located in the United States
Mobile system holds charge up to 5 days
At-home systems have the longest ranges in the industry
Memorial Day sale: 75% off MG Mini Lite with code: MEMORIALDAY24
Our Top Pick
2
Most Popular
9.7
Excellent
Average response time: under 50 seconds
No equipment or activation fees
Long-lasting battery: 30 hours (at-home systems) and 5 years (necklace and wrist buttons)
Plans starting at $19.95/month
Annual plans with 1 Free Month & 50% Off Fall Detection
3
Easiest to Use
9.6
Excellent
Average response time: under 25 seconds
Clear instructions for easy setup and use
Fall detection can be added onto every device
30 hours of backup battery power
All devices are waterproof
4
Best Two-for-One Deal
9.4
Very Good
Offers at-home and on-the-go medical alert systems
24/7 monitoring center
Plans start at $19.95/month
Offers two-for-one bundle packages, which include two medical alert systems for one monthly monitoring fee
30 day trial period
5
Longest Battery Life
9.6
Excellent
Average response time: under 25 seconds
The VIPx system’s battery lasts up to 10 days
Unlimited emergency contact notifications
Multiple device types and styles
30-day money-back guarantee and no long-term contracts

Best medical alert systems comparison, as of May 2024

Our comparison table below allows you to easily see the prices and features of the best medical alert systems of 2024. When comparing medical alert systems, pay special attention to connection type, device range, and battery life.

Monthly cost $29.95 $19.95 $20+ $25+ $30+
Range 1,300–1,400 feet 600–1,400 feet 800 feet 600–1,400 feet 1,300 feet
Connection type Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular Landline, AT&T cellular Landline, AT&T cellular Landline, AT&T cellular Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular
Battery life Up to 5 days 3 days Up to 5 days Up to 4 days Up to 10 days
Response time 1–25 seconds 25–50 seconds 25–50 seconds 25–50 seconds 25–50 seconds

Our Reviews Team researched and tested the top medical alert systems on the market to help you make an informed decision for yourself or your loved one.

Why you can trust our expert review
2500
Hours of
Research
108
Tests
Performed
36
Models
Tested
9
Experts
Consulted
Best Overall
9.8 Exceptional
Response time: 1–25 seconds
Starting monthly fee: $29.95 for at-home systems and $39.95 for on-the-go systems
Memorial Day sale: 75% off MG Mini Lite with code: MEMORIALDAY24
Why We Chose

Usually a brand’s at-home or on-the-go systems outshine the other, but we were equally impressed with both from Medical Guardian, making this brand our pick for “Best Overall.” The at-home systems feature some of the longest ranges in the industry (1,300–1,400 feet), while the mobile devices are available as a lightweight necklace, bracelet, or smartwatch with advanced location tracking, a multi-day battery life, and optional fall detection (not available for the watch).

Combine this with the monitoring center’s less than 25-second response time, and this may be why a majority (43%) of our survey respondents use Medical Guardian for their medical alert system. [1] NCOA Adviser Medical Alert Systems Survey. 1,000 respondents. Conducted using Pollfish. Launched November 2021

Pros & Cons
Pros At-home systems have the longest ranges in the industry Smartwatch and two on-the-go devices available Discount with an annual payment plan No hidden fees Cons One-time equipment fee required for most systems ($149.95–$199.95) No free warranty for wear and tear (protection plan costs extra) Must pay extra for texts to emergency contacts ($2.99 per month)
Features
  • At-home device range: 1,300–1,400 feet
  • Connection type: Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular
  • Fall detection: Additional $10 per month
Additional Details

At-home medical alert systems

  • MGClassic: For $30 per month and no equipment fee, the base unit of the Classic Guardian connects to a landline and has a range of 1,300 feet. Fall detection is available for an additional $10/month.
  • MGHome Cellular: Working from a cellular connection, this system includes a base unit and help button with a 1,400-foot range. The equipment costs $149.95, and the monthly fee is $37.95. Fall detection is available for an additional $10/month.

On-the-go medical alert systems

  • MGMini Lite: This lightweight bracelet weighs less than a pencil and looks like a discreet fitness tracker. It has a two-way speaker, a three-day battery life, and optional fall detection. The monthly fee is $44.95 plus a one-time $149.95 equipment fee. Fall detection costs an additional $10 monthly.
  • MGMini: The MGMini is a compact device that can be worn as a necklace or clipped to your purse or pocket. It has a five-day battery life, optional fall detection (for an additional $10 monthly), and includes two lanyards and a belt clip. The device is $39.95 per month plus a $199.95 equipment fee. You can choose from four colors: rose gold, pearl, silver, or black.
  • MGMove: The MGMove is a touchscreen smartwatch and medical alert system in one. It has a built-in speaker and microphone, allowing you to speak with the monitoring staff, as well as a step counter and weather app. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 per month. The monthly fee is $39.95 plus a $199.95 one-time equipment fee.

Ease of setup

We set up our Medical Guardian devices by following simple steps in the user guides. Unlike some medical alert systems, the at-home base stations and help buttons must be paired during setup. We didn’t mind this step since the user guide walked us through it, and the base station verbally confirmed when we correctly paired it with the help button.

Medical Guardian customer service

Our customer service representative was helpful and responsive when helping us set up our account profile on the MyGuardian app. The same representative also helped us test the Mobile 2.0 system (discontinued) when it had a low battery. It took us about two minutes to reach a representative every time we contacted them over the phone.

Medical Guardian customer reviews

Be aware that Medical Guardian has low customer ratings on its Better Business Bureau (BBB) page—the company has a verified customer review score of 1.07 out of 5 based on 73 reviews. The majority of complaints express difficulties canceling the service and obtaining refunds. Despite the negative reviews, Medical Guardian is still accredited with BBB and has an A+ rating, meaning the company works to respond to and resolve every customer complaint.

Medical Guardian has a higher customer rating on Trustpilot: 3.7 out of 5 stars based on more than 900 reviews. The majority of positive reviews mention peace of mind users get from their device, quick emergency response after contacting the monitoring center, and great customer service. Most negative reviews focus on cancelation issues and poor customer service.

Medical Guardian full review

Our Top Pick
Most Popular
9.7 Excellent
Response time: Under 50 seconds
Starting monthly fee: $19.95
Why We Chose

Most mobile medical alert systems include a $100–$200 fee on top of the monthly monitoring fee, but MobileHelp doesn’t charge extra fees for most devices. There’s only one device with an extra fee—a $49.95 processing fee for the Classic at-home system—but the company waives it with quarterly, semiannual, or annual payment plans. It’s this lack of fees that led us to designate MobileHelp as “Best for No Extra Fees.” We also like the variety of devices available, including a smart tablet at-home system with games, a photo gallery, and a health database.

Pros & Cons
Pros 30-day trial period Smart tablet at-home system option Medication reminders available Bundles with two devices for one monthly fee Referral program Cons Fall detection is $11 per month Short range for some at-home systems (600 ft) No free warranty for wear and tear (protection plan costs extra)
Features
  • At-home device range: 600–1,400 feet
  • Connection type: Landline, AT&T cellular
  • Fall detection: Additional $11 per month
Additional Details

At-home medical alert systems

  • Classic: One of the highlights of this at-home system is an industry-high 1,400-foot range. This system’s monthly fee is $34.95, or $19.95 when on sale.
  • Touch Classic: For $54.95 per month, this touchscreen tablet offers Sudoku, a photo gallery, optional activity tracking (the ability to monitor the user’s health activity such as how many steps they walked), and medication reminders. You can also send messages to designated caregivers from the tablet.
  • Wired Home: This system uses a landline connection and costs $26.95 per month. Fall detection isn’t available.

On-the-go medical alert system

  • Solo: This system includes a mobile base unit for use in the home and on the go, as well as a waterproof help button. Both mobile systems have location tracking and optional fall detection. It costs $41.95 per month. Fall detection is an additional $11 per month.
  • Micro: This lightweight and discreet device costs $39.95 per month. It’s about half the size of the Solo and weighs a little more than two AA batteries.

Bundled packages

These bundled packages can be a good money-saving option for households with more than one person:

  • Duo: A combination of an at-home and on-the-go system for $46.95 per month—about $23 for each device.
  • Mobile Duo: Two on-the-go devices for $49.95 per month (or about $25 per month each).
  • Touch Duo: Pay $64.95 per month for the touchscreen tablet and on-the-go device (or $27 per month each).

Ease of setup

Overall, MobileHelp medical alert systems were relatively easy to set up. Setting up the mobile systems only required two steps outlined in the quick start guide. We didn’t like that the Touch Classic didn’t have a complete user guide to walk us through its available features. A thorough user guide would have been helpful since this smart tablet base station has many extra features.

MobileHelp customer service

The MobileHelp customer service phone number was listed on our invoice, but it would have been helpful to have it in the quick start guide as well. During one of our calls to customer service, we had to wait more than five minutes and click through several menu options before speaking with a representative.

MobileHelp customer reviews

MobileHelp has positive customer ratings on its BBB page with a verified customer review score of 4.8 out of 5 based on more than 200 reviews. The majority of reviews express satisfaction with friendly customer service and quick response times. MobileHelp is accredited with BBB and has an A+ rating, meaning the company works to respond to and resolve every customer complaint.

MobileHelp has an “Excellent” rating and 4.8 out of 5 stars with Trustpilot based on more than 2,600 reviews. A majority of reviews praise the brand’s helpful, knowledgeable customer service representatives and quick response during an emergency. Some negative reviewers thought fall detection was too sensitive, while others had issues canceling the service.

MobileHelp review

Easiest to Use
9.6 Excellent
Average response time: 15–25 seconds
Starting monthly fee: $19.95 (when paid annually)
Why We Chose

Medical Alert is our top pick as the “Easiest to Use” medical alert system, due to its clear, easy setup instructions, its all-in-one technology, and its push-button system. Medical Alert keeps its product line and devices simple, offering a mobile system and a home system. The home system has a landline option or a cellular version, which offers the same benefits, and a waterproof wearable device. Medical Alert’s mobile system device can be worn like a necklace and includes a built-in help button, GPS location tracking, and two-way communication. The mobile system has an impressive five-day battery life, while the backup battery for the home system is 30 hours. You can add fall detection to your Medical Alert device for $10 a month.

Pros & Cons
Pros Risk-free 30 day trial Simple, straightforward setup and use No equipment fees or long-term contracts Cons Only one option for on-the-go systems No warranty included, and protection plan costs extra Limited features
Features
  • At-home device range: 800 feet
  • Connection type: Landline, AT&T cellular
  • Fall detection: Additional $10 per month
Additional Details

At-home medical alert systems

  • Home Landline System: services start at $27.95 a month, but if you pay annually, the $239.40 cost breaks out to only $19.95 a month. The backup battery life for The Home Systems is 30 hours, and it would only be in use if you experienced a power outage.
  • Home Cellular System: services start at $37.95 a month, dropping to $29.95 when paid annually ($359.40). The range on Medical Alert’s Home Systems is 800 feet, which is not as far as some competitors, who boast a range of 1,300-1,400 feet.

On-the-go medical alert systems

  • Mobile System: services on the mobile system start at $47.95 monthly or $39.95 a month when paid via an annual subscription ($479.40). Medical Alert’s Mobile System has GPS location tracking, unlimited device range, and a five-day battery life.

Ease of setup

Setting up and using the Medical Alert devices is easy. We could open the packages with just one hand and found clear, thorough instructions with lots of visual cues. The home devices are simple to plug in, and you can follow the prompts to pair the device with fall detection. Medical Alert also offers backup instructions in case you miss the prompts.

Medical Alert customer service

Our experience with Medical Alert customer service varied. The representative who helped us purchase our medical alert system was friendly and helpful. They even gave us their direct extension if we had any other questions. A different customer service representative called us to clarify something with our account, but we were busy and unable to take the call. We told the representative this and asked if they could call us back later, but they immediately hung up on us.

Medical Alert customer reviews

Medical Alert is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but its parent company, Connect America, has an A+ BBB rating and 1.25 out of 5 stars based on 20 customer reviews.

On Trustpilot, Medical Alert has 2.8 out of 5 stars, based on three customer reviews.

Many of the customer complaints from BBB and Trustpilot express frustration around returning the medical alert system equipment to cancel their service.

 

Medical Alert full review

Best Two-for-One Deal
9.4 Very Good
Response time: 25–50 seconds
Starting monthly fee: Starts at $23 for the at-home system and $33 for on-the-go systems
Why We Chose

Most medical alert companies offer some sort of bundled deal, but the deals are usually for combining an at-home system with an on-the-go device. One Call Alert offers two of the same type of device (two mobile devices) at a discounted price. The bundle, known as the Mobile Double, offers two water-resistant, GPS-enabled devices with two-way communication starting at $45 per month. When purchased by itself, the Mobile On-the-Go device costs $38 per month. That means, with the Mobile Double, you’re getting one extra mobile device almost for free. An extra, almost-free device could be a great way to save money for spouses or roommates who both want to be protected while on the go.

Pros & Cons
Pros 30-day trial period Bundled deal offers two devices for the price of one Up to 1,400 feet device range for some devices Cons Fall detection is $11 per month Medication reminders only available for two models No warranty No smartwatch option No free warranty for wear and tear (protection plan costs extra)
Features
  • Device range: 600–1,400 ft.
  • Connection type: Landline, AT&T cellular
  • Fall detection: Additional $11 per month
Additional Details

In addition to the money-saving bundle, One Call Alert offers regular at-home and on-the-go systems.

At-home medical alert systems

  • In-Home Landline: This device is One Call Alert’s most basic medical alert system. To use this system, you need to have an active landline. It comes with a wearable necklace that you can use up to 600 feet from the base unit that connects to the monitoring center in an emergency. The in-home landline system has no long-term contracts, no activation fees, or equipment fees. It costs $23 per month if you sign up for the annual payment plan, or $25 if you pay by month.
  • In-Home Wireless: This system is slightly different than the in-home landline system because it connects to AT&T cellular network and no landline or internet connection is needed. It also doesn’t have any long-term contracts or activation and equipment fees. The in-home wireless could be a good option for those that want an at-home system, but do not have access to a landline. It costs $30 per month if you sign up for the annual payment plan, or $20 if you pay by month.

On-the-go medical alert systems

  • Mobile On-the-Go: This on-the-go system comes with a portable unit and an additional wrist or necklace button. It’s a step up from the at-home units in that it can track your location, which can be a reassurance to you, loved ones, and other caregivers. Similarly to the at-home devices, there is no equipment or activation fees. It costs $33 per month if you sign up for the annual payment plan, or $38 if you pay by month.
  • Mobile Double: The Mobile Double is a great option for those who have two people needing medical alert systems and want coverage for both individuals. It comes with two water-resistant devices that have location-tracking abilities and two-way communication, so you can talk directly to the monitoring center in the event of an emergency. Similarly to the at-home devices and the Mobile On-the-Go, there is no equipment or activation fees. It costs $40 per month if you sign up for the annual payment plan, or $45 if you pay by month.
  • All-in-One: The All-in-One is the smallest and lightest device from One Call Alert. It uses GPS location tracking and two-way communication to keep you connected while on the move. It is water resistant, meaning it can withstand exposure to water and can be worn in the shower. It is the most expensive single mobile system from One Call Alert, starting at $39 per month. The All-in-One costs $32 if you sign up for the annual payment plan, or $40 if you pay by month.

Ease of Setup

One Call Alert systems are activated and automatically connected to the monitoring center when you receive them. This makes setting up the at-home base station simple—plug it into a power outlet and switch the device to “on.” Once the mobile systems are charged, they’re ready to be used.

One Call Alert customer service

If you are not a current One Call Alert customer, you can’t speak with a customer service representative over the phone unless you agree (by pressing 1) that the company can call or text you about its services. We don’t like that potential customers must agree to promotional calls and texts before speaking with customer service.

We used the online chat feature on the brand’s website when mystery shopping. A representative responded immediately almost every time we used online chat, and they were able to answer our questions about product features we couldn’t find on the One Call Alert website.

One Call Alert customer reviews

One Call Alert is on BBB but the profile has not been claimed by the business, meaning it isn’t an official representation of One Call Alert. Customer reviews for the company were limited and of the ones we found, most commented on the ease of purchase versus using the actual medical alert systems.

Longest Battery Life
9.6 Excellent
Average response time: 1–25 second
Starting monthly fee: $24.95
Fall detection: $5 per month for most systems
Why We Chose

LifeFone’s medical alert systems are full of features for those who enjoy added technology. But we found the VIPx mobile device’s 10-day battery life to be one of its most impressive qualities, earning it our rating of “Longest Battery Life.” 

LifeFone also offers a range of devices and plans, so you can choose wearable, on-the-go devices, or at-home systems to find the option that best suits your needs. Lastly, we appreciated the easy setup and testing process when we used LifeFone’s devices.

Pros & Cons
Pros Flexible plan options No activation fees, long-term contracts, or cancellation fees Water-resistant devices Two-way communication Cons Separate device required for fall detection Limited lifetime warranty
Features
  • At-home device range: up to 1,300 feet
  • Connection type: Landline, cellular
  • Fall detection: Additional $10 per month
Additional Details

At-home medical alert systems

  • At-Home Landline: costing $29.95 monthly, including the base station and a waterproof help button. LifeFone’s At-Home Landline has a 1,300 ft range and a 32-hour backup battery. 
  • At-Home Cellular: the cellular version of LifeFone’s At-Home device costs $34.95 monthly and uses AT&T’s cellular network. 

On-the-go medical alert systems

  • Voice-In-Pendant (VIP) Active® system: the VIP Active system pairs with LifeFone’s At-Home systems, starting at $43.95 monthly. The device is small, easily worn around the neck, and offers advanced location technology using a combination of GPS, Cellular, and WiFi.
  • VIPx®: Costing $45.95 monthly, the VIPx is among LifeFone’s most expensive devices but also one of the most advanced. Extremely small and lightweight, the VIPx has a long-lasting battery; you won’t need to charge it for up to 10 days.
  • VIP FlexTM: priced at $41.95 a month, the VIP Flex is LfieFone’s most versatile option. It can be worn as a necklace, watch, or clipped onto a belt. 
  • Safe Watch Active®: for a monthly fee of $49.95, the Smart Watch Active offers a list of extra features, like activity tracking, weather updates, and heart rate monitoring.

Ease of setup

Setting up LifeFone’s medical alert systems was straightforward. The At-Home Cellular base station was up and running in under 10 minutes. The At-Home & On-the-Go VIPx mobile device took a bit longer, at around 30 minutes, to fully activate. We encountered no issues during the initial setup. However, enabling fall detection required an additional 30 minutes on top of the base activation time. Overall, the installation process was smooth and we appreciated LifeFone’s clear instructions for getting both the home and mobile systems online rapidly.

LifeFone customer service

The LifeFone customer service phone number was listed throughout our user guide and activation instructions, so we never had to search for the number when we had questions while setting up our medical alert systems. The representatives were knowledgeable and able to answer our questions during our calls. Only one instance involved multiple calls to resolve an issue—we didn’t receive an email code right away to set up the caregiver app.

LifeFone customer reviews

LifeFone has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. Customers on Trustpilot and BBB note the company’s fast response time, ease of setup, and feelings of reassurance they felt when using LifeFone. Some customers noted frustrations when dealing with LifeFone’s customer service team, as they were unable to resolve their issues.

Choosing a medical alert system

The best medical alert system for you will depend on your situation and lifestyle. Thinking about your budget and the factors most important to you in a device can help you narrow down the options.

Considerations when shopping for a medical alert system

Device Type

We recommend an at-home system if you spend most of your time at home and are accompanied by a caregiver when outside your home.

A mobile system may be better if you’re more independent and enjoy on-the-go activities outside your home without a caregiver.

Connection

If your area has poor cellular service, a medical alert system with a landline connection may be the right choice. Remember that you must have an active landline connection for the system to connect to the monitoring center.

Range

Most at-home systems with a cellular connection have a longer connection range than a landline system. If you have a large home or yard and prefer an at-home system, an at-home system with a cellular connection may be the best option.

Battery life

Lengthy battery life is important if you’re often away from home. Do you find yourself regularly away from home for hours at a time? An on-the-go device with a longer multi-day battery life may be important.

Fall detection

Are you or the person you’re buying a medical alert system for at risk of falling, or have you fallen in the past? If so, you may want a wearable device with fall detection.

Water-resistance

Water-resistant help buttons and mobile devices can be safely taken into the shower but cannot be submerged in water, such as while swimming or taking a bath. Waterproof devices can be fully submerged in water.

Types of medical alert systems

At-home medical alert systems

At-home medical alert systems have a base unit that contacts trained staff at a monitoring center and a portable help button that connects to the base unit. You plug the base unit into an outlet in a central location, such as the living room or kitchen, and wear the portable help button as a medical alert necklace or wristband or carry it in your pocket. This allows you to contact the monitoring center from a different room and even from outside as long as you’re within range of the base station. Base units also include a battery backup in case of a power outage.

Most at-home systems are available with a landline or cellular connection.

On-the-go medical alert systems

An on-the-go system uses a mobile device with a cellular connection, enabling you to call for help when you’re away from home. Some systems also use a lightweight help button that communicates with the mobile device. You can carry the on-the-go system in your purse or belt while wearing the help button around your neck or wrist.

On-the-go medical alerts come in various sizes and styles. Unlike at-home systems, mobile systems don’t need to stay plugged in. They have rechargeable batteries and include a charging cradle that plugs into an outlet.

Many mobile systems are about the size of a pager and can be worn as a necklace or clipped to your pocket or purse. Many brands, like Medical Guardian and LifeFone, now offer medical alert smartwatches as an on-the-go option.

Learn more about common medical alert system features.

Research from 2021 and 2023 shows that fall detection devices are more accurate when worn around the neck than on the wrist. Remember this when considering wrist-based fall detection devices like the Medical Guardian MGMove Smartwatch or the LifeFone At-Home and On-the-Go Safe Watch Active. In the event of a false fall detection alarm, the company will verify whether you need assistance. [5]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 https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/21/6/2254 [6]Lee, Yongkuk, et al. Experimental Study: Deep Learning-Based Fall Monitoring among Older Adults with Skin-Wearable Electronics. Sensors. March 2023. Found on the internet at https://www.mdpi.com/1424-8220/23/8/3983

If fall detection is a feature you’re interested in, see our best medical alert systems with fall detection review.

In our Reviews Team survey of 1,000 medical alert system users, automatic fall detection was the top feature our survey respondents wanted with their medical alert system, with 60% of respondents indicating that this feature was important to them. Automatic fall detection was followed by a mobile app for caregivers and GPS location tracking, with 55% and 53% of respondents indicating this feature was important, respectively. [1]NCOA Adviser Medical Alert Systems Survey. 1,000 respondents. Conducted using Pollfish. Launched November 2021

Frequently asked questions

A medical alert system is a device connected to a service providing users, especially older adults living alone or those with chronic diseases, to quickly access emergency care in case of a fall, injury, or other urgent situations. Medical alert systems have two main types: at home units, or portable, mobile devices.

Wearable medical alert devices are lightweight, portable watches, necklaces, or buttons designed to offer users access to emergency assistance while on-the-go. A wearable device may use cellular, GPS, or two-way voice communication technology to ensure users have access to help, no matter where they are.

Our top picks for medical alert devices are MobileHelp, Medical Guardian, Medical Alert, LifeFone, and One Call Alert, based on our testing methodology and experiences with these brands. When searching for the best medical alert system for your needs, consider your budget, the type of device you need, responsiveness, and battery life.

Medical alert system plans often cost between $20-30 monthly, Some devices also charge activation fees, and one-time equipment fees, which can range from $50-350.

When you press the help button on your medical alert system device, it connects you with a 24/7 monitoring center. Upon connecting with the monitoring center, the agent will speak with you to determine the type of help you need. If you are unable to respond, the medical alert system staff will deploy emergency services.

Yes, medical alert systems ensure users have the ability to maintain their independence and security by offering emergency assistance at the touch of a button. They allow older adults who live alone or those who live with chronic diseases the confidence and peace of mind to keep engaging in the activities they enjoy.

Insurance coverage for your medical alert system depends on your individual insurance plan. Many private insurance plans do not cover medical alert systems, but some long-term care insurance plans and Medicaid might, depending on your state. Call your provider to learn more about insurance coverage for medical alert devices.

Medicare plans differ by state, but original Medicare, otherwise known as Medicare Part A and Part B, does not cover the cost of the top medical alert systems. Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, may cover a portion of the system’s cost. If you use Medicare Advantage, you’ll want to call your plan provider to understand your coverage. You can also learn more at NCOA’s Age Well Planner.

Yes. The AARP recommends medical alert systems for older adults. AARP members can receive a discount on Lifeline medical alert systems, though the organization does not specifically recommend a medical alert system brand.

We do not believe Life Alert systems to be worth their price tag, especially in comparison to other brands. Our recommended brands offer better customer service, more integrated technology, and a longer range than Life Alert for less money.

MobileHelp, Medical Guardian, Medical Alert, LifeFone, and One Call Alert are better than Life Alert. These brands and others don’t require a contract, have lower monthly costs, and offer fall detection, three factors where we found Life Alert lacking.

We don’t recommend Life Alert because of the brand’s many drawbacks, including expensive monitoring and installation fees, a required three-year contract, lack of fall detection, and lack of transparent pricing.

Yes, unmonitored medical alert systems work, but are often very basic, providing less coverage than monitored systems. Most unmonitored medical alert systems connect users with 911 or predesignated contacts, using either a landline or cellular plan. Additionally, they do not include 24/7 monitoring. While unmonitored systems are more affordable, they typically don’t offer features like fall detection or caregiver apps.

While most medical alert systems have a monthly fee to cover the cost of 24/7 monitoring and emergency response services, there are alternatives. Some companies may offer quarterly or annual payment plans, which could result in overall savings. A few models on the market don’t require a monthly fee, but these typically do not include professional monitoring services. Instead, they function as personal alarms that notify pre-selected contacts or 911 in the event of an emergency.

No, most medical alert systems do not require Wi-Fi, but some specialized at-home systems do.

Activity tracking is an optional feature available on some medical alert systems. It uses motion sensors and software to monitor your daily movements and activity levels. Common measurements include:

  • Steps taken
  • Distance traveled
  • Calories burned
  • Time spent active vs. sedentary

Activity tracking can provide insight into your physical health and mobility. However, it is not essential for the core function of a medical alert device – contacting help in an emergency.