Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Review and Cost

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Monthly Monitoring Cost: $24.95 / month
Fall Detection Cost: $10 / month

In-Home Range: 1,000 ft.
Connectivity: Landline, Cellular

Waterproof help buttons
10 medical alert subscription options
24/7 monitoring and emergency care

About Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical is the highest-scoring medical alert system of the 11 brands we tested. The company has some of the best pricing options and offers 10 medical alert subscriptions that range from an at-home landline system to a smartwatch. 

We recommend Bay Alarm Medical to individuals looking for a reliable, established brand at a reasonable price. The starting monthly cost for the at-home package and mobile system is under $30. We think this is an excellent deal since most competitors’ mobile systems cost almost $40.  

Bay Alarm Medical has multiple options available for various lifestyles: from standard packages featuring one device to bundles combining in-home and mobile devices and fall detection, as well as a medical alert smartwatch and add-on safety accessories like wall buttons. See which package is right for you or your loved one.

Bay Alarm Medical Review

picture of all Bay Alarm Medical Systems

Bay Alarm Medical is a division of Bay Alarm, a home and business security company founded in 1946. Our team voted Bay Alarm Medical as the No. 1 brand among our top 11 best medical alert systems, with the brand earning an overall rating of 9.62/10 due to its affordable prices, easy installation, excellent customer service, and its positive reputation and overall high customer satisfaction. 

Bay Alarm Medical maintains a separate call center for customer support and operates two emergency monitoring centers. These monitoring centers are TMA Five Diamond Certified by The Monitoring Association (TMA), the nation’s leading certification organization for emergency call centers. We were able to reach a monitoring center agent in less than 15 seconds—one of the fastest response times during our test.

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • The Monitoring Association (TMA) Five Diamond Certified monitoring center

  • Locked into original monthly price even if cost increases over time

  • A+ rating on Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a customer review rating of more than 4 out of 5 stars

Cons

  • Landline and cellular at-home systems have the same protection range from the base station (1,000 feet)

  • Limited warranty only covers the base station (device protection plans cost extra)

Bay Alarm Medical Packages

  • Monitoring Plan: $24.95–$39.95
  • Range: 1,000 feet 
  • Waterproof help button
  • Battery Life: 32-hour backup battery (if power goes out) 
  • Connectivity: Landline, Cellular

There are three SOS Home package options: 

In-Home Basic: Includes base station with a landline connection to the monitoring center and wristband/lanyard help button

In-Home Preferred: Includes base station that connects to the monitoring center via 4G LTE cellular service and wristband/lanyard help button

In-Home Premium: Has the same features as the Preferred package and includes four wall-mounted help buttons

The base station may be a little bulky and not as sleek as some competitors´, but we think many users will like that the red “HELP” button is large and is the only button on top of the device. Both the landline and cellular base stations provide up to 1,000 feet of connectivity from the base station. Typically, landline systems have a shorter coverage range than the cellular option.

All three packages—In-Home Basic, In-Home Preferred, and In-Home Premium—include a help button (white or black) to wear as a wristband or lanyard. When you press the help button on your wristband or lanyard, you’ll be connected with the monitoring center through the base station as long as you’re within the 1,000-foot connectivity range. 

“However much we plan, we never know when something might go wrong, whether that be a health emergency, a fall, or other accident,” said Heidi Huynh, occupational therapist and owner of Ascend Therapy Services. “Having a medical alert bracelet brings confidence in knowing that there is always help just a button away, should an emergency situation occur.” 

Fall detection, an important feature to 80% of recent survey respondents, is available with all three packages for an additional $10 per month. You can also purchase an extra help button for a one-time payment of $39. This allows you and your partner or roommate to be monitored in the same home under one monthly monitoring fee.

  • Monitoring Plan: $29.95–$49.95
  • Range: 4G LTE cellular service 
  • Water-resistant mobile device 
  • Battery Life: Up to 16 days (rechargeable) 
  • Connectivity: Cellular, GPS

There are three SOS Mobile packages: 

Mobile LITE: Includes the SOS Mobile system 

Mobile PLUS: Includes the SOS Mobile with built-in fall detection 

Mobile 360 Bundle: Includes the SOS Mobile with built-in fall detection, an at-home base station (cellular connection), and wristband/lanyard help button

The SOS Mobile is Bay Alarm Medical’s newest mobile system, replacing the GPS Mobile Help Button with a few upgrades. The battery life—up to 16 days—is a huge upgrade since the previous mobile system’s battery only lasted 72 hours. The SOS Mobile is also slightly lighter than its predecessor, and more compact, at 1.3 ounces. That’s about the weight of a single AA battery.  

SOS Mobile provides your caregiver or loved one the ability to track you using GPS if you share access. Loved ones can monitor your location with Bay Alarm Medical’s free account management app or online portal. The device also connects to the monitoring center via 4G LTE cellular service. When you activate a connection, you’ll speak with a monitoring center agent through the device’s two-way speaker.

  • Monitoring Plan: $39.95–$49.95
  • Range: 4G LTE cellular service 
  • Water-resistant mobile device 
  • Battery Life: Up to 72 hours (rechargeable) 
  • Connectivity: Cellular, GPS

The SOS All-In-One has two packages: 

All-In-One: Includes All-In-One mobile device and wristband/lanyard help button

All-In-One With Auto Fall: Includes All-In-One device with built-in fall detection, fall detection lanyard, and wristband/lanyard help button

The SOS All-In-One is a “new” package that Bay Alarm Medical markets as both an in-home and on-the-go system since each package includes a mobile device and help button. The help button connects to the SOS All-In-One like an at-home base station. You can wear the help button as a lanyard or wristband and stay connected to the monitoring center while your All-In-One system is charging or in another room. 

We hesitate to call this device completely new since it’s very similar (if not the same) as the previous GPS Mobile Help Button. Like the previous mobile device, the SOS All-In-One’s rechargeable battery life lasts up to 72 hours. It’s heavier than the new SOS Mobile, weighing in at 1.8 ounces—almost as heavy as two AA batteries. 

The SOS All-In-One has a help button and two-way speaker that connects to the monitoring center using 4G LTE cellular service. Your caregiver or a loved one can also monitor your location from the app or online portal.

  • Monitoring Plan: $34.95–$49.95
  • Range: 4G LTE cellular service 
  • Water-Resistant
  • Battery Life: 18–24 hours (rechargeable) 
  • Connectivity: Cellular, GPS

There are two smartwatch packages to choose from: 

SOS Smartwatch: Includes the SOS Smartwatch 

In-Home + Smartwatch: Includes SOS Smartwatch, at-home base station (cellular connection), and wristband/lanyard help button

The SOS Smartwatch provides connectivity to the 24/7 emergency monitoring center from anywhere, without having to wear a button. This discreet medical alert device is great for active, older adults who still drive, run errands alone, and participate in other independent activities. Another bonus: You don’t need a smartphone to operate the watch.

The simple, easy-to-read touchscreen (choose from analog or digital) has an SOS button on the left of the watch face for 24/7 access to the emergency response center. You’ll hold the button for five seconds to reach the response center. You’ll speak directly to a response center agent with the smartwatch’s two-way speaker. 

The SOS Smartwatch also has a step tracker, weather app, and GPS monitoring that can be used by a loved one and first responders. Like Bay Alarm Medical’s mobile devices, family and friends access your location using the app or online portal. The monitoring center agent will share your location with first responders if you activate a connection and need emergency services. Fall detection isn’t available with the smartwatch because natural arm movements throughout the day could trigger too many false alarms. There are no messaging features to communicate with your loved ones directly from your smartwatch, unlike Medical Guardian’s MGMove Smartwatch.

Bay Alarm Medical Cost

We found Bay Alarm Medical to be one of the most affordable medical alert systems on the market. The In-Home Basic starts at $24.95 per month and still offers high-quality service and essential features of an at-home medical alert system.

Monitoring Costs

Each package has a monthly monitoring fee to provide 24/7 connectivity to Bay Alarm Medical’s monitoring centers. The in-home, mobile, and smartwatch subscriptions have a monthly monitoring cost ranging from $24.95–$49.95. 

Some medical alert system brands offer a discounted price if you choose an annual payment plan, but Bay Alarm Medical’s affordable monitoring fees are the same across its annual, quarterly, and monthly subscriptions. You will also be “locked” into your original monthly price, protecting you from future price increases. Even if Bay Alarm Medical raises the monitoring fee, you will pay the same monthly cost as when you first signed up. 

Fall detection is an optional cost and is available with all packages except the SOS Smartwatch as we previously mentioned.

Serive
SOS Home
PackageIn-Home Basic
Monthly Monitoring Cost$24.95
SOS Home
PackageIn-Home Preferred
Monthly Monitoring Cost$29.95
SOS Home
PackageIn-Home Premium
Monthly Monitoring Cost$39.95
SOS Mobile
PackageMobile LITE
Monthly Monitoring Cost$29.95
SOS Mobile
PackageMobile PLUS
Monthly Monitoring Cost$39.95
SOS Mobile
PackageMobile 360 Bundle
Monthly Monitoring Cost$49.95
SOS All-In-One
PackageAll-In-One
Monthly Monitoring Cost$39.95
SOS All-In-One
PackageAll-In-One W/ Auto Fall
Monthly Monitoring Cost$49.95
SOS Smartwatch
PackageSOS Smartwatch
Monthly Monitoring Cost$34.95
SOS Smartwatch
PackageIn-Home + Smartwatch
Monthly Monitoring Cost$49.95

Upfront Costs

Equipment, activation, and shipping fees are potential up-front costs you’ll pay when ordering a medical alert system. Bay Alarm Medical’s SOS Mobile, SOS All-In-One, and SOS Smartwatch packages include equipment fees, which means you own the mobile or smartwatch system even if you cancel your subscription. The SOS Home equipment is leased, so won’t pay an additional equipment fee and must return it when you cancel your subscription. 

We confirmed with a LiveChat agent that the standard shipping fee is $12 for a monthly payment plan. Shipping is free if you choose a quarterly or annual payment plan. Bay Alarm Medical doesn’t charge an activation fee to set up your equipment.

Service
SOS Home
PackageIn-Home Basic
Equipment Fee$0
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $12
SOS Home
PackageIn-Home Preferred
Equipment Fee$0
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $12
SOS Home
PackageIn-Home Premium
Equipment Fee$0
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $12
SOS Mobile
PackageMobile LITE
Equipment Fee$99
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $111
SOS Mobile
PackageMobile PLUS
Equipment Fee$99
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $111
SOS Mobile
PackageMobile 360 Bundle
Equipment Fee$99
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $111
SOS All-In-One
PackageAll-In-One
Equipment Fee$99
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $111
SOS All-In-One
PackageAll-In-One W/ Auto Fall
Equipment Fee$129
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $141
SOS Smartwatch
PackageSOS Smartwatch
Equipment Fee$159
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $171
SOS Smartwatch
PackageIn-Home + Smartwatch
Equipment Fee$159
Activation Fee $0
Shipping Fee$12*
Total Upfront Costs (Not Including Monthly Monitoring Fee) $171

*Free with quarterly and annual plans

Optional Features and Accessories

Add-on features and accessories, such as wall buttons and a lockbox, are available to make your package more robust. You’ll be charged a one-time or monthly payment depending on the add-ons you choose. Bay Alarm Medical clearly indicates the monthly or one-time payment schedule for each feature during the online ordering process. 

We like that there’s a footer at the bottom of your checkout page that indicates your total monthly cost and one-time accessory cost, saving you from any surprises when it’s time to pay for your order.

screenshot of monthly and one time billing during the checkout process of Bay Alarm Medical

Additional Wearable Buttons

Add extra help buttons that connect to your at-home base station. These are great for a partner or roommate to use, or you can keep them as backups in high-risk areas.

Auto Fall Detection Button

Get an additional automatic fall detection button to place in another part of the home or if you misplace your original button. Fall detection isn’t 100% reliable. It will detect sudden downward movement followed by no movement at all, but it’s not guaranteed to detect all falls. When possible, it’s best to push the button for assistance.

Bella Charms

Customize your wearable help button with these stylish lanyard charms. Bella Charms come in four colorful, unique designs, like subtle animal print and black with a highlight of colorful gem tones. They are an optional add-on for the standard help button lanyard and aren’t compatible with the fall detection lanyard. 

Lockbox

Store an additional house key in your lockbox so emergency personnel can enter your home safely without having to break down your door. The monitoring center agent will share your lockbox code when they dispatch emergency services to your home. 

Vial of Life

Use this packet to list health conditions, current medications, and other important information paramedics need to know during an emergency. The Vial of Life comes in a plastic sleeve and should be placed in an easily accessible area, like on your fridge, in your car’s glove compartment, or in your purse. 

Warranty Protection Plan

All Bay Alarm Medical equipment comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. We confirmed with a LiveChat agent that the warranty only covers manufacturing defects but not damages caused by the user. You can protect your equipment by adding the Warranty Protection Plan to your subscription.

The protection plan includes:

  • Lifetime help button battery replacements
  • One free base station replacement each contract year
  • 50% off accessory replacement

Wall Buttons

You can add wall-mounted help buttons to any at-home subscription. Wall buttons are good for high-risk areas, such as the kitchen, bathroom, or garage. Simply push the button and you’ll be connected to the 24/7 monitoring center.

Feature
Additional Wearable Buttons
Cost$39
Auto Fall Detection Lanyard
Cost$10/month
$15/month for each additional lanyard
Bella Charms
Cost$25 per Bella Charm
$90 for all four designs
Lockbox
Cost$30
Vial of Life
Cost$8
Wall Buttons
Cost$5/month for two-pack
$10/month for four-pack
Warranty Protection Plan
Cost$2.95–4.95/month (depending on the package)

Bay Alarm Medical Alert Buying Experience

unboxing of Bay Alarm Medical SOS Smartwatch

Bay Alarm Medical’s website lists all package and accessory prices, while also being simple to navigate. It’s easy to buy your package directly online. We like that packages are broken into four categories: SOS Home, SOS All-In-One, SOS Mobile, and SOS Smartwatch. This makes it less overwhelming than choosing from a full list of 10 different packages.

screenshot of Bay Alarm Medical packages

It’s simple to add additional equipment like wall buttons and extra help buttons to your order before reaching the checkout page. 

The Bay Alarm Medical site has a LiveChat messaging service, but keep in mind that customer support agents are only available on the chat from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. (PST business hours). The chat agent was always responsive and helpful whenever we asked questions during these hours.

screenshot of Bay Alarm Medical live chat

If we had a question outside of business hours, we typed our message in the chat box and received an answer from a customer service representative via email. 

The answer was sent straight to our inbox as a support ticket. LiveChat is excellent for quick questions, but we recommend calling Customer Support at 1-877-522-9633 if you have more in-depth questions or concerns.

screenshot of Bay Alarm Medical chat ticket

Bay Alarm Medical Reviews

Bay Alarm Medical on ConsumerAffairs

Bay Alarm Medical on Consumer Affairs

On ConsumerAffairs, Bay Alarm Medical has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating based on more than 3,400 customer reviews at the time of this writing. Many positive reviews praise the brand’s excellent customer service and how easy it is to install and test the system. Some negative reviews included issues getting in touch with customer service and the fall detection sensor being too sensitive.

Bay Alarm Medical on Better Business Bureau

Bay Alarm Medical on BBB

The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating. The company also has a high customer review rating of 4.24 out of 5 stars at the time of this writing. Some negative reviews on BBB point out issues with canceling the monthly subscription.

Bay Alarm Medical on Trustpilot

Bay Alarm Medical profile on TrustPilot

Bay Alarm Medical also has a 4.1 out of 5-star rating with Trustpilot at the time of this writing. Most positive reviews cite helpful support staff and reliable emergency services. With more than 900 reviews on Trustpilot, many positive reviews touch on the company’s quick response time, great customer service, and mention how easy it was to order the equipment online.

While there are many happy customers, some users say they’d love to see more proactive customer service from Bay Alarm Medical. A few reviewers had issues paying for shipping when returning their equipment.

Why You Can Trust Us

You deserve the best products for a better quality of life. As such, our team at AgingInPlace.org strive to create honest, helpful reviews that are backed by first-hand shopping, testing, and research. Our content is medically reviewed and unbiased to help you choose the right medical alert system for you or your loved one.

We chose 11 of the best medical alert systems during more than 1,000 hours of collective research, and we rated Bay Alarm Medical a 9.62/10, which is the highest score from our team. We did the following throughout our research process:

  • Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
  • Mystery shopped the brands
  • Surveyed medical alert system users twice
  • Tested various medical alert systems
  • Interviewed experts in the field
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties, such as Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot

We grade each medical alert company using a 1–10 rating scale and score them according to the following categories:

  • Essential features
  • Product functionality
  • Special features
  • Customer service
  • Purchasing process

Features and criteria within each of these five categories are assigned point values. The more points a company receives for each criteria, the higher the company scores in the overall category.

See our full explanation of our methodology for a complete breakdown of our medical alert system scoring system.

Bay Alarm Medical Compared to Other Brands

While Bay Alarm Medical is our highest scoring medical alert system with a 9.62/10, Medical Guardian and MobileHelp follow closely behind it. Our team rated the brands 9.57 and 9.05, respectively. 

Bay Alarm Medical’s at-home base station is simpler and has a slightly outdated design compared to Medical Guardian and MobileHelp, but some may prefer its single, large red “HELP” button. MobileHelp’s at-home landline system has a lower monthly monitoring fee than Bay Alarm Medical, but the range from the base station is shorter than Bay Alarm Medical´s. 

Medical Guardian’s MGMove Smartwatch has a higher equipment fee ($199.95) and monthly monitoring cost ($39.95) compared to the SOS Smartwatch’s $159 equipment fee and $34.95 monthly cost. We do like that users can message their loved ones with the MGMove—the SOS Smartwatch doesn’t offer this service. 

We compared Bay Alarm Medical to four popular medical alert system brands.

Brand
Bay Alarm Medical
AgingInPlace.org Rating9.62/10
Risk-Free Trial 30 days
Lowest Monthly Monitoring Cost$24.95
At-Home Base Station Range1,000 feet
Fall Detection$10/month
“Locked” Into Your Original Price?
Spouse/Partner Monitoring
Medical Guardian
AgingInPlace.org Rating9.57/10
Risk-Free Trial Can cancel at any time
Lowest Monthly Monitoring Cost$29.95
At-Home Base Station Range1,300–1,400 feet
Fall Detection$10/month
“Locked” Into Your Original Price?
Spouse/Partner Monitoring
MobileHelp
AgingInPlace.org Rating9.05/10
Risk-Free Trial 30 days
Lowest Monthly Monitoring Cost$19.95
At-Home Base Station Range600–1,400 feet
Fall Detection$10/month
“Locked” Into Your Original Price?
Spouse/Partner Monitoring
ADT
AgingInPlace.org Rating8.71/10
Risk-Free Trial Can cancel at any time
Lowest Monthly Monitoring Cost$29.99
At-Home Base Station Range300–600 feet
Fall Detection$10/month
“Locked” Into Your Original Price?
Spouse/Partner Monitoring
Life Alert
AgingInPlace.org RatingN/A*
Risk-Free Trial No; locked into 3-year contract
Lowest Monthly Monitoring Cost$49.95
At-Home Base Station Range800 feet
Fall DetectionN/A
“Locked” Into Your Original Price?
Spouse/Partner Monitoring

*Our team excluded Life Alert from our testing process after mystery shopping and researching the brand. We included it here since it’s one of the most well-known medical alert systems.

ADT only offers three packages (at-home landline, at-home cellular, and a mobile system) compared to Bay Alarm Medical’s 10 options. Some shoppers may like ADT’s straightforward, standard medical alert systems and the security company’s name recognition. 

Life Alert may be one of the most well-known medical alert systems, but it has too many drawbacks for us to recommend the brand. There’s no trial period to test the system, you’re locked into a three-year contract, and the monthly monitoring cost and $96–$198 up-front fees are hefty. The brand also doesn’t list prices online, so you must call a sales representative to get basic pricing information.

Bottom Line

We highly recommend Bay Alarm Medical due to its affordable cost, reliable service, and safety accessories. Most users and caregivers will be able to find a package that fits their needs since the brand offers a variety of equipment and bundles. 

Bay Alarm Medical doesn’t offer health monitoring features or motion tracking. If your loved one needs more extensive care features, it may not be the right option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bay Alarm Medical alert systems work by connecting you to a 24/7 emergency monitoring center via a landline or cellular connection. Choose from an in-home system, mobile device, or smartwatch.

*Pricing is accurate as of September 28, 2022

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MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Jenny is an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner in NYC with a passion for working with aging adults and their family members. Prior to her clinical training at Vanderbilt School of Nursing, she worked in business and medical research at Harvard Business School and Massachusetts General Hospital. As a Caregiving Coach at Givers, Jenny helps family members manage the financial, emotional, and educational stresses of caring for their loved ones who are aging in place.

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