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Does TRICARE Cover Medical Alert Systems?

Key Takeaways:

  • TRICARE For Life may pay for a medical alert system—in conjunction with Medicare Part C—for you or your spouse.
  • Your dependent parent or parent-in-law may get a medical alert system through TRICARE For Life and Medicare Part C, provided they’re eligible for both types of insurance.
  • Some—but not all—Part C plans cover medical alert systems.
  • Veterans can get certain medical alert systems for free through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • Medical alert systems can be used for both medical and non-medical emergencies.

TRICARE is the healthcare insurance program for uniformed service people and their families. There are several insurance plans offered to eligible individuals through TRICARE. These plans include TRICARE For Life, an insurance plan for TRICARE-eligible beneficiaries enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

If you or a dependent family member needs a medical alert system, you may be wondering if TRICARE will pay for it. TRICARE insurance plans do not cover medical alert systems. However, TRICARE For Life may help cover the cost of a medical alert system, provided you also have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan that offers this type of coverage.

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Updated onMay. 23, 2022

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TRICARE insurance plans do not cover medical alert systems. However, TRICARE For Life may help cover the cost of a medical alert system, provided you also have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan that offers this type of coverage.

We have spent countless hours reviewing every type of medical alert system on the market. We interviewed dozens of company representatives to verify product claims and ask the questions you may not think to ask. We also read scores of online consumer reviews and spoke to dozens of people who use these products. We only recommend medical alert systems from transparent manufacturers with good track records for reliability and customer service. Also noteworthy is that we’ve eliminated all products with slow emergency response times, a large body of poor reviews, or false claims.

Medical Alert Systems We Recommend

Aloe Care Health produces technologically advanced systems with many special features, including motion detection and automatic fall detection sensors.

The company’s medical alert systems are voice-activated and provide access to an emergency call center, whether you are at home or on the go. The medical alert system connects the user within seconds (via voice or at the push of a button) to a Five Diamond Emergency Response Center.

Several package options accommodate a variety of budgets. Every Aloe Care Health system includes an app containing caregiver tools and fast access to the emergency response center.

Most systems feature a “hub” that functions similarly to an Alexa device. The systems also include a Mobile Companion Device with automatic fall detection.

Bay Alarm Medical is a well-established medical alert system company that gets top marks for affordability and reliability. The company produces in-home and on-the-go systems that can be purchased separately or bundled.

Each system is user-friendly and connects the user to a Five Diamond Emergency Response Center within seconds.

Bay Alarm’s In The Home system is plug-in and play and requires no complicated installation. It can be run through a landline or cellular connection. It’s a simple, easy-to-use system designed for people who spend lots of time at home.

The on-the-go packages include the SOS Smart Watch and On The Go Button. Both options are great fits for active people who spend lots of time away from home.

Best Voice-Operated Medical Alert Watch

Best Voice-Operated Medical Alert Watch

The UnaliWear medical alert system consists solely of the Kanega Watch. The watch is one of the best medical alert watches on the market today. It functions like a portable personal emergency response system that you wear on your wrist. 

Unlike many mobile wearable devices, the Kanega Watch provides fast access to an emergency call center when worn in most indoor environments and outside. 

The Kanega Watch looks more like a smartwatch than a medical alert system. It’s discreet and intuitive to use.

What Is TRICARE?

Tricare Logo

TRICARE is part of the military health system. It provides several health insurance plan options for people who have served in the uniformed armed forces and their families. Family members who qualify for TRICARE coverage include spouses, children, dependent parents, and dependent parents-in-law. Eligibility categories for TRICARE include:

  • Active-duty service members and their families
  • Retired service members, including reservists, and their families
  • National Guard and Reserve members and their families
  • Families of fallen service members
  • Unremarried former spouses, in some instances
  • Foreign Force members and their families

TRICARE covers medically and psychologically necessary healthcare required to diagnose or treat an illness or injury. It also covers pregnancy and well-child care.

If you or your spouse are retired military, you will automatically be enrolled in TRICARE For Life when you sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B. TRICARE For Life is one of TRICARE’s health insurance plans. You must have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to be eligible for TRICARE For Life.

TRICARE For Life is Medicare wraparound coverage. TRICARE For Life and Medicare work together to coordinate health care benefits and coverage for eligible beneficiaries.

What does TRICARE Cover?

Patient with doctor planning health care

TRICARE covers medically and psychologically necessary healthcare required to diagnose or treat an illness or injury. It also covers pregnancy and well-child care.

TRICARE does not include coverage for many forms of healthcare that you may feel fit the description of being medically necessary. Always check your plan before assuming that you have coverage for a certain condition or issue.

Will TRICARE Cover Medical Alert Systems?

TRICARE covers durable medical equipment, but medical alert systems are not listed as a covered item under this category.

If you have TRICARE For Life, you may be able to get full or partial coverage for some medical alert systems, provided you also have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan that covers medical alert systems. Medicare Part C covers everything Original Medicare covers, plus extras that vary from plan to plan. Check the plans to see if they cover medical alert systems.

More Medical Alert System Insurance Options for Veterans

Two generations of US Military veterans

Veterans can get a medical alert system through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If you retire and qualify for VA benefits, you can use those benefits and TRICARE insurance to pay for some healthcare services.

The VA provides coverage for two medical alert systems:

  • MedEquip Alert Personal Emergency & Medical Alert Device
  • Latitude Mobile Alert (formerly Live Life Personal Mobile Alarms)

To get a medical alert system through the VA, a VA-approved provider will have to attest that you have a medical or psychological need for a system. TRICARE will not pay for a portion of the cost. The VA will cover the entire cost of the system, provided you qualify for it and are approved to receive it.

MORE ADVICE

Does AARP Cover Medical Alert Systems?AARP members do receive discounts on some medical alert system costs.Read More

Bottom Line

TRICARE is health insurance for active and retired uniformed service members and their families. TRICARE For Life is a TRICARE health plan that may help cover the cost of medical alert systems, provided you also have a Medicare Part C plan that offers this coverage. You must have Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to get TRICARE For Life.

Service members who don’t have Medicare may be able to get a free medical alert system through the VA.

How We Review Medical Alert Systems

To review medical alert systems, we conduct extensive research on each company and the systems they offer. We comb through consumer reviews and check each company’s status with the Better Business Bureau and consumer sites like Trustpilot. We even interview personnel from each company to access the most current information on response times, special features, and costs. We also only feature trustworthy medical alert systems we would buy for our family members.

What Is a Medical Alert System?

Hand pushing panic button on emergency equipment

Medical alert systems are designed for in-home use, on-the-go use, or both. These systems connect the user to an emergency call center operator—or an emergency contact of your choosing—within seconds.

Medical alert systems can save your life in a medical or non-medical emergency. They are used for:

  • Falls in the home and outdoors
  • Accidents, including car accidents
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Panic attacks
  • Allergy attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Fires
  • Break-ins

Frequently Asked Questions

No. TRICARE doesn’t cover the cost of medical alert systems. However, TRICARE For Life may help pay for your system, provided you have a Medicare Part C plan that offers this type of coverage.
WRITTEN BY

Corey Whelan is a writer, health care professional, and Brooklyn, New York native. She is a reproductive health advocate who has helped countless patients through the trials and triumphs of infertility and adoption over the past 25 years. Corey's passion is sharing her knowledge of health and wellness through her writing, and no topic is off limits. She's mom to two grown children and two rescue dogs who captured her heart.