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Medical Alert Review For 2022

Key Takeaways

  • 24/7 monitoring
  • No long-term contracts, and relatively easy cancellation
  • No equipment or installation fees, and competitively priced monthly costs
  • 30-day risk-free trial
  • Fall detection available for an additional monthly cost
  • Few special features (i.e., no medication reminders, carbon monoxide or fire detection, or fitness tracking)
  • Customer service representatives we talked with were polite and non-pushy, but online consumer reviews suggest otherwise.

Overview

Medical Alert is a relative newcomer to the medical emergency response systems industry, but it has become one of the largest independent providers of medical alert systems in the country. That’s due in part to its parent company, Connect America, which has been in business more than 45 years. It works with medical providers and health plans to provide a variety of services that help older adults live more independent lives.  

Medical Alert is a good basic system offering 24/7 monitoring via at-home and mobile medical alert systems. Both at-home and mobile systems have optional fall detection, two-way communication, and an optional equipment protection plan. The mobile system also features advanced GPS location tracking. The company requires no contracts, charges no upfront costs, and monthly fees are competitively priced. Medical Alert is also one of the few companies that offers a 30-day risk-free trial. 

“There are several pros with Medical Alert, including that their call center is staffed with employees who speak several different languages,” said Melanie Musson, with LifeInsurancePost.com. “If your loved one needs assistance in a language other than English, Medical Alert is one of the best options.” 

By all accounts, Medical Alert appears to be one of the best medical alert systems on the market. However, the company is plagued by less-than-stellar online reviews and virtually zero Google reviews. It should be noted that we called Medical Alert’s customer service representatives on more than one occasion for clarification on products and services, and not once did we find them to be rude or pushy. To better understand this popular brand and whether it’s worth considering, AgingInPlace’s expert review team took a closer look. Here’s what we found.

“If your loved one needs assistance in a language other than English, Medical Alert is one of the best options.”

Systems Available from Medical Alert

Medical Alert offers a variety of home and mobile systems with different designs and features. One of Medical Alert’s stand-out features is the free Medical Alert Connect App available for all at-home and mobile systems. Caregivers will enjoy the complete overview of their loved one’s medical alert system with: 

  •  Accurate GPS tracking and location services with the mobile system
  • System battery status checks
  • Direct access to the Medical Alert support team 
  • Real-time updates during an emergency
  • System testing directly from app 

A major downside of the app is that caregivers can’t directly communicate with use.

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Medical Alert Home System is available in either a landline or cellular version. Each comes with a base station and either a pendant or bracelet with a help button. The base comes with a 30-hour backup battery for use in the event of a power outage and can pick up a call signal from the help button up to 350 feet away.

Features of Medical Alert Home Service:
  • Two-way communication
  • Waterproof help button
  • Fall detection option
  • Connect mobile app

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Medical Alert’s Mobile System comes with an interchangeable pendant and bracelet that uses the AT&T network to provide wireless access to the monitoring center. The device has a 5-year battery life.

Features of Medical Alert Mobile System:
  • Two-way communication
  • Waterproof help button
  • Fall detection pendant option
  • Connect mobile app
  • GPS location services and tracking

Medical Alert Add-ons and Accessories

Medical Alert offers a few services and accessories:

  • Fall detection pendant for an additional $10/month
  • Protection plan for lost, stolen, or damaged equipment for an additional $10/month
  • Lockbox (may be free with monthly or annual plans during promotions)

How Medical Alert Works

Both Medical Alert’s Home and Mobile systems come with an emergency button that can be worn as either a necklace or bracelet. If you need emergency service, simply push the button. This sends a signal to the base of the medical alarm in your home (for home devices) or via AT&T’s wireless network (for mobile devices), which connects to one of the monitoring center’s emergency response operators. Users communicate with the operator through an amplified, two-way speaker in the base of the medical alarm (for home units) or the button (for mobile units). The operator will contact the proper emergency contact, whether it be a family member, friend, neighbor, or first responder. 

Pros & Cons of Medical Alert

Pros
  • No long-term contract

  • Relatively easy cancellation

  • Free activation and installation, and no equipment fees

  • Translation services for 140 languages

  • GPS location services included with Mobile System

  • Month-to-month, quarterly, or annual payment plans available

Cons
  • Few add-ons and accessories available

  • Shipping costs are extra with the monthly plan

  • The system’s brand name (Medical Alert) is the commonly used name for the devices in general, which may make it difficult for consumers to leave online reviews or could dilute the accuracy of results for search reviews.

Medical Alert’s Health and Safety Features

  • Automatic fall detection (for an additional monthly fee)
  • GPS tracking and location services
  • Two-way voice detection
  • Connect mobile app

Customer Support

Medical Alert contracts with several third-party, 5-Diamond, UL certified, interlinked monitoring centers staffed with SIA-Certified multilingual operators based in the United States. However, some medical alert customers left scathing online reviews about poor customer service, mostly involving users getting over-billed when the service was canceled. We followed up and found that many of those issues were eventually resolved, at least in part.

We called customer service on several occasions and found operators to be pleasant, professional, and not too pushy. We did receive a couple follow-up phone calls, but those calls stopped after a week or so.

How much does Medical Alert cost?

Medical Alert
Home System (Cellular)
Monthly Cost$22.95 ($19.95 with 6 or 12-month plan)
Activation/ Installation Fee$0
Equipment Fee$0
Optional FeaturesFall detection $10/month Protection plan $1/month
Home System (Cellular)
Monthly Cost$32.95 ($29.95 with 6 or 12-month plan)
Activation/ Installation Fee$0
Equipment Fee$0
Optional FeaturesFall detection $10/month Protection plan $1/month
Mobile System
Monthly Cost$42.95 ($39.95 with 6 or 12-month plan)
Activation/ Installation Fee$0
Equipment Fee$0
Optional FeaturesFall detection $10/month Protection plan $1/month

Installation and Setting Up Your Medical Alert System

Installation of Medical Alert’s Home System is simple. All you have to do is plug the base station into a power outlet and phone jack (if using the landline option). When you need to speak with an operator, you simply push the button on the necklace or bracelet. The button then sends a signal to the base station, which is connected to the monitoring service. An operator will then communicate with you through the built-in, two-way speaker and, if necessary, reach out to an emergency contact or first responder. If you do not respond after the operator tries to communicate with you, the operator will send help anyway just to be on the safe side.

How Medical Alert Compares to Other Medical Alert Systems

Medical Alert
Monthly Cost$19.95-$42.95
Extra FeesNone
ContractNo
Fall Detection OptionYes
Special Features30-day risk free trial
Medical Guardian
Monthly Cost$29.95-$44.95
Extra Fees$124.95 one-time equipment fee for some plans
ContractNo
Fall Detection OptionYes
Special FeaturesJewelry available to disguise pendants
Aloe Care Health
Monthly Cost$24.99-$49.99
Extra Fees$99.99-$349.99 one-time hardware cost
ContractNo
Fall Detection OptionYes, included in cost of some plans
Special Features30-day money-back guarantee
Bay Alarm
Monthly Cost$19.95-$49.95
Extra Fees$179 one-time equipment fee for some plans
ContractNo
Fall Detection OptionYes
Special Features30-day money-back guarantee, SOS smartwatch
MobileHelp
Monthly Cost$19.95-$54.95
Extra FeesNo
ContractNo
Fall Detection OptionYes
Special FeaturesPendant jewelry and beaded lanyards available to disguise wearable devices
LifeFone
Monthly Cost$24.95-$45.95
Extra FeesNo
ContractNo
Fall Detection OptionYes
Special FeaturesMedication reminders, activity assurance, and daily check-ins available
Life Alert
Monthly Cost$49.95-$89.95
Extra Fees$96-$198 one-time activation fee
ContractYes, three years
Fall Detection OptionNo
Special FeaturesLife Alert has thousands of employees and a large monitoring center located in the United States. Life Alert does not contract out to third-party vendors.
ADT Medical Alert
Monthly Cost$29.99-$39.99
Extra FeesNo
ContractNo
Fall Detection OptionYes
Special FeaturesThree systems to choose from—Medical Alert Basic, Medical Alert Plus, and Medical Alert On-the-Go

Medical Alert Refund Policy

Medical Alert is one of the few medical alert systems that offers a 30-day risk-free trial, which means if you change your mind about the system within 30 days of signing up, you can get a full refund. However, if you keep the system longer than 30 days and decide you no longer want the service, you can cancel at any time. Once Medial Alert receives the equipment back, you will be refunded the cost for any unused months.

Does Medicare Cover Medical Alert?

Original Medicare does not cover medical alert systems. However, some Medicare Advantage plans may cover them. Check with your health insurance provider to see if your plan covers personal emergency response systems.

Medical Alert System Ratings

Medical Alert is a great option for a  basic, competitively priced system, and one of the medical alert systems with fall detection. The company has more than 1,000 reviews on BestCompany; however, it does not have any Google reviews, one BBB review, and a handful of responses on customer comments on Trustpilot, where the company eked out only 2.8 stars out of a possible 5.

To investigate further, we made repeated calls to Medical Alert’s customer service to see if we detected any rudeness or pushy sales tactics. Everyone we spoke with was helpful, even stressing that their goal was to make the process of signing up for service—and even canceling it—as easy as possible for users.

Medical Alert System Reviews

While there are clearly some happy customers, some of the reviews we got our hands on suggest otherwise. Here are a few sample reviews:

“I had only had Medical Alert four months when I fell in my closed garage on 11/13/2019. My left hip was broken, and I could not get up. I pressed my Medical Alert bracelet. They contacted my daughter in Dallas, Texas, my niece locally, and within 20 minutes the responders were here. They were able to use the hidden key to gain entry, found me, and got me to ER. Without the Medical Alert, who knows how long it might have been before I was found!”

Marceline G., BestCompany, 5 months ago

“Great system for my parents!”

James R., SiteJabber, May 2016

“Overbilled on cancellation: The service was OK but when we canceled, they calculated the refund from the date they received the equipment return, not from the date it was canceled and placed in shipment. In effect, my Mom paid for a whole month at the end that she only had the service for five days because it was packed up and shipped. They refused to prorate it.”

GD, Trustpilot, December 2021

“Bottom line….poor customer service, difficult to stop billing after the equipment is returned, and failure to notify you of any prorated balance after telling you everything was taken care of over a year ago!”

Jessie Butts, Trustpilot, September 2020

Where to Sign Up for Medical Alert System

Medical Alert’s website is transparent with pricing and is easy enough to navigate that purchases can be made entirely online. For those who would rather speak to a representative before committing to a purchase, customer service representatives are available by phone 24/7.

Bottom Line

Many people rely on insight gained from reading consumer reviews before making a purchase. However, reviews for some products can be wildly varied and hard to vet, especially if there aren’t enough to give you a good idea of the quality of the product or service you are seeking to buy or if there is some ambiguity in the product’s name. Both may be the case with Medical Alert-brand medical alert systems. There are plenty of reviews from satisfied customers on the company’s website, but there are a lot of negative ones on other sites.

Regardless, it is evident that Medical Alert has some hurdles to clear in the consumer relations department. We found their customer service representatives to be professional and helpful. The company’s website is also transparent in detailing pricing and services, with no hidden fees. Monthly fees are also competitive and purchases can be made completely online. That’s a huge plus in our book, as some companies require potential users to call to talk with a representative and endure a lengthy sales pitch before pricing and other details are revealed. 

Medical Alert is also one of the few companies in this industry to offer a 30-day, risk-free trial, which can give customers who are new to medical alert systems some peace of mind knowing they won’t be out any cost should they decide the system isn’t right for them. Furthermore, there are no contracts, so canceling shouldn’t be a problem (although some consumer reviews beg to differ).  Overall, Medical Alert gets our thumbs up.

Why You Can Trust Our Expert Medical Alert System Review

Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value to the lives of our readers. We’ve collectively spent more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. 

The AginingInPlace.org team tested multiple medical alert devices, including Medical Alert, to better understand features and provide the most accurate feedback and recommendations for our readers. Medical Alert received a 8.64/10 overall score from our team. 

To decide on our top picks, here’s what we did:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
  • Mystery shopped the brands
  • Surveyed medical alert system users
  • 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 and Consumer Reports

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Medical Alert is a part of Connect America, a company that has been in business more than 45 years and works with medical providers and health plans to provide a variety of services designed to help older adults live more independently. The company launched Medical Alert in 2004 to handle its personal response system needs. Since then, Medical Alert has become one of the largest independent providers of medical alert systems in the country.

Other Medical Alert Systems That We Have Reviewed

Our Comparisons of Medical Alert System

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.