As we age, our health may deteriorate, and we may require additional support to ensure our safety and wellbeing. In the event of an emergency, medical alert systems can provide immediate assistance and peace of mind. However, the cost of these systems may be a barrier for some seniors.
Fortunately, Medicare may cover the cost of certain medical alert systems, making them more accessible to those in need. In this article, we will explore some of the medical alert systems that are potentially covered by Medicare and their features. Start a search today to find medical alert systems covered by Medicare.
What Are Medical Alert Systems?
Medical alert systems, also known as personal emergency response systems (PERS), are wearable devices that allow individuals to call for help in the event of an emergency. The system typically consists of a wearable device, such as a bracelet or pendant, and a base unit that connects to a landline or cellular network. When the wearer presses the emergency button on the device, the base unit sends an alert to a call center, which contacts emergency services or designated family and friends.
Are They Covered by Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program for individuals aged 65 and older, as well as younger people with certain disabilities. While Medicare typically does not cover the cost of medical alert systems, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer coverage for these devices.
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies and must provide at least the same level of coverage as Original Medicare. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you should contact your plan provider to determine whether medical alert systems are covered and what specific devices are eligible.
Systems Potentially Covered by Medicare
1. Life Alert
Life Alert is a well-known medical alert system provider that claims to save a life from a catastrophe every 11 minutes. The company offers personal help buttons designed to withstand use in the shower and intruder-response services. When you press your help button, a Life Alert representative can listen for sounds of an intruder in your home through the base stations’ sensitive microphone and act accordingly. Life Alert uses its own in-house, U.S.-based call centers to provide 24/7 assistance. If you have coverage for medical alert systems through Medicare Advantage or Medigap, you could receive partial or full coverage of Life Alert’s monthly fee, which ranges from $69.90 to $89.95 per month based on the services and equipment you select.
2. Bay Alarm Medical
Bay Alarm Medical is another reputable medical alert system provider that has been in business for over 70 years. In addition to its standard in-home medical alert, the company offers cell-phone-based help buttons with GPS tracking and a medical alert system intended for use in the car. Bay Alarm Medical’s 24/7 call centers are U.S.-based and provide service in as many as 170 languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Farsi, Vietnamese, and Russian. Bay Alarm Medical also offers options to personalize your help button pendant with attractive Bella charms. If your Medicare Advantage or Medigap provides coverage for medical alert systems, it could pay for part or all of Bay Alarm Medical’s monthly fee, which starts at $24.95.
LifeFone has been providing personal emergency response services since 1976 and offers a range of hardware options that let you personalize your coverage to meet your needs. One thing that sets LifeFone apart from other companies is the impressive range from the base station to the help buttons. Your help button will work up to 1,300 feet away from a base station, making it a top choice for people with large homes or who spend a lot of time in their backyard. Medicare Advantage or Medigap could cover all or part of LifeFone’s monthly fee, which starts at $24.95. LifeFone also offers no activation fees, a price-lock guarantee, a lifetime warranty on the hardware, and the option to cancel your service at any time without penalties.
4. Lively Wearable by GreatCall
Lively Wearable is a medical alert system that works with your smartphone using Bluetooth connectivity. When you press the urgent response button on your Lively pendant or wristband, your cellphone will automatically contact a 5Star call-center agent to get help on your behalf. The waterproof wearable device has built-in fall detection capabilities and doubles as a fitness tracker. It works with smartphones that have Android 4.4 and iOS 8.0 or later. Your cellphone works as a base station with Lively Wearable, providing medical alert protection anywhere you go as long as your cellphone is with you. If you have Medicare Advantage or Medigap coverage for medical alert systems, it could cover some or all of the $49.99 device cost and $14.99 monthly fee for your Lively Wearable. Make sure to check with your provider to confirm your coverage details.
Choose An Alert System
Medical alert systems can provide peace of mind and immediate assistance in the event of an emergency. While Medicare typically does not cover the cost of these devices, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer coverage for certain medical alert systems.
By exploring the options available, you can find a device that meets your needs and potentially benefits from Medicare coverage. Be sure to check with your plan provider to determine your eligibility for coverage and choose a system that gives you and your loved ones the assurance that you’ll be able to get the help you need when you need it.