There are many things you should look at when you’re shopping for a medical alert system, but one feature is almost always a top concern — cost.
Unfortunately, getting to the bottom of exactly what each system costs, especially when compared to other systems, isn’t as easy as it should be. You might have to dig through each provider’s website individually, and in some cases, you may have to call a representative to figure out exactly how much a system and its accessories are going to cost.
We make it a lot easier to narrow down the costs of various systems by including a “Cost and Value” category in every review, but we want to make it even easier by taking a no-nonsense approach to medical alert pricing. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll feel confident that you’re choosing the medical alert system that provides you with the most value.
Which types of systems are the most affordable, and which are the most expensive?
The more modern and innovative the system, the more it’s going to cost. The most affordable systems remain the in-home units that utilize a landline. These kinds of systems usually start at around $20 per month. MedicalAlert is a good example of a basic landline unit that can cost less than $20. Most providers also offer a cellular unit at a comparable price, if you don’t have a landline. These types of systems top out at around $30 per month.
Touch screen technology, like the MobileHelp Touch, as well as mobile solutions, are the next most expensive medical alert systems. They start at around $32 per month. However, some providers may charge a bit more. For example, Medical Guardian’s Mobile Guardian starts at $39.95 per month. If you want to combine a mobile medical alert system with a traditional system, prices may be a couple of dollars more per month. Some of the most innovative systems can cost as much as $79.95 per month, but may be worth it depending on your needs. Check out the Family Guardian system.
Make sure you look closely to see if fall detection is included. Some systems include fall detection with their systems, so it is automatically included in the price, but some don’t. In most cases, the monthly cost may increase by about $10. The good news is that most systems allow you to upgrade at a later time if you wanted to get the fall detection feature added.
Paying for a system versus paying for service
When you first start looking for medical alert systems, you probably make the assumption that you’ll be buying your own system. That is almost never the case.
All landline and cellular systems, when signing up with a top provider, do not need to be purchased. You will only be responsible for paying the fees associated with monitoring service. Additional accessories, like wall mounted buttons, will come with an additional fee, though. For example, some providers can charge an extra $2 per month for a lockbox.
Although you don’t have to buy most systems, there are a few exceptions. GreatCall sells their GPS-enabled system for $49.99 (and it sometimes goes on sale at 25% off for $37.49). Once you purchase the device, monthly plans start at $19.99 per month.
The newest addition to the medical alert system family is the smartwatch. Both MobileHelp and Medical Guardian offer smart watches that can help you meet your fitness and diet goals. They can monitor your heart rate, and they can even provide you with weather updates. They really are as multi-functional as other smart watches, but they come with the dependable emergency services medical alert systems are known for.
Medical Guardian’s watch doesn’t come with any extra fees. You just pay $44.95 per month for monitoring and service. In contrast, you have to buy the watch from MobileHelp. That’s because it’s actually a slick Samsung watch that’s enabled with MobileHelp’s capabilities. You’ll pay nearly $350 for the watch, plus $24.95 per month for monitoring service.
Ways to save even more
You’ll notice that when we talk about pricing here and on our website, we use qualifying phrases like, “start at” and “at least.” That’s because no medical alert system’s price is set in stone.
Because you aren’t necessarily buying a product, you’re buying a service and you are required to pay for service month after month. In an effort to encourage you to use a medical alert system for a long time, nearly every medical alert system provider offers tiered pricing.
For example, MedicalAlert has the cheapest basic system on the market at $18.29 per month, but it order to lock in that price, you have to pay for the system annually. You can also pay semi-annually, and the price works out to a low $19.95 per month. If you want to pay as you go, the same system and service will cost $22.95 per month.
If you want to save the most money, pay for an annual plan, no matter what kind of medical alert system you choose.
Medical alert system providers also run specials throughout the year. In some cases, it might be something as small as a free lockbox. In others, you may be able to get a month of monitoring for free.
InHomeSafetyGuide is a great place to look for great deals! We partner with the medical alert system providers we review to bring you special promotions and discounts you won’t find anywhere else. For example, sign up with LifeStation and you can get a Free $50 AMEX card!