Bay Alarm Medical Review 2023

Bay Alarm Medical has a variety of high-quality devices at reasonable prices.

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Bay Alarm Medical Alert

Bay Alarm medical alert systems are known for being simple, reliable, and affordable. Furthermore, the company is well regarded for its fast and friendly customer service, ensuring customers feel safe whether they are at home or on the go.

Here's more about the company, which our research team named "Best Features" among personal emergency response systems.

Company overview

Founded in 1946 by the Westphal family, Bay Alarm Medical is the largest independently owned alarm company in the United States.

The company's mission is to provide customers with innovative, high-quality products that enable independent living and peace of mind. Having won numerous awards for their products and services, Bay Alarm has undoubtedly accomplished this mission.

Bay Alarm products are among the least expensive on the market, and the brand offers a variety of monitors to suit every lifestyle, including discreet and fashion-forward smartwatches and pendants. The company's Caregiver Tracking app also aims to bring peace of mind to loved ones.

Whether you're often on the go and want protection that travels with you everywhere, or you're most interested in subtle designs so that no one knows you wear an alert, Bay Alarm has a device that will suit your needs.

How does Bay Alarm Medical work?

Bay Alarm has two types of systems:

  • In-home systems
  • On-the-go mobile devices

You can buy either system separately, or you can bundle services to get both in-home and on-the-go protection. In other words, you don't have to have the home system to use the mobile devices.

Costs

Cost might be the first concern you have when choosing an emergency monitoring system. The good news is that you can get a Bay Alarm in-home medical alert system for as little as $19.95 a month if you have a landline or internet phone, or for $29.95 if you want a model compatible with a cellular phone.

Unlike many medical alert systems, Bay Alarm Medical does not charge any activation or upfront fees.

There are no long-term contracts, which means you can cancel your service at any time without penalty. There is also a 30-day, no-obligation free trial period.

If you have a spouse or roommate, they can use your monitoring system and protection plan for free if they buy a separate personal help button for / $35.

Bay Alarm Medical offers a lifetime rate guarantee. You pay the same monthly fee for as long as you have the service. If you are on a fixed income and are worried about your budget, this is an invaluable perk.

Installation and activation

Bay Alarm medical alert systems are incredibly easy to set up. If you have a landline, simply plug a phone cord from the wall outlet to the device and another one from the device to your home phone. You can use your phone as you normally would when it is plugged into the alert system.

There is no setup involved with the cellular unit. Just plug it in and turn it on.

The alarm units have a "test and learn" button that lets you place a test call to the call center to make sure the device is working properly. Lights on the front of the device alert you if the electricity or phone lines are disconnected. The unit can run for up to 36 hours if you lose power.

Notification profiles

Bay Alarm is one of the only companies that allows you to set up multiple notification profiles. You can ask the call center to contact a neighbor to check on you before calling first responders, for example. You can also include names and numbers of family members you want Bay Alarm to notify if you have an emergency.

Language support

Bay Alarm partners with a translation service for customers who don't speak English. Currently, its translators help customers in over 170 different languages. This is great news if English isn't your loved one's primary language, as they can still use Bay Alarm medical alert services.

Why does Bay Alarm offer a personal lockbox?

When first responders come to your home, they can and will break down your door, if necessary, to reach you. For a one-time fee of $30, you can buy a Bay Alarm lockbox with a four-digit code known only to you and the call center. If Bay Alarm calls first responders on your behalf, the operator gives them the lockbox code so they can safely unlock your door and avoid damaging your home.

Pros & cons

Pros

  • Quick response times from highly trained US-based operators
  • Low-cost, no-commitment service plans that can be customized to fit your needs
  • Wide variety of high-quality devices with state-of-the-art technology

Cons

  • Automatic fall detection only available on one device for an extra monthly charge.
  • No enhanced features such as carbon monoxide alert or medication reminders.

Bay Alarm Medical in-home protection

Bay Alarm Medical Home System Medical Alert System

Bay Alarm's basic protection system costs $24.95 a month. It includes a landline alarm unit and a small personal help button that can be worn either as a pendant or around your wrist. The button is waterproof, so you can bathe, shower, and swim while wearing it.

The personal help buttons have a range of 1,000 feet (one-fifth of a mile) from the in-home unit. This is the longest range of all devices tested. Bay Alarm monitors the battery life of your system and mails you a new help button free of charge when your battery is about to expire.

The preferred system is $31.95 and includes two five-inch wall-mounted help buttons, an alarm unit, and a personal button. The help buttons can be placed in areas where falls are more likely to occur, such as the bathroom, kitchen, or stairs. If you have a larger home, the premium system could be a great fit, as it provides four help buttons and costs $39.95 a month.

It's important to note that the personal help button and the wall-mounted help buttons don't have two-way communication capabilities. Pushing the buttons only initiates a call to the call center. When that occurs, the operator then calls your home or cell phone. If you don't answer, the operator alerts first responders.

Bay Alarm Medical mobile devices

Bay Alarm has three different mobile devices that each come with AT&T service. Each device includes GPS and 24/7 monitoring with two-way voice connection to the call center. Bay Alarm mobile devices start at $31.95 a month.

The mobile devices have extraordinarily precise GPS location capabilities thanks to 4G LTE. In field tests, the devices could be tracked not only to a specific address or building but even to a particular room within the building. This is extremely helpful for first responders trying to find you in the event of an emergency.

Bay Alarm cellular alarms

You don't need to sign up for cellular service to get a cellular alarm unit. Bay Alarm comes with AT&T service and uses the 4G LTE network. This places Bay Alarm at an advantage over other services that use older 3G equipment.

The 3G network was phased out in February 2022. This means if your medical alert isn't 4G, you'll need to upgrade your equipment in a year or so. Bay Alarm is a step ahead of the game in this area especially, since its cellular devices already use 4G technology.

If you choose a cellular unit, it will add $10 to the monthly cost of each plan.

GPS help button

Bay Alarm Medical GPS Help Button Medical Alert System

The GPS button is a mobile version of the home base unit. It measures about five inches in length and one-half inch in thickness. It's available in black or white and comes with a lanyard, although it also fits comfortably in a pocket if you don't want to wear it around your neck.

The GPS button is rechargeable and holds a charge for about three days. It's water-resistant but not fully waterproof like the personal button. This means you can shower with it, but you shouldn't wear it in the bath or swimming pool.

The button costs $99, and you can keep it even if you cancel your service. The cost of monthly monitoring is $31.95.

Additional GPS button features include:

  • Automatic fall detection, which can be activated for $10 a month
  • A caregiver tracking app, which can be activated for $5 a month

The caregiver tracking app is useful for monitoring a loved one's daily activities and locations. It's also handy if you misplace the device. When this happens, you can simply use your cell phone or web app to pinpoint its location.

SOS Smartwatch

Bay Alarm Medical SOS Smartwatch Medical Alert System

If you're concerned about others knowing you use a medical alert system, the SOS smartwatch is the device for you. It looks just like other high-tech watches on the market and blends in effortlessly. It also has fitness tracking capabilities to help you reach your health goals, as well as a discreet help button and two-way voice connectivity.

The SOS watch has a battery life of between 14 and 18 hours, depending on your daily activity. It charges while you sleep. You don't need a smartphone to use the SOS watch.

The watch costs $159 and the monitoring fee is $34.95.

SplitSecnd Car Medical Alert

Bay Alarm Medical SplitSecond Medical Alert System

According to our research, SplitSecnd is one of the most innovative medical alert devices on the market. It plugs into the 12-volt outlet of any vehicle and provides real-time trip monitoring and crash detection. If the device detects that you've been in an accident, it automatically alerts Bay Alarm with your exact location. You can also use the help button to talk to the emergency response center.

The car alert comes with an app that shows travel history, route information, and vehicle location. If you forget where you parked your car, your smartphone app can guide you to it. It also has a driver profile section where you can record your health information. Bay Alarm automatically sends your health data to the first responders so they are better prepared to help you.

The SplitSecnd medical alert is free of charge as long as you pay for monthly monitoring. If you cancel your service, you have to return the device. Car alert monitoring costs $29.95 a month and includes a caregiver app.

Bay Alarm Medical service bundles

Bay Alarm Medical Bundle Medical Alert System

Bay Alarm offers three different bundles starting at $39.95 a month. If you don't see a combination that works for you among these three, give the company a call. It is well-known for creating custom service plans.

Bundle A: In-home personal monitoring system plus the GPS help button

Bundle B: In-home personal monitoring system plus the SOS smartwatch (which is discounted to $149, providing a $30 savings)

Bundle C: In-home personal monitoring system plus the SplitSecond car device and caregiver app

Compare Bay Alarm Medical products
In-Home Landline In-Home Cellular GPS Help Button SOS Smartwatch
Cost $19.95/month $29.95/month $29.95/month $29.95/month
Equipment Fee $0 $0 $99 $179
Portability No Yes Yes Yes
Fall Detection No No $10/month No
Battery Life 32-hour backup battery 32-hour backup battery 3 days 6 to 18 hours
GPS Tracking No No Yes Yes

Bay Alarm Medical ratings and reviews

One of the most important things to consider about a medical alert system is the quality of its emergency response center. Bay Alarm's call center gets superior ratings from both consumers and industry testing organizations.

Independent testing shows that the average response time is about 45 seconds, which is among the quickest of all companies tested. The call centers are based in the United States and staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Five Diamond Alert Monitoring Center

Bay Alarm received the highest five-diamond rating from The Monitoring Association. Centers that achieve this distinction demonstrate a commitment to the highest standards of customer care. They are randomly and periodically inspected for quality by independent inspectors.

Independent third-party reviews

The opinions of actual customers can tell a lot about the quality of a company. Bay Alarm got 4.7 out of 5 stars over nearly 5,000 reviews on Google. ConsumerAffairs recorded a perfect five out of five stars over 144 reviews in the past 12 months.

The company has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. It has received just 16 complaints since 2017, nearly all related to billing disputes as opposed to quality of service.

What customers are saying

Doreen, verified customer (Review from ConsumerAffairs.com)

Bay Alarm Medical has been very helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable in ordering and assisting after delivery with questions and set up. We called back and added the bracelet to our order, and they handled it promptly. Thank you for your assistance.

Doreen, verified customer (Review from ConsumerAffairs.com)

Diane, verified customer (Review from ConsumerAffairs.com)

Everyone was patient with me. They stayed on the phone until it was fully tested. It was a relief to know that all the systems were active. All of my questions were answered and I was encouraged to test every month. Thank you.

Diane, verified customer (Review from ConsumerAffairs.com)

David, verified customer (Review from BestCompany.com)

So far I have been very pleased with the product and the customer service for the system my mother is using; she has also been quite pleased. All of the customer service reps we have dealt with have been most pleasant, helpful and responsive.

David, verified customer (Review from BestCompany.com)

Jane, verified customer (Review from BestCompany.com)

I am 91 years of age and live alone. I have accidently pressed the alarm and was surprised to have a call from Bay Alarm. Although I was sorry to have called for help and not really needed it, I am relieved that I will indeed get help if and when I need it. Maybe I don't really live alone after all.

Jane, verified customer (Review from BestCompany.com)

Doug, verified customer (Review from BestCompany.com)

Good and reliable service. I had to use it once and they called my home and I couldn't answer, then they went down my list of contacts and then called 911.

Doug, verified customer (Review from BestCompany.com)

Frequently asked questions

Does Original Medicare cover personal medical alert systems?

Original Medicare doesn't cover personal medical alert systems. Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover some or all of the costs depending on the system and vendor. Also, if you have a health savings account, you can use it to pay for a medical alert system. Under current guidelines, personal monitoring systems are qualified expenses for HSA funds.

What cell service does Bay Alarm Medical use?

Bay Alarm Medical devices are compatible with AT&T and Verizon cell service networks.

Which is the best medical alarm?

Bay Alarm Medical has some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings on the market. The company earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau as well as the highest five-diamond rating from The Monitoring Association.

Is Bay Alarm expensive?

Bay Alarm Medical products range from about $25 to $52 a month, making them some of the most affordable emergency help devices available. Bay Alarm also offers discounted bundles that come with free shipping and one free month of service.

Who owns Bay Alarm Medical?

Bay Alarm Medical is the nation's largest independently owned alarm company. The family-run business was founded in 1946 by the Westphal family.

Final verdict

Bay Alarm manages to provide exceptional service while keeping costs low. The company leads the way in innovative solutions for aging safely at home. In 2019, the company's SplitSecnd device received an innovation award from the Consumer Technology Association. In addition, the SOS smartwatch and jewelry pendants are clever and stylish, removing the stigma often associated with wearing an emergency alert.

If you are thinking of buying a personal monitoring system for yourself or a loved one but aren't quite sure you're ready, you can give Bay Alarm a free trial run. With no upfront equipment fees or activation costs, it's easy to set up an in-home system to see if Bay Alarm is right for you.

Methodology

The decision to buy a medical alert system can be overwhelming, and doing so isn't easily accessible for many people. To help you choose the best products for you or your loved one, we researched dozens of companies to find the best providers based on quality and reliability to help you make the best decision for yourself or a loved one.

Sheila Olson has over two decades of experience writing about Medicare, health, and personal finance. Her work has been featured on sites such as Investopedia, The Motley Fool, and Boomer Benefits. Sheila holds a MPH (Master of Public Health) from Northern Arizona University.

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