Medical Alert Review | Plans, Pricing, Pros and Cons in 2021
- On-the-go and at-home options
- No long-term contracts or activation fees
- Life-time warranty on equipment
- Easy setup process
- Variety of plan options
- Packages range from $19.95 to $42.95 per month
No one wants to experience a fall or medical emergency when they're alone with no way to get help.
While some tactics such as eliminating hazards in the home or wearing slip-resistant footwear can help prevent falls from happening, they aren't guaranteed solutions. Friends and family still live with the anxiety that their loved ones could suffer a fall or other medical event and lie helpless with no way to get assistance.
Fortunately, emergency alert systems such as Medical Alert alleviate some of that anxiety. These devices are an excellent way for older adults and their families, friends, neighbors, and caregivers to feel peace of mind knowing that assistance for medical emergencies, burglaries, or fires is just the press of a button away. Medical Alert is one of the best medical alert devices out there, but is it right for you? Our Health editors have thoroughly researched the company and its offerings, consulted with medical experts and geriatric caregivers, mystery-shopped its customer service, and tested and compared the device to other medical alert systems to help you evaluate which is best for you or your loved one.
Medical Alert review
Medical Alert is a comprehensive emergency monitoring system that's popular for its low-hassle setup process, affordable prices, and wide range of plans and options. Its parent company, Pennsylvania-based Connect America, is considered a key player in the medical alert systems market. Along with Medical Alert, it also offers remote patient monitoring and medication management systems.
How it works
The Medical Alert devices connect through a standard landline, modem, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to reach one of the company's 24/7 emergency monitoring centers around the United States that are certified with Underwriters Laboratories, which creates safety and security standards for emergency centers.
Wearable buttons come in the form of a pendant, bracelet, or clip-on. Family members, friends, neighbors, and caregivers can remotely check the device's status, contact list, and testing schedule through the mobile app. Users can choose to alert someone in their contact list or dispatch an ambulance, police, or fire personnel.
Setup and installation
Setup is fast and easy—all you have to do is plug the base device into a wall outlet or phone cord, depending on whether you're using a landline or wireless system.
Monthly, annual, or semiannual payment plans range from $19.95 to $42.95 per month, and you don't have activation fees or hidden service charges.
An automatic fall detection feature can be added for a $10 monthly fee. Note that the fine print of the company's website says the system doesn't detect 100% of all falls, and users should still press the button when they need assistance.
- No activation fees or long-term contracts
- Easy setup process
- Emergency response centers 24/7 with multilingual operators
- Money-back, 30-day guarantee
- Waterproof and lightweight button device
- Works on landlines or cellular networks
- The wearable buttons are a bit bulky
- Fall detection requires an additional fee
- Mobile Medical Alert system may not work if AT&T cell coverage isn't available
- A 24/7 monitoring system links the user directly to an emergency operator with the touch of a button. Operators are also multilingual and offer translation in 140 languages.
- You get automatic fall detection for an extra $10 per month.
- All button devices are water-resistant.
- You get free ground shipping and a lockbox for the annual plan.
- It comes with a mobile app for friends/family and caregivers.
- For $1 per month, you can add a protection plan to cover up to $350 in out-of-pocket expenses if your system is lost, stolen, or damaged.
Medical Alert models
This system combines a two-way speaker and a lightweight, water-resistant help button worn around the neck or wrist.
It offers two options:
- Landline: A phone cord is included to link the base device to a phone jack. Plans range from $19.95 to $22.95 per month, depending on the length of the package.
- Cellular: It works through the AT&T cellular network, but you don't need AT&T service to connect. Plans range from $29.95 to $32.95 per month, depending on the length of the package.
On The Go
Working through the AT&T cellular network, this handheld mobile device connects to emergency operators through a two-way speaker and uses GPS locator technology to identify the user's location. Users can wear the device around their wrist or neck, and it comes with a charging cradle, a power cord, and up to five days of battery life.
Three On the Go packages range from $34.95 to $37.95, depending on the length of the plan.
On The Go + Button
This handheld medical alert button can be worn around the neck or wrist, and it comes with a carrying case, charging cradle, power cord, and up to five days of battery life. It works with the AT&T cellular network and includes GPS service. Prices range from $39.95 to $42.95 per month, depending on the plan you choose.
Fall Detection Pendant
You can add this lightweight, waterproof button to any of the above Medical Alert products for an extra $10 per month.
Plans and pricing
Both options come with the wrist/neck button and two-way speaker:
- Monthly: $22.95/month
- Semiannual: $19.95/month (with free shipping)
- Annual: $19.95/month (plus one free month, free lockbox, and free shipping)
- Monthly: $32.95/month
- Semiannual: $29.95/month (with free shipping)
- Annual: $29.95/month (plus one free month, free lockbox, and free shipping)
On the Go
You can choose from three plans. Each offers GPS location services and up to five days of battery life.
- Monthly: $37.95/month
- Semiannual: $34.95/month (with free shipping)
- Annual: $34.95/month (plus one month free, free shipping, and free lockbox)
On the Go+ Button
You can choose from three plan options. All offer up to five days of battery life.
- Monthly: $42.95/month
- Semiannual: $39.95/month
- Annual: $39.95/month (plus one free month, free lockbox, and free shipping)
You can cancel your plan anytime. Medical Alert also extends a money-back guarantee to its customers if they're not satisfied with the product within 30 days of the equipment delivery date.
Customer service and satisfaction
The Medical Alert website is fairly user friendly, easy to navigate, and informative. Its customer service and support page features detailed product guides, general information, and a contact submission form if you can't find what you need.
Connect America, the Medical Alert parent company, received an A+ rating from Better Business Bureau (BBB). However, its customer review rating is 1.1 out of 5 stars, based on an average of 20 customer reviews. With 151 customer complaints closed in the last three years, 50 complaints were closed over the last 12 months.
On ConsumerAffairs, Medical Alert earned 4.4 out of 5 stars, based on 1,190 ratings submitted in the last year. Before committing to a Medical Alert device, consider other in-depth reviews on highly regarded medical alert systems, such as Medical Guardian or Bay Alarm Medical, to help you make your decision.
Medical Alert customers express mixed opinions on third-party review sites. Here are a few that stand out.