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How to Pay for a Medical Alert System

It can be overwhelming figuring out the kind of medical alert system that is right for you or your loved one. When you add the dilemma of figuring out how to pay for the system, it can be enough to stress out anyone.

There are options that can help you afford a medical alert system. 

What is a medical alert system?

Medical alert systems are designed to provide emergency monitoring whether you are in or out of your home. They are used to ensure the safety and well-being of any vulnerable family members and loved ones. They will signal an emergency alert that requires urgent attention and to call emergency medical personnel.

Insurance coverage options

One of the first things people typically wonder is if their insurance will cover and help cover the expenses that come with a medical alert system. Will my insurance company pay for a medical alert system? What about Medicare or Medicaid coverage?

These are common questions that have fairly simple answers. When you are researching which type of medical alert system is right for you, make sure that you take the price into consideration.

Whether your insurance covers medical alert systems or not depends on several factors. Make sure that you talk to your insurance provider and see if there are any discounts or reimbursements available through them.

Though it is occasional, some insurance companies will pay for the medical alert system if the individual’s circumstances qualify. A doctor’s recommendation is typically required before an insurance company will issue a reimbursement. Talk to your doctor about getting a recommendation to give to your insurance.

Medicare coverage

Original Medicare will not cover the costs of a medical alert system, but there are some options if you have a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. Even if your Medicare plan does not offer medical alert system coverage, you may be eligible for discounts or even tax-advantaged payment methods. Tax-advantaged payment methods include flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts.

Some may see a medical alert system as something extra, but it is a necessity for many older adults who want to remain independent. Medical alert systems can significantly increase the quality of life for seniors. While Medicare does not consider them “medical necessities,” medical alert systems help seniors age safely in their own homes. By using a medical alert system, help can be called with the simple push of a button. Medically trained personnel will promptly send emergency help over to the home.

If you have a long-term care insurance plan, you may qualify for a reimbursement of your medical alert service expenses. Long-term care insurance is used to help aging seniors with any medical disabilities expenses for home care services. Long-term care insurance plans typically include the cost of durable medical equipment.

Other options

If you find that you are running out of options to get help or coverage for out-of-pocket costs or copays, the following options may be available to you if you qualify. If you cannot get your system covered with no out-of-pocket costs or co-pays, you may still qualify for discounts or be able to purchase your system with pre-tax money.

Medical alert discounts Many providers offer discounts if you are a member of certain organizations. Companies such as Bay Alarm Medical offer discounts to members of organizations like AARP, AMAC, and USAA. You may be eligible for a discounted monthly service rate as long as you can verify your membership and eligibility. Talk to the medical alert system provider before your purchase to find out about any discounts available.

Flexible payment plans Most medical alert companies offer flexible payment styles. These plans allow you to pay month-to-month, three months at a time, or the ability to prepay for half a year or a full year. Talk to the company to see what payment plans they offer.

Health savings accounts (HSA) At least one family member must be covered by an HSA-approved, high-deductible health insurance plan in order to open a health savings account (HSA). After that, any member of the family can use the HSA to cover approved medical expenses.

Health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) Some employers offer an HRA benefit. HRAs are employer-funded plans that reimburse employees for some medical expenses not covered by insurance.

Flexible spending accounts (FSA) Flexible spending accounts allow employees to set aside money from their salaries and use it to pay for specific qualified expenses. Ask your plan provider if your plan covers a medical alert system purchase.

When you are choosing a provider, it is crucial that you find out what your total cost will be after any and all fees. Be mindful of any hidden equipment fees, activation fees, shipping fees, or security deposits. Make sure that you have carefully read any contracts or service agreements before you sign so that you will be aware of any cancellation fees and special clauses that may show up.

Med-Alert Pros provides a free service that helps you find the best medical alert system for your unique situation. We research, review, test, and compare the top companies to help you make an informed decision. Do not be afraid to ask questions before and after you have made your decision.

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Hannah Verret
Hannah Verret is a Content Developer at Med-Alert Pros in Memphis, TN. Hannah has been working in content creation throughout her entire adult career. When Hannah isn't writing or organizing social media posts, she's spending her time reading and loving on her many pets.

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