Our Top Picks of 2018

Medical Alert Voted Top Brand of 2018

VOTED BEST PRICE

A leading pioneer in medical alert technology that offers smartwatches as well.

VOTED BEST OVERALL

A well-trusted provider of medical alert systems across America.

VOTED BEST SERVICE

Offers many top options for emergency protection, plus a helpful website.

1

HIGHLIGHTS OF MEDICAL ALERT

  • Simple, easy-to-understand setup.
  • Quick emergency response times.
  • Trusted brand that sells devices at CVS pharmacies.

PROS

  • U.S.-based monitoring centers
  • No long-term contracts
  • No activation or installation fees

CONS

  • MobileElite system requires cellular coverage
  • False alarms can happen when help button is pushed accidentally
  • Long hold times when calling customer support

BOTTOM LINE

Medical Alert is a trusted provider of medical alert systems to CVS pharmacies nationwide. Using AT&T’s cellular network, Medical Alert’s devices provide lifesaving 24-hour emergency service.

2

HIGHLIGHTS OF MEDICAL GUARDIAN

  • Fair pricing and upfront information.
  • Detailed and easy-to-navigate website with blog.
  • Offers new Freedom Guardian Smart Watch.

PROS

  • Activity sensor option
  • No long-term contracts
  • Provide TMA Five-Diamon Certified monitoring centers

CONS

  • Monitoring centers not owned by Medical Guardian
  • No medication reminder option available
  • No smoke or carbon monoxide protection available

BOTTOM LINE

With a helpful website and a variety of top-quality medical alert offerings including a smartwatch, Medical Guardian is a smart choice for emergency protection.

3

HIGHLIGHTS OF ALERT1

  • Responders stay on the line until you get help.
  • Unlimited button pushes and friendly, caring responders.
  • Reasonable prices.

PROS

  • TMA 5 Diamond Certified emergency response centers
  • Competitive pricing
  • No long-term contracts

CONS

  • Quality of mobile system’s speaker is not ideal
  • Not the fastest response times
  • Can’t make month-to-month payments

BOTTOM LINE

A highly-rated company that keeps your information safe, Alert1 boasts helpful, friendly responders and dependable medical alert systems.

4

HIGHLIGHTS OF GREAT CALL

  • Offers Jitterbug phones as well as medical alert devices.
  • Three different service plan options.
  • Great referral program that offers $25 credit.

PROS

  • Reasonable prices
  • Activity monitoring option
  • Medication reminder option

CONS

  • Must live in Verizon coverage area
  • Equipment charges and activation fees
  • When battery wears out, customer has to buy a new device

BOTTOM LINE

GreatCall offers lightweight phones and devices with quick response times and medical alert capabilities. They feature the option to bundle cell service with medical alert service.

5

HIGHLIGHTS OF LIFE FONE

  • No equipment set-up or activation charges.
  • Spouse covered at no extra charge.
  • Optional medication reminder service.

PROS

  • Prices won’t increase
  • Virtual escort service option
  • Activity monitoring option

CONS

  • The numerous options can be confusing
  • Higher costs than other providers
  • Some complaints of lack of range for in-home device compared to competition

BOTTOM LINE

LifeFone offers medical alert options using AT&T’s cellular network. Their 24/7 emergency service covers the scope from basic at-home landline service to GPS and smartphone apps.

6

HIGHLIGHTS OF ADT HEALTH

  • Discounts for ADT customers.
  • Monitoring centers owned and operated by ADT.
  • With ADT FOREVERate, rates won’t increase.

PROS

  • No long-term contracts
  • Discounts for advanced payments
  • In-home temperature monitoring

CONS

  • No activity monitoring option
  • No medication reminder option
  • No automatic testing of the system

BOTTOM LINE

Offered by the largest home security company in the world, ADT Medical Alert features rates that won’t change, discounts for current customers, and reliable medical alert technology.

7

HIGHLIGHTS OF LIFE STATION

  • Easy-to-use equipment.
  • Excellent customer support ratings.
  • No long-term contracts.

PROS

  • Two U.S.-based monitoring centers
  • Offers free shipping and equipment
  • No activation fees

CONS

  • No medication reminder option
  • No professional installation
  • No smoke detection or carbon monoxide monitoring

BOTTOM LINE

LifeStation boasts easy-to-use equipment, simple installation, and good customer support. With 40 years in the medical industry, LifeStation features state-of-the-art devices with no long-term contracts.

8

HIGHLIGHTS OF PHILIPS LIFELINE

  • Backed by the quality of the Philips brand.
  • State-of-the-art technology.
  • Philips dispensing service option.

PROS

  • Offers custom Personal Care plans
  • Company will install devices if needed
  • Automatic weekly tests of the system

CONS

  • GoSafe systems require AT&T wireless coverage
  • Higher costs than other providers
  • No discounts for advanced payments

BOTTOM LINE

Philips is a pioneer in the medical alert industry. Philips Lifeline’s many options are reliable and built with state-of-art technology.

9

HIGHLIGHTS OF BAY ALARM Medical

  • Top ratings in customer service.
  • World's first in-car medical alert.
  • Helpful website with live chat.

PROS

  • Reasonable prices
  • Friendly and helpful salespeople
  • Automatic testing of the system

CONS

  • No free shipping
  • No discounts on advanced payments
  • No activity monitoring option

BOTTOM LINE

With top rates in customer service, Bay Alarm Medical is a safe choice for a medical alert system. They feature low monthly rates and a wireless base system.

10

HIGHLIGHTS OF MOBILE HELP

  • Top-rated technology.
  • Good speaker quality and loud max volume on in-home system.
  • Smartwatch option.

PROS

  • U.S.-based tech support
  • Classic system base display shows time, temp and cell signal strength
  • No landline needed

CONS

  • Slower response times
  • Difficult to read instructions and bulky equipment
  • No carbon monoxide or fire monitoring option

BOTTOM LINE

Offering several high-tech medical alert options using the latest cellular technology, including a smartwatch option, MobileHelp is a trustworthy source of medical alert systems.

Find out which medical alert device is right for you

HOW WE DETERMINE RANKINGS

We use these four criteria to evaluate each medical alert system, ensuring it holds up to the highest standards in function, quality, cost, and customer service.

35

REVIEWS

Real customer reviews, company reputation, CSAA 5-Diamond certification, BBB grades, and transparency are vital aspects of our criteria for choosing the best medical alert systems.

25

MONITORING

Monitoring quality includes U.S.-based call centers, in-house call centers, the number of call centers, multilingual help, EMD-certified dispatchers, and more.

20

PRICE

Pricing criteria include monthly rates, discounts, free equipment and activation, long-term contracts, extra fees, and whether the company offers a free trial.

20

EQUIPMENT

These criteria include types of devices offered, quality of devices, waterproof button, fall detection, landline/cellular, mobile units, button-to-base range, battery life, wearable options, and mobile app options.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kinds of services do medical alert systems provide?

Medical alert systems provide a range of devices, all with one goal in mind: to provide you with 24-hour, 7-days-a-week emergency protection. You can choose an in-home system that connects to your landline, an on-the-go system that uses cellular technology, or a combination of both. Some companies also offer smartwatches or smartphones that serve as medical alert devices.

No matter which device you choose, the service is similar. The medical alert system includes a button you can push if you need help, which will alert the company’s monitoring center. You’ll then be able to talk to a dispatcher through a two-way speaker and let them know what kind of help you need.

How does a medical alert system work?

When you press the button on your pendant, wristband, base station, or other transmitter, it initiates a call to the monitoring center. You can talk to a dispatcher via a two-way voice speaker. The dispatcher will ask you if you are okay and if you need help. They can either contact a friend, family member, or emergency personnel. If you are unable to respond, emergency help will be dispatched.

Who needs a medical alert system?

Anyone who lives alone and wants the freedom and peace of mind to live their lives knowing that help is just the push of a button away will benefit from a medical alert system. People with medical conditions such as Parkinson’s, epilepsy, seizures, stroke, or a heart condition are especially advised to have a medical alert system in place. Those recovering from major surgery, and those who are hard of hearing are also prime candidates for medical alert devices.

What’s the difference between using a medical alert system and calling 911?

In certain cases, you may not be able to call 911, for example in the case of a fall. With a medical alert device, you have a discreet button with you at all times that you can push in case of emergency. You’ll always have access to medical help or friends and family if needed.

Will Medicare cover a medical alert system?

Medicare does not cover medical alert systems. Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans will cover or reimburse you for your medical alert system. Call your Medicare Advantage plan to find out the details. Medicaid will sometimes cover a medical alert system, depending on the state where you live and what plan you have.

Do I need a landline or cellular service to get a medical alert system?

Basic in-home systems use a landline, but there are newer mobile systems that use cellular service; so you have options.

Do I need fall detection?

Many companies offer fall detection as an add-on option at extra cost. This feature might be helpful if you have Parkinson’s, epilepsy, MS, diabetes, or are prone to falls. This new technology can detect if you have fallen and will activate a call to the monitoring center. Fall detection is not 100% accurate, and can sometimes cause false alarms.

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