How To Get a Medical Alert System for Free

Getting older isn’t always easy. Many people would prefer to stay in their own homes for as long as possible instead of moving to a long-term care facility. Figuring out how to do that safely can be a challenge.

Medical alert systems can be vital in helping you stay at home and maintain your independence as you get older. Below are just a few ways medical alert devices can benefit your life and well-being:

  • Easy access to emergency services. If you live alone or are afraid of becoming sick with no one around to help, an emergency alert system may be what you need. These devices have a special button that you wear and can press in the event of an emergency, alerting medical personnel.
  • Help available anytime you need it. Medical alert systems provide 24/7 emergency monitoring services and can include extra features, like fall detection. You and your loved ones will have peace of mind knowing you’ll never be without the care you deserve.
  • Maintains independence of at-home living. As you age, living at home is easier when you know you have emergency responses and services at the tips of your fingers with an alert system.

If you’re curious about the cost of a medical alert device system, read on to find ways to reduce the cost of your emergency monitoring system.



Medical alert systems can vary in cost due to several factors, including the company you choose, monthly monitoring rates, device fees, and any optional add-ons you might choose.

In our rating of the Best Medical Alert Systems, monthly monitoring fees range from $49.99 with Life Protect 24/7 to $19.95 with MobileHelp. Monitoring fees aren’t the only costs associated with medical alert systems, however. GetSafe charges the highest upfront equipment fees at $279 for its widest coverage package, while Life Protect 24/7 loans you any necessary equipment for free with your monitoring plan.

Add-on features, such as medication reminders or location services, can also drive up your monthly bill. Another commonly sought feature is fall detection, which typically sells for $10 per month. It’s important to consider how all costs can add up and contribute to your monthly expenditures.

While some private health insurance plans cover medical alert systems, many do not.

To determine whether a medical alert system is covered under your private insurance policy, you can go to your plan’s website to see a list of covered benefits or call the company to request this information.

Long-term care insurance may be your best bet for getting your medical alert system covered by a private plan. The Administration for Community Living defines this insurance as coverage for “long-term services and supports, including personal and custodial care in a variety of settings such as your home, a community organization, or other facility.”

Since long-term care insurance encompasses medical as well as personal needs, you may be more likely to find coverage for a medical alert system.

Will Medicare pay for a medical alert system?

If you have Medicare Parts A and B – often called Original Medicare – then a medical alert system will not be covered. Even though this type of Medicare does cover some medical equipment and supplies, medical alert systems are not covered.

If you have a Medicare Part C plan – often called Medicare Advantage – you might have coverage for your medical alert system. These plans, which are Medicare-approved private insurance plans, usually cover items not covered by Original Medicare. They do this in exchange for using in-network providers. If you’re looking for a Medicare Advantage plan, it’s important to look for plans that offer perks, such as coverage for medical alert systems.

If you have Medicare Supplement Insurance – often called Medigap – you will not have coverage for your medical alert system. These plans usually help pay for costs associated with Medicare coverage or any gaps in Medicare. However, these private plans do not typically cover medical alert systems.

Will Medicaid pay for a medical alert system?

If you have Medicaid, you may be eligible for coverage of a medical alert system.

Medicaid is an insurance program funded jointly by federal and state governments. This means there may be different rules and coverage depending on the state in which you live. After enrollment in the program, if your state does not provide coverage of a medical alert system, you can fill out a waiver request specific to your state.

(Note: Medicaid refers to medical alert systems as personal emergency response services, or PERS.)

Will private insurance pay for a medical alert system?

Some private insurance plans may cover medical alert systems, but many of them don’t.

To determine whether your plan offers coverage of medical alert systems, visit the “covered benefits” portion of the company’s website or call the company for more information.

Medicare Advantage plans are Medicare-approved plans offered by private insurers, and they may offer certain perks such as coverage of medical alert systems.

Long-term care insurance plans also may provide a medical alert system as part of their coverage of your health and personal care needs.

A medical alert system could save your life in an emergency, but it may be challenging to manage its cost if you live on a fixed income.

Fortunately, there are resources to help with the cost of medical alert systems. Here are a few to check out:

  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: The VA may provide veterans with a medical alert system at no cost. Contact your VA primary care provider for more information.
  • AARP: Members of AARP may be eligible for certain discounts. For example, members can save 15% on a Lifeline medical alert system with free shipping and free activation, or save $60 a year on Lively’s Preferred and Ultimate packages after purchasing a device. Note that while AARP encourages older adults to use medical alert systems and does offer member discounts on some brands, the organization doesn’t endorse a particular brand.
  • Area Agencies on Aging: These may be private or nonprofit organizations – and the name of the organization may vary by area – but they’re designated by the state to assist older adults. These agencies help older people who want to remain at home get the resources they need to do that. You can find local Area Agencies on Aging and get connected to a variety of other resources for seniors in your area by visiting or calling 800-677-1116.

If you’re hoping to save on a medical alert system, you’re in luck. There are a number of ways to find company discounts and additional savings. Here are a few:

  • Contact medical alert companies directly. One savvy way to save money on medical alert systems is to contact the company directly to see if they offer any discounts. Some offer special rates for military members, veterans, AARP members, or other designations that aren’t listed on their website.
  • Ask for local resources. You can contact senior centers in your area and ask for local resources. Nonprofit organizations may provide grants to help you cover the cost. Nonprofit organizations may provide grants to help you cover the cost of a medical alert system.
  • Find a plan with no monthly fees. Several medical alert companies provide a medical alert system without monthly fees, but be sure your purchase includes 24/7 emergency monitoring.
  • Contact your local Area Agency on Aging. Perhaps one of the best places to start is by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging, which can help you find different resources to pay for a medical alert system. Visit or call 800-677-1116 to find an agency near you.