We recently updated all of our medical alert system guides and brand reviews. Bay Alarm Medical moved into our top spot for medical alert systems overall. We tested products and spoke to customers to get a sense of Bay Alarm Medical's equipment and service. Plus, we updated pricing, plans, and product images.
Bay Alarm Medical Alert offers a wide array of equipment and monitoring to help you live safely both at home and when you’re on the go. The company provides different equipment packages that work with any of its three monitoring levels. It can seem like a lot to figure out, but we’re going to break it down for you so it’s easy to see if Bay Alarm Medical is the right fit for your medical alert needs.
30-day risk-free trial
Landline or cellular monitoring
Mobile, in-home, and in-car packages
Free spouse coverage
Automatic fall detection
No voice activation
Extra fee required for mobile app
Package offerings that can get confusing
Bay Alarm Medical Alert Pricing
With Bay Alarm, you have a lot of options to consider, but that can make things confusing. We’re going to break it down for you based on the type of service available and then the level of monitoring protection you can choose for that service.
The most common medical alert systems either look out for you when you’re at home or use GPS technology to offer support when you’re on the move. Bay Alarm Medical provides both of those options plus an in-car medical alert system for people who want extra protection behind the wheel. The company also has bundles where you can combine those three basic service options.
To start, we’re going to look at the in-home and mobile GPS service options. We’ll outline the basics of each plan and then offer a few tips to help you decide whether or not that type of system might be best for you. Finally, we’ll dive into Bay Alarm’s in-car and bundled medical alert services.
Data effective 10/04/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
Why Should I Consider a Medical Alert Bundle?
Bay Alarm’s bundle packages are a good idea if you want protection both inside your home and when you’re out and about. For active lifestyles, a combination of medical alert services and equipment can make the most sense.
One of the downsides of Bay Alarm’s bundles is that you have to add fall detection for an extra $10 per month. If you don’t see a bundle that you like, you can call Bay Alarm Medical and talk to a specialist. They’ll help you put together a system that makes the most sense for you and your budget.
Bay Alarm Medical Alert System Pricing Summary
Bay Alarm Medical has a broad range of services and monitoring levels to choose from, but all of those choices can be tricky to sort out.
First, decide what type of medical alert system you want (in-home or mobile) and then consider any extras that are important to you—like fall detection or a mobile caregiver app.
The good news is that once you know what you want from your medical alert system, Bay Alarm Medical has monthly monitoring fees that start as low as $19.95. Plus, the company offers a price-lock guarantee, and there are no contracts to worry about. You can customize your plan as needed and even add an extra help button ($2 a month) for your spouse. Best of all, Bay Alarm Medical doesn’t charge you any extra to monitor additional buttons.
You can also choose how you want to pay for your Bay Alarm Medical medical alert system. If you’d rather pay up front instead of every month, you can pay your bill in three- or six-month chunks. And if you decide to pay for six months in advance, you get free shipping on your equipment. On the downside, fall detection is usually an extra $10 per month and some packages charge $5 per month for the mobile app.
No long-term contracts
30-day trial period
Monthly fees start at $19.95
Free spouse coverage
Extra fees for fall detection and caregiver app
Bay Alarm Medical Alert Tech and Equipment
When it comes to medical alert equipment, Bay Alarm’s offerings are fairly standard. Where the company exceeds some other medical alert services is the broad selection that gives you options for medical alert coverage at home, in the car, and on a stroll at the park.
How It Works
The Bay Alarm Medical Alert in-home system includes a base unit and an alert pendant. To set up your system, all you have to do is plug in the base unit and push the test button.
The base unit plugs into a wall outlet and a phone jack. Once it’s plugged in, press the blue “help” button to test that your system is active and working properly. After that, the only decision left is whether to wear your help button as a necklace or on your wrist like a watch.
When you press the button on the pendant, it sends a signal to your base station, and the base station calls the monitoring center. The base station acts like a very loud speakerphone, allowing for two-way communication with someone in the monitoring center. They will ask you if you need help and what kind of help you need. If it’s not a medical emergency, the response center can call a neighbor or family member for you, or they can dispatch emergency responders if needed.
One thing we don’t like is that you can’t call for help without hitting a button. If you’re not near the base unit or can’t get to a wall button or pendant, you can’t call for help. More medical alert systems are adding voice activation so that you can get help even if you’re unable to press a button. We’d like to see Bay Alarm Medical add this feature to its base station and basic wearable mobile alert device.
Bay Alarm Medical offers additional alert options as well, like a mobile GPS alert device that acts as a base station and help button in one. This option lets you communicate with the monitoring center through the pendant itself. Bay Alarm Medical also offers an automatic fall detection pendant and a car GPS alert device that plugs into a vehicle’s charging outlet.
Bay Alarm Medical Equipment
In-Home Base Unit
Landline or cellular connection
32-hour battery backup
Necklace or wristband options
Fall Detection Button
$10 fee per month
Automatic fall detection sensors
5-year battery life
Uses numeric combination
Stores house key
Mobile GPS Help Button
AT&T cellular connection
In-Car Medical Alert Device
Automatic crash detection
Tech and Equipment Highlights
Caregiver Mobile App
With Bay Alarm Medical’s caregiver tracking app, your friends or family can check in on your location in real time and see where you’ve been. They also get alerts if your mobile GPS help button is running low on power. Bay Alarm Medical includes the app in its mobile packages at the preferred and premium levels, but you can add it to the basic service for an extra $5 per month.
A Note about Fall Detection: Falls are a significant cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for older people. That’s why we think fall detection is essential when you’re looking at a medical alert system.
But it’s important to note that no fall detection system is foolproof. Bay Alarm Medical uses multiple sensors for automatic fall detection—that means the pendant will detect your fall and send an alert whether or not you can press your help button. There have been a good number of reports about false alarms and delayed help signals, though.
My grandmother has the at-home system with a fall detection pendant, and it’s worked flawlessly for her. Plus, there’s no penalty for false alarms, so I recommend adding this level of protection, even though it’s not quite perfect.
Additional Help Buttons If you think you might get up in the middle of the night and forget to grab your alert pendant, Bay Alarm Medical offers additional wireless help buttons. You can place these extra buttons strategically throughout your home as an added safety precaution. We recommend putting at least one in the bathroom (this is where most falls occur) and putting them low to the ground where you can reach them if you fall.
In-home, on-the-go, and in-car options
Landline or cellular monitoring
Up to 1,000-foot range
Long battery life or battery backup
No voice activation
Extra fee for mobile app
Shorter range for fall detection
Bay Alarm Medical Customer Service
Bay Alarm Medical gets consistently high reviews for its equipment and monitoring. But we found negative reviews regarding fine print in the billing details and trouble with system returns. We wanted to read the fine print for ourselves, so we combed over a copy of the company’s Terms and Conditions. We don’t think it’s deceptive, but it can be confusing. We recommend reading everything carefully to avoid any surprises.
Customer Support in Many Languages One of Bay Alarm Medical’s standout features is multilingual customer support. Its monitoring personnel can communicate with users in 170 different languages, thanks to a partnership with Language Line Services. This is especially reassuring for caregivers assisting family members who don’t speak English.
Medical Record Inventory Bay Alarm Medical provides a free Vial of Life registry with every package. This is a record of your medical information, including all the medications you’re on and any allergies or specific medical conditions. The Vial of Life helps emergency personnel provide the right care during a medical event. Even though it’s a paper record, it’s still a handy thing to have ready before something happens. You can keep it in your home or in a purse or wallet.
Customer Support Summary Overall, Bay Alarm Medical does a good job of supporting its customers. It has several customer-first policies, like its 30-day trial period and price-lock guarantee. What muddies the waters is the large number of package and bundling options that can lead to confusion.
We found Bay Alarm’s customer service representatives to be helpful and patient when wading through all the company’s offerings. If you’re willing to spend some time on the phone, it’s worth it to make sure you get all of your questions answered.
Customer Service Pros
Helpful customer service reps
Customer Service Cons
Confusing package options
Other Medical Alert Systems to Consider
If you’re not sure that Bay Alarm Medical is the right match for you, we’ve looked at a number of top medical alert systems. Our reviews can help you decide which one is the best fit for your lifestyle and wallet.
Do I own the Bay Alarm Medical Alert equipment when I start my service?
No, Bay Alarm Medical retains ownership of all equipment and loans it to you during your subscription period. But you’re on the hook if there’s any damage to the equipment, which could run you between $200 and $300. Fortunately, you can avoid that risk if you purchase a warranty protection plan. The plan is $5 per month and covers equipment up to $300.
What kind of outlet do I need for the in-home medical alert system?
The base unit must be plugged into a standard landline phone jack to connect with the monitoring center. For power, it needs a 110-volt electrical outlet that’s not connected to a light switch—you don’t want to turn off your medical alert system accidentally.
If you don’t have a landline, you can upgrade to a cellular-only plan for $10 per month. Bay Alarm provides the cellular connection, and you don’t have to have a cell phone or individual plan to use it.
How do I know my system is working?
Bay Alarm Medical recommends testing the button on your pendant or your base unit at least once a month or as often as you need for peace of mind. Press the button and wait for the system to dial out. When the responder asks if you need help, let them know you’re just testing it. There are no charges or penalties for testing your system or false alarms.
Bay Alarm Medical: The Bottom Line
Bay Alarm Medical’s month-to-month subscription makes it an excellent medical alert service for those who may need it only on a short-term basis. Customers are also happy with the monitoring service’s compassionate professionalism.
The medical alert systems are priced affordably, and it’s easy to add or subtract features and products as your needs change. It has a few minor hiccups when it comes to billing and returns, but most of them can be resolved by studying the fine print and communicating with customer service. Overall, we think it’s an excellent choice for older adults who want both independence and security.
Our review of Bay Alarm Medical is the result of real-life experience from my grandmother, hands-on product testing, customer reviews, and research. We considered package and equipment options, pricing, and customer service. We also looked at how easy it is to understand what the company offers and how easy it is to use the medical alert systems. See our full rankings methodology for more information about how we rank and review products and services.
Written by Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. ou can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more