What’s the Real Cost of Life Alert?

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"Life Alert" might be synonymous with medical alert systems, but the actual company is a bit more mysterious. A quick glance of Life Alert's website and you may notice its outdated design and lack of pricing. 

Instead of online carts and equipment selection, the price of Life Alert systems includes an emotionally taxing call to its sales team to get basic answers. 

To find out Life Alert cost and details, we contacted the company to get the facts about its equipment, policies, and pricing to bring you some solid answers.

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How much do medical alert systems cost?

Like, "Kleenex" or "Post-It's", Life Alert is just one brand in a whole industry of products.

Generally, medical alert systems cost anywhere from $20 to $70 per month. There are also up-front equipment fees included that cost between $50 to $200. We have a list of the most affordable medical alert systems if you want to find options within your budget. 

Looking for a medical alert device?

Life Alert alternatives

If you’re looking for more affordable alternatives to Life Alert, here are a few of SafeWise’s top choices from our guide to the best medical alert systems.

Bay Alarm Medical

Best overall

With in-home and on-the-go options, Bay Alarm Medical offers something for everyone. And at $25 to $40 per month, its monthly fees won't break the bank.

We especially like Bay Alarm's Bella Charms for dressing up the in-home button, and its car device is unique too.   

Read our full Bay Alarm Medical review.

Medical Guardian

Best GPS tracking

Medical Guardian’s rates start at around $30 a month, with no contracts or startup fees. The company offers a variety of plans, all of which can be upgraded with fall detection technology. We especially like Medical Guardian's mobile devices, which combine GPS and fall detection technology. 

Read our full Medical Guardian review.

ADT Medical Alert

Most experience

If you're looking for reliability and industry experience, try ADT Medical Alert.  Yep, the same ADT that you trust during a home invasion also has your back during a medical emergency. 

ADT's nine monitoring centers are fully redundant, meaning someone will always answer even if one of the centers experiences technical difficulties. 

Learn more in our ADT Medical Alert review.


About Life Alert

Started in 1987, Life Alert is famous for its, "I've fallen and I can't get up" campaign. It was the first medical alert company on the scened and provided specialized technology that allowed aging adults to live independently for longer. But its policies, equipment, and sales tactics haven't changed much in the near 40 years it's been around. 

Life Alert doesn't have an online cart or shopping system on its website. Instead, customers have to call in to request a brochure or speak with a salesperson to learn more or place an order. 

But with salespeople working on commission, straightforward answers about Life Alert costs don't come easy (our call lasted a full thirty minutes).

How does Life Alert work?

A basic Life Alert system has a base station and a pendant with a button. When you press the button on the pendant, the base unit acts as an extra-loud, highly sensitive speakerphone and connects you to a Life Alert-owned and operated monitoring center.

If you need assistance, the dispatcher can either contact a friend or family member, or if it’s more serious (or if you don’t respond), they can dispatch emergency responders. Additional Life Alert equipment includes a waterproof “help” button and a GPS unit.

How much does Life Alert cost?

The cost of Life Alert varies by three tiers, starting at $49.95 per month for a simple At-Home system. This particular set can work with a cellular or landline connection and has a service range of 800 feet from the base station. 

You can add a wall button for a $79.90/month charge and a GPS unit for a whopping $98.95/month fee for the whole system. All three options come with a $197 activation fee.1 

And none of this includes hidden fees or cancelation. Life Alert requires a three-year contract which can leave you with costs between $2,000 to $3,400.2

What you get for the price

Life Alert is pricey, but is there a good reason for the higher cost? Life Alert certainly has some perks to justify the high price and set it apart from competitors, but it has its fair share of negatives as well.

pro Fast shipping
pro Worry-free installation
pro Unlimited use
pro Insured equipment
pro No need to change batteries
pro Industry experience
con Pressured sales
con Leased equipment
con Three-year contract
con No fall detection
con No trial period
con No GPS tracking for loved ones

What to look forward to

Fast Shipping

As soon as you order your system, Life Alert pulls a system from stock, tests it, and sends it out to you via two-day air—at no extra cost.

Worry-free installation

On the day you receive your system, you’ll get a call from Life Alert to schedule your professional installation appointment. You may even get same-day installation.

Unlimited use

No matter how many times you push the button, your monthly fee stays the same for as long as you own the system. There are no fees or penalties for false alarms.

Insured equipment

If your equipment stops working or is faulty for any reason, Life Alert will send out a professional technician to replace it.

No need to charge batteries

Pendants and buttons all have ten-year battery life, which means you never have to worry about charging them.

Industry experience

Life Alert has had decades of experience fine-tuning its products and its monitoring service.

What to watch out for

Pressured sales

You can’t get a Life Alert system without talking to a salesperson, so be prepared to listen to a lengthy sales pitch and feel some pressure to buy.

Leased equipment

You won’t actually own the equipment, so you’ll have to return it when your contract is up.

Three-year contract

Life Alert requires a minimum three-year contract, and you can only cancel it if the user dies or goes into a nursing home.

No fall detection

None of Life Alert’s devices offer fall detection, and company representatives say that it’s because the technology is not yet reliable enough to work properly.

No trial period

If you try out Life Alert and you don’t like it, you’re still locked into a three-year contract.

No GPS tracking for loved ones

While some systems allow family members to use a loved one’s GPS device to track their location, Life Alert’s GPS devices do not offer this feature.

How does the price of Life Alert compare to other medical alert systems?

When it comes to medical alert systems, Life Alert is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum. You can expect to pay $20–$30 a month for monitoring service with most other medical alert companies, with one-time activation fees between $0–$150. At $50–$90 a month and activation fees between $90–$200, Life Alert costs nearly twice as much as its competitors across the board, without many notable differences in equipment or service.

Final word

If you’re looking for a tried-and-true company with a longtime history of quality products and reliable medical monitoring, then Life Alert may be right for you. It does cost more than competitors, but its equipment and customer service are among the best in the industry.

But if the high cost for Life Alert outweighs the benefits and you’re on a budget, or if you don’t want to be locked into a three-year contract, then there are a variety of other reputable alternatives in the marketplace. Check out our list of Best Medical Alert Systems to explore more options.

Life Alert price FAQ

Yes, the one-time activation fee covers sales tax and shipping costs.

No, the $197 activation fee isn’t charged to your card until the day after your system has been installed to your satisfaction.

Yes. In order to cancel your contract, Life Alert requires you to provide a signed letter from a doctor or nursing home verifying your loved one’s admittance to a nursing home, hospital, or other care facility.

Possibly. We think sales reps may have some leeway with pricing, because our sales rep did indicate that he had some authority to lower the activation fee. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.

Compare the best medical alert systems

Best for
Lowest monthly price
In-home range
Backup battery
Landline option available
Learn more
Best overall1000 ft.32 hrs.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best wearable options1300 ft.32 hrs.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Most trusted name600 ft.20 hrs.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best for fall detection800 ft.30 hrs.
Icon Yes  LightYes
Best at-home system1,300 ft.32 hrs.
Icon Yes  LightYes

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability subject to change.

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Save money and stay connected with an AARP membership

With an AARP membership, you can get a 15% discount on a Lifeline medical alert system, in addition to discounts on hotels, restaurants, prescriptions and more. You also get the AARP magazine, access to virtual learning programs, and can connect with other AARP members in your community.

Related articles on SafeWise


  1. National Council on Aging, "Life Alert Review 2024: Complete Expert Analysis," December 14, 2023. 
  2. New York State Office of the Attorney General, "Attorney General James Scores Victory for Thousands of Elderly New Yorkers," March 2021. Accessed August 31, 2022.
Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at Overstock.com and Top Ten Reviews.

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