Medical Alert Review

We found just one stand-out feature in Medical Alert’s repertoire: two fall sensors in its mobile unit.
Best for on-the-go fall detection
Medical Alert
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Monitoring starts at
$22.95
/mo
  • pro
    30-day money-back guarantee
  • pro
    No contract
  • pro
    Free equipment lease

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Cathy Habas
Staff Writer, Safety & Security
July 12, 2022

Connect America’s Medical Alert brand sells—you guessed it—medical alert systems. You can get better deals elsewhere on in-home alert systems, but we do like the fall detection tech in the Mobile System. 

All in all, Medical Alert’s a good choice if you’re active outside the home but need a safety net for life’s surprises. If you’re alone only when you’re at home, Medical Alert’s not the best choice because its in-home system is a little overpriced.

pro
Pros
pro Free lease of all equipment
pro Free low-battery button replacement
pro Free caregiver app
pro Five-Diamond certified monitoring
pro Prorated refunds
con
Cons
con Programming fee
con Limited accessories
con Limited accessories
con No price lock guarantee
con Glitchy app

Cost of Medical Alert

Medical Alert’s equipment is leased to you for free, but there are still some upfront charges to prep for.

  • A one-time $49 programming fee for the Home System with Cellular and the Mobile System
  • $15 ground shipping or $35 one-day shipping for all systems

The amount you pay each month depends on the type of medical alert system you choose. The in-home landline system is the most affordable choice for about $23 a month. Using a cellular connection for the in-home system costs around $33 a month. The mobile system is the most expensive option at $43 a month. 

Medical Alert doesn’t offer a price lock guarantee. Your monthly cost may increase after the first year of service.

Compare Medical Alert monthly costs

Plan
Monthly cost
Upfront cost
Learn More
Home System with Landline None
Home System with Cellular $49.00 programming fee
Mobile System $49.00 programming fee

Generic Disclaimer: Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Other Medical Alert fees

There are two optional monthly fees:

  • Automatic fall detection is available with every plan for an extra $10 each month. 
  • An extra $5 a month gets you the Protection Plan, which gets you one free system replacement and two help button replacements each year.

Because you don’t own any Medical Alert equipment, you’re expected to return it in good condition after canceling your account. Otherwise, you might be charged the full price of the equipment—around $350.

Medical Alert discounts

You can save $3 a month and get free ground shipping by paying for 6 or 12 months at a time. Paying for an entire year up front also gets you a free lockbox, which helps emergency responders access your home quickly and without damaging the door. Medical Alert’s monitoring center keeps the lockbox code on file.  

How Medical Alert compares to the competition

We don’t consider Medical Alert one of the best in-home medical alert systems on the market—not because it’s inherently bad, but because competitors have superior equipment for lower prices. 

For example, both Bay Alarm Medical and Medical Guardian charge about $3 less per month for an in-home cellular system and don’t hit you with a one-time programming fee. Their help buttons also work more than 1,000 feet away from the base stations, whereas Medical Alert’s help buttons go kaput after 800 feet. Another major difference is that Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm Medical provide free accounts for spouses, whereas Medical Alert requires spouses to pay up, albeit at a discounted rate.

But Medical Alert’s Mobile System does stand out thanks to its extra fall detection sensor. Instead of relying on an accelerometer only, it also includes a barometric pressure sensor. Having two sensors can improve the device’s accuracy, so it’s one of our recommended medical alerts for fall detection.

Medical Alert vs. competitors

Brand
Best for
Starting price
Fall sensors
Spouse coverage
In-home range
Learn more
Read review
On-the-go fall detection2Discounted800 ft.
Best overall1Free1000 ft.
Best value1Free1300 ft.
Best caregiver app1None200 ft.
Best mobile options1Free1400 ft.

Info current as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Medical Alert contracts and warranties

Medical Alert doesn’t lock you into a long-term contract, even if you choose to pay for a year in advance. You can cancel at any time and get a prorated refund. Or, cancel in the first 30 days for a full refund. 

Remember that you have to notify the company when you decide to cancel. If you just stop making payments, you may accrue late fees. Medical Alert doesn’t specify how much those late fees cost.

Medical Alert’s only warranty is the paid Protection Plan. It costs $5 a month and is sometimes offered for a very affordable $1 a month. It’s unusual for a medical alert company to not offer at least a 1-year equipment warranty. Of course, we always prefer free lifetime warranties.

Medical Alert equipment

Medical Alert’s equipment is pretty basic. The in-home systems come with a base station and a help button with a lanyard or wristband attachment. The mobile GPS system includes a docking station and removable, wearable base unit plus an extra wearable button. 

All of the help buttons are waterproof and can be worn in the shower. They can also be submerged in shallow water for about 30 minutes. 

When the help button batteries get low, the device sends a signal to the monitoring center and Medical Alert sends a free replacement button. The only thing you have to charge is the Mobile System’s base unit.

Wall buttons do not appear to be part of Medical Alert’s current catalog. There are also no voice-activated options or voice extenders. 

As we’ve mentioned, Medical Alert’s only stand-out tech is in the Mobile System, which includes two fall sensors. Most fall detection devices on the market have one sensor.

What's in the box

Here’s what you get with the Medical Alert home system:

  • Base unit
  • Power cord
  • Phone cord (landline option only)
  • Help button
  • Lanyard attachment
  • Wrist attachment
  • Vial of Life
  • Setup guide

This is what comes with the Medical Alert mobile system:

  • Mobile base unit
  • Charging cradle
  • Power cord
  • Help button
  • Lanyard attachment
  • Wrist attachment
  • Carrying pouch
  • Vial of Life
  • Setup guide

Medical Alert caregiver app

Medical Alert’s caregiver app—called Medical Alert Connect on Google Play and the Apple App Store—notifies caregivers when their loved one uses the emergency button. It also shows the GPS location of the on-the-go system and sends caregivers low-battery alerts. Caregivers can monitor more than one person through the app—no need for a separate login.

Unfortunately, it seems like the app doesn’t always pair with Medical Alert devices, recognize login info, or keep users signed in. 

Even if you do get it to work, the caregiver app is missing out on some important features, like the ability to add other supportive family members or to connect to the monitoring center when your loved one makes an emergency call. 

(OK, we’ll admit it—we’ve been spoiled by the high bar set by Aloe Care Health’s mobile app. Everything else seems lackluster.)

Is Medical Alert right for you?

Medical Alert’s Mobile System is a great option for you if you’re independent but starting to experience some risk factors for falling. It has some of the best fall detection tech on the market, and it doubles as an in-home system since there’s a separate base unit and wearable. 

If you don’t spend time outside your home by yourself, then you probably just need an in-home landline or cellular system. We don’t see any reason to spend more money for Medical Alert’s system when you can get the same type of medical alert systems from companies like Bay Alarm Medical, MobileHelp, and Medical Guardian for lower prices.

Medical Alert FAQ

Which cellular network does Medical Alert use?

Medical Alert’s cellular equipment connects to the AT&T network. You don’t need an AT&T account to use Medical Alert devices—you just need to live in an area that gets AT&T cell reception.

Do Medical Alert base stations work when the power goes out?

Medical Alert’s in-home base stations have a backup battery that keeps it running for 30 hours. This is about average for the industry. Learn more about medical alerts with the best batteries.

Do I have to pay return shipping when I cancel?

Yes, you foot the bill when returning Medical Alert equipment.

Can Medical Alert help my parent if they don’t speak English?

Yes, Medical Alert uses LanguageLine’s live interpreter services to help people in 140 languages. When you sign up for Medical Alert, note which language your parent is most comfortable speaking so that the operators can connect them with the right interpreter.

How we reviewed Medical Alert

We developed a proprietary ranking system and comparison database to track over 40 nuances in price, policy, and performance for over 25 medical alert companies. We relied heavily on this resource to provide context for our Medical Alert review. We also did some mystery shopping on the Medical Alert website and combed through the company’s terms and conditions, Protection Plan terms, and support pages. Learn more on the SafeWise methodology page.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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