Professional medical alert monitoring services range from $20 to $90 per month. So who has the best deal? We looked at factors like equipment packages, add-ons like fall detection, and overall value to find out. Our research showed that MobileHelp has the lowest price for a basic system, but GetSafe offers more equipment for a package in the same price range.
Most Affordable Medical Alert Systems
Most affordable medical alert systems
- : Most affordable
- : Best overall value
- : Most affordable fall detection
- : Best for couples
- : Best for outside the home
Compare the most affordable medical alert systems
Minimum monthly price
Monthly, quarterly, semiannually, or annually
|Best overall value||$24.95|
|Most affordable fall detection|
Monthly, quarterly, or annually
|Best for couples||$21.95|
Monthly or semiannually
|Best for outside the home|
Data effective 08/16/2021. Offers and availability subject to change.
Most affordable medical alert system reviews
MobileHelp: Most affordable
The MobileHelp Classic is an in-home cellular medical alert system with your choice of a wearable button or wall button. It's a simple but effective system with the lowest monthly monitoring fee we could find: nearly $20 per month.
Just beware the one-time processing fee (around $50) if you sign up for the monthly payment plan. This fee is waived if you pay quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.
Plenty of add-ons
It's easy to create a customized medical monitoring plan with MobileHelp thanks to add-on services:
- Fall detection
- MDLive (telehealth)
- MobileHelp Connect (caregiver app)
- Medication reminders
- Activity tracking
Some of these services require particular equipment, which may cost extra. Each service also requires an extra monthly fee, so it can turn into an expensive plan if you're not careful.
Learn more in our full MobileHelp review.
GetSafe: Best overall value
GetSafe started as a home security system, so its monitoring professionals have a background in stressful situations. The Starter package requires a one-time fee of around $80, and then it’s only $24.95 every month after. While it’s not the cheapest system, you get much more equipment for only a few dollars more than competitors if you can swing the up-front equipment cost.
Same monthly cost for all equipment
We like that GetSafe's monitoring plans are always $24.95 per month, no matter which equipment package you choose. The starting package comes with four unique buttons that connect you to GetSafe’s UL-listed professional monitoring center:
- 4G LTE cellular base station
- Voice-activated wall button
- Standard wall button
- A traditional wearable button
Each device connects to the base station via cellular technology, which means it’s easier to install and place throughout your home.
Read more in our full GetSafe review.
LifeFone: Most affordable fall detection
Add-on services and equipment
Like MobileHelp, LifeFone offers an "Activity Assurance" service for an extra monthly fee of about $6. It's a quick way for monitors to confirm that you or your loved one is all right. All you have to do is press the button when prompted.
For a more personalized approach, you can also pay for daily check-in calls. This costs around $19 per month.
LifeFone also sells wall buttons and "vanity pendants" (which transform the medical alert button into a classy necklace) for a one-time fee.
Read more in our full LifeFone review.
Bay Alarm Medical: Best for couples
Bay Alarm Medical’s landline system used to be the most affordable medical alert system on our list, but an ever-so-slight price hike lands it in runner-up territory. It's the most affordable system for couples, though, thanks to free spouse coverage. You'll have to buy an extra pendant for $35, but the monthly monitoring fee—which starts at around $22 per month—won't increase.
Bay Alarm Medical is also the best system for non-English language support. Its monitoring center partners with a translation service to provide help in 170 languages.
The Basic Protection plan comes with a landline base station and a wearable alert button. You can choose between a wristband or lanyard, or you can upgrade to a wearable with automatic fall detection for an additional $10 per month. Wall buttons are available for around $35 each.
There are several discounts available through Bay Alarm Medical to sweeten the deal. Members of the ASA (American Seniors Association), AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens), and USAA (United Services Automobile Association) are also eligible for discounts.
Bay Alarm Medical’s home, GPS, and auto equipment can be bundled together for a discount too. You can combine the home and auto package or the home and GPS package for $39.95, or you can get full coverage with home, GPS, and auto for $59.95. The right combination depends on where you spend most of your time, but having options makes this system much more accessible for anyone on a strict budget.
Learn more from our full review of Bay Alarm.
Lively: Best for outside the home
All of the systems on our list so far have been in-home devices. In terms of monitored mobile medical alerts, Lively (formerly GreatCall) offers the most affordable monthly fee.
The base package starts at about $20 per month but doesn't include fall detection. That perk doubles the cost, but it's still a competitive price compared to other mobile alert devices.
You do have to pay about $50 up front for the equipment.
Upgrading from the Basic Package to the Preferred Package (about $30 per month) gives you 24/7 access to a registered nurse or a doctor for any and all health questions. You can even get prescriptions over the phone. The Preferred Package also unlocks access to the Lively Link caregiver app.
The Ultimate Package (about $40 per month) includes the same services as the Preferred Package, plus fall detection.
Read more in our Lively (formerly GreatCall) review.
Other medical alert systems we considered
While not every medical alert service made our list, we found other systems worth mentioning. Improvements like transparent pricing and updated equipment could help them make this lineup in the future.
Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2
The Philips Lifeline GoSafe 2 is a small system with a big bill. It’s packed with five forms of location technology to pinpoint the wearer anywhere in the world. If you do press the help button, the clear two-way talk feature ensures the right kind of help arrives.
Counting the equipment fee, self-installation fee, and monthly monitoring, you’ll drop over $650 on Philips Lifeline after a year. If you’re active, travel often, or have a wandering loved one, this medical alert system may be worth the price. Read our full review of Philips Lifeline to learn more.
At just under $30 per month, Medical Guardian is cheaper than most cell phone bills. Plus, the price of the equipment is included in your monthly payment. And Medical Guardian gives discounts up to $30 if you choose to pay for six months or a year of service up front.
The landline-enabled Classic Guardian is the cheapest of the bunch, but Medical Guardian has plenty of other product packages to explore.
The Family Guardian kit includes home security devices like a door/window sensor, motion detectors, and a Family Care app for caregivers to monitor activity from anywhere in the house. We also like the Freedom Guardian smartwatch medical alert device with activity monitoring, messaging, reminders, and even weather updates.
Your final price will depend on the payment schedule and equipment package you choose, so it’s best to do your research first. Medical Guardian has no trial period and can take up to 30 days to return money for refunds. Read our full review of Medical Guardian to learn more.
Famous for its “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” campaign, Life Alert has been recognizable since the 1980s. Our research found that little has changed since then. Life Alert has a surprisingly outdated website with minimal information, so we called the company directly.
We needed to give personal information before getting any answers. Once we did speak to a customer rep, they greeted us with pushy sales tactics and little time to ask questions. The same rep gave us a steep initial quote of $89.85 a month ($1,078.20 a year) for a rudimentary system. If you aren’t afraid to haggle like we did, you might be able to talk the price down. We had to remove the shower button to get the price down to $69.90 per month.
But Life Alert’s equipment doesn’t bring much to the tech table that hasn’t already been served. The base station, shower button, GPS device, and necklace all have two-way talk, which is helpful, but not enough for the price. You’ll still have to face a 36-month contract, steep price, and potential hidden fees. Read our full review to see if this system could work for you.
What to remember before buying a medical alert system
When it comes down to it, your medical alert system needs to be simple enough to operate in an emergency. Most devices follow the same design—a wearable button on your wrist or around your neck that connects to an intercom. The right system depends on the size of your home, your level of activity, and your level of independence.
If you’re out of the house often or a frequent traveler, you’ll need a GPS unit or other portable device that won’t tie you down. Homebodies may prefer systems with a mobile GPS feature or they may go with a simple pendant or wristband that connects to the base station.
You’ll also want enough equipment to fit your home. Add-ons like extra sensors can help, especially if you have multiple floors or a larger home. If you share a large house with others, you might not need as many sensors. But if more than one person needs medical alert devices, it’s smart to opt for more than one pendant or wristband to connect to the base station.
Add-ons like equipment warranties, automatic fall protection, and additional pendants or wristbands can also change the value and price of your medical alert system. While it’s smart to save money, you shouldn’t cheat yourself out of the help you may need. Extras like automatic fall protection don’t cost much and can save lives.
Medical alert FAQ
Medical alert systems are commonly mislabeled as “life alert systems” because of the well-known company. While medical alert systems vary in price between providers, the company Life Alert gave us an initial quote of $89.85 per month. This provider has no set prices, so this may vary from customer to customer. Overall, Life Alert can cost you anything between $45 to $95 dollars per month.
In some rare cases, yes. It depends on your insurance provider and the medical alert system. It’s best to speak with your insurance provider before signing on with any system.
Most companies charge customers month to month for service, so cancellation fees are rare. However, we found that Philips Lifeline and Life Alert may charge cancellation fees for canceled orders or contracts. No matter what medical alert system you choose, be sure to read the fine print before making a purchase.
Medical alert companies often provide features like a Vial of Life or lockbox to make it easier for emergency responders to treat you and enter your home.
A Vial of Life is a folder with information such as allergies or current medications that makes it easier for EMTs or other responders to treat you.
A lockbox uses a unique code to keep spare keys or other valuables inside. This can help responders get into your house if you’re unresponsive.
Other simple accessories like medical ID bracelets can also help professionals treat you in an emergency.
How we reviewed the most affordable medical alert systems
To find the best cheap medical alert systems, we combed through websites, called companies, and read lots of fine print. In our research, we saw several companies with similar equipment, prices, and monitoring centers. So instead of focusing on cost alone, we looked deeper at the value of each system. We determined value by the amount of equipment in a basic package, extra fees, discounts, and company policies that may leave you paying more for fewer perks.
That’s why we gave GetSafe the top spot. Its starting package includes more equipment with unique features than the basic devices you get from other companies. While it isn’t the cheapest service, you’ll get a better system for under $10 more. Plus, the fixed monitoring rate means you won’t get any surprises on your bills. Learn more about how we researched this and our other rankings by reading our full methodology.