Most Affordable Medical Alert Systems

How much should you pay to protect yourself or an aging relative with a medical alert system? We researched popular brands to find the most affordable system with the best features.
Written by | Updated August 27, 2019
Best Overall Value
getsafe logo
  • Most equipment in a basic package
  • Flat monitoring fee for each package
  • 30-day free trial
  • Most equipment in a basic package
  • Flat monitoring fee for each package
  • 30-day free trial
Most Affordable
  • Lowest overall price
  • Bundled product packages
  • Discounts for AMCA and USAA members
  • Lowest overall price
  • Bundled product packages
  • Discounts for AMCA and USAA members
Best Equipment Selection
Medical Guardian logo
  • 1,300-foot range
  • Flexible payment schedule
  • Equipment included in the price
  • 1,300-foot range
  • Flexible payment schedule
  • Equipment included in the price

Bottom Line: GetSafe and Bay Alarm Offer Best Price/Value

Prices for medical alert systems range from $20 to $90 per month. So who has the best deal? We looked at factors like equipment packages, add-ons, and overall value to find out. Our research showed that Bay Alarm Medical has the lowest price for a basic system, but GetSafe offers more equipment for a package in the same price range. GetSafe includes unique devices like the voice-activated help button and a flat monitoring rate with every package.

Compare the Most Affordable Medical Alert Systems

Equipment Price
Minimum Monthly Price
Fall Detection
Payment Schedule
Basic Equipment Package
getsafe logo Medical Guardian logo
$99 Included Included
$24.99 $19.95 $29.95
$10/mo. $10/mo. $10/mo.
Monthly Monthly or semiannual Monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual
Base button
Wall button
Voice-activated button
Wrist or lanyard button
Cellular monitoring
Landline base station
Wrist or lanyard button
Landline base station
Wrist or lanyard button
View Packages View Packages Vew Packages

Data effective 07/16/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

The equipment in Bay Alarm Medical’s cheapest plan is a landline-connected base and an alert button. You don’t get as many devices, but at $19.95 a month, Bay Alarm offers the best price. You’ll pay at least $10 more every month for a similar package from other systems like Medical Guardian and LifeFone.

And while it does cost a little more, Medical Guardian has its perks. The Classic Guardian systems lets you call for help from up to 1,300 feet from the base station—a great feature if you live alone or in a large home. At $29.95 per month, this is the cheapest system from Medical Guardian and requires a landline. But Medical Guardian has cellular-enabled systems as well as GPS systems and even a smartwatch.

Is price not your biggest concern? Find out which is the best medical alert system overall.

Reviews: Medical Alert Systems

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 $99, and then it’s only $24.99 every month after. While it’s not the cheapest system, you get much more equipment for only a few dollars more than Bay Alarm Medical.

GetSafe offers three equipment plans, and each have a one-time equipment payment. But it’s only $24.99 every month after to connect with monitoring professionals who can talk you through an emergency and contact help.

The starting package comes with four unique buttons that connect you to GetSafe’s professional monitoring center: a 4G LTE cellular base station, voice-activated wall button, standard wall button, and 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.

Pros

  • Flat monthly rate
  • No landline required
  • Voice-activated help button
  • Most equipment for starting price

Cons

  • Steep initial cost
  • No bilingual services

Bay Alarm Medical: Most Affordable

Bay Alarm Medical’s landline system is the most affordable medical alert system we came across. At $19.95 per month, the Basic Protection plan comes with a base station and a wearable alert button. You can choose between a wristband or lanyard, or you can upgrade to a wearable with fall detection for an additional $10 per month.

There are also several discounts available through Bay Alarm 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’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 Medical.

Pros

  • Lowest price for a basic package
  • Bundled packages
  • Discounts for ASA, AMAC, and USAA members

Cons

  • Basic Protection plan requires a landline
  • No price drop for paying semiannually

Medical Guardian: Best Equipment Selection

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 to monitor activity from anywhere in the house. We also like the Freedom Guardian smartwatch with medical alert abilities, 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.

Pros

  • Wide product selection
  • Equipment costs included
  • Flexible payment schedule

Cons

  • Up to 30-day waiting period for refunds
  • No trial period

Other Medical Alert Systems We Considered 

While not every medical alert system 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

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.

LifeFone medical alert system

LifeFone At-Home and On-the-Go 

LifeFone uses the same cellular system as Medical Guardian and MobileHelp Duo but costs a few dollars more. The equipment doesn’t sport any new features, but you can get add-ons like medication reminders, daily check-ins, location services, and an equipment warranty.

The LifeFone pendant will work up to 600 feet from its base station. Compared to Bay Alarm Medical and Medical Guardian’s equipment, this isn’t a very wide range. But if you live in an apartment or don’t leave home often, this shouldn’t be an issue. Get the whole story in our full review of LifeFone.

MobileHelp medical alert system

MobileHelp Duo 

At a minimum of $41.95 per month, MobileHelp Duo costs a lot more than companies like LifeFone and Medical Guardian for the same tech. The cellular base station, wearable call button, and GPS unit are standard in medical alert systems, but MobileHelp throws in a lockbox to sweeten the deal.

And while MobileHelp is expensive, you can get a significant discount for paying every four to twelve months. But beware, we noticed some fine print that stated “prices subject to change without notice.” Check out our full review for the story on MobileHelp’s other systems.

life alert wristband and neck pendant

Life Alert

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, 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 fall protection don’t cost much and can save lives.

Medical Alert FAQs

How much does Life Alert cost?
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.

Does insurance or Medicaid cover any of these systems?
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.

Do these services charge cancellation or activation fees?
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.

How can I make it easier for emergency responders to reach me?
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 Picked the Most Affordable Medical Alert Systems 

To find the most affordable medical alert system, we combed through websites, called companies, and read lots of fine print. In our research, we saw several companies with similar equipment and prices that vary widely. 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.

Written by Katie McEntire

Since 2013, Katie has written marketing copy, long-form posts, reviews, and blogs. She began her career as a writer and reviewer with the mission to recommend only the best products for her readers. She’s designed tests, evaluated products, and written reviews on a range of subjects such as appliances, power tools, and software. Today, she applies these research and writing skills on the SafeWise team to explore the world of home, auto, and internet security. Learn more

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