Monitoring services for a medical alert system can cost as low as $14.95 per month and as much as $61.95 per month. These prices don’t necessarily include the initial cost of the equipment itself—some medical alert companies charge a one-time upfront fee for the system devices.
In addition to upfront device fees, some medical alert system providers charge a one-time connection or installation fee required at the time of setup, and these fees can vary significantly.
Add-on features typically come with additional charges, too. Automatic fall detection often increases a monthly bill by $10, and additional wall buttons and lockboxes can come with small add-on fees as well. If a caregiver app is available as part of the system, it may be free, though some cost a small amount to download to your smartphone.
The lower end of the price spectrum typically includes the most basic medical alert system equipment and connectivity. Meanwhile, the more you spend, the more features and functionality you get, such as automatic fall detection, live location tracking, caregiver app access and more.
Unfortunately, some medical alert system providers have less-than-transparent pricing structures. For instance, they may not lock in a subscription price when you sign up, ultimately raising rates without notice after a year of service. Others might not clearly disclose connection or activation fees until you reach the final steps of purchasing a system and enrolling in a monitoring subscription service.
How to Get a Free Medical Alert System
Your ability to get a free medical alert system largely depends on your financial circumstances and insurance coverage. Those who are eligible for Medicaid, for example, are often eligible for other waiver programs that can help cover the costs associated with medical alert systems. Veterans often have access to benefits that make medical alert systems more affordable as well. And AARP members can save 15% on select medical alert services, as well as receive free shipping and waived activation fees.
Annual vs. Monthly Subscriptions
If you’re concerned about the total cost of a medical alert system, consider how much you’d spend on a system when you pay annually for the monitoring service versus paying monthly.
Depending on the medical alert system you choose, the company may offer an annual subscription with a price that averages less monthly than a standard monthly subscription cost. You have to be comfortable paying the full amount up front, but the discount can be significant in the long term.