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Does Medicare Cover Wearable Alert Devices


Medical alert systems are a key factor in allowing many seniors the opportunity to live an independent lifestyle. At the touch of a button, these wearable devices alert a call center in the event of a health emergency, fall, or illness.

Often, medical alert systems can cost upwards of $100 and even require a monthly subscription to remain active. Currently, there are no medical alert systems covered by Original Medicare. However, other options, such as a Medicare Advantage plan might pay for some medical alert system costs.

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Are Medical Alert Systems Covered by Medicare?

Original Medicare provides coverage for durable medical equipment (DME) through Medicare Part B. This includes wheelchairs, blood sugar meters, canes, and more. To be considered DME, an item must provide a service to those using it. So, you may assume a medical alert system will make the cut. However, this is not the case.

Although these alert devices can be essential in the health and safety of older adults, no part of Original Medicare will cover the costs of a medical alert system. This is due to the medical necessity of the item. Even though it is a helpful item to have, it serves no medical purpose for the beneficiary beyond caution.

On the other hand, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you could see a medical alert system benefit. As private insurance companies manage Medicare Advantage plans, these policies often provide additional benefits, above what Original Medicare will cover. To see if your plan covers medical alert systems, contact your plan carrier.

Additional Coverage Options for Medical Alert Systems

If you are a Medicare beneficiary with concerns about coverage for the costs for a medical alert system, you might have other options.

Discount programs like AARP, Veterans Benefits, or even a long-term-care policy may cover the costs of your medical alert system. Each plan sets their own benefits, so if you already have other forms of coverage in addition to Original Medicare, speak with your provider(s) about medical alert system benefits.

Low-Cost Medical Alert Systems

Costs vary when it comes to medical alert systems. The most popular branded devices can cost hundreds of dollars and require monthly subscriptions. However, this is not the case for all medical alert systems. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you may find the list below helpful.

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Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical is a medical alert system available to seniors for a low monthly cost. For these systems, monthly prices range from about $20-$60, with no activation fees and no long-term contracts. The most affordable service is the in-home package, which includes a base station and a wearable emergency button.

Costing nearly $20 a month for in-home coverage, this is the most cost-effective option. However, if you wish to add additional services, there may be extra fees.

Lifeline GoSafe

The Lifeline GoSafe system is a standard medical alert system that can attach to a lanyard or wristband for ease. Lifeline GoSafe uses the AT&T cellular network to give you proper coverage.

Seniors who travel often may seek a more mobile option just to be safe. GoSafe is both a mobile and a home medical alert system. While GoSafe does not receive Medicare coverage, you can purchase a Lifeline alert system at an affordable rate.

Although it is not the most budget-friendly option, it does provide the most coverage in and out of your home. GoSafe can cost about $50 a month plus an initial fee of $99.95 for the device.

LifeStation

LifeStation Mobile offers GPS monitoring for more active members. This model does not require a base station and the GPS option helps the company’s operators find the location of a person in an emergency.

Fall detection features send automatic notifications to LifeStation in the event of a fall. This company encourages individuals to set up an action plan with them. This plan is for situations where a person may not be able to speak after pushing their help button.

LifeStation systems are available for a monthly rate of $32.95 for an annual plan.

FAQs

Are there any discounts for medical alert systems?
Medical alert providers and retailers often extend discounts and special offers for their systems. Look for good deals on bargain shopping days like Black Friday. Membership programs like AARP and AAA may also offer discounts and independent living or assisted living communities may provide wearable alert devices to residents.
Does Medicare cover Life Alert?
Medicare does not cover Life Alert Systems, but some discounts may be available. While Medicare Part B offers coverage for durable medical equipment, medical alert systems do not qualify. Still, there are other options for coverage of systems like Life Alert.
Is Medical Alert covered by Medicare?
There are no medical alert systems covered by Medicare. However, while Original Medicare lacks this coverage, Medicare Advantage plans may cover alert devices depending on plan options in your area.

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Sources:

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. Lifeline Support. Accessed March 2022.
    https://www.lifelinesupport.org/
  2. Life Station. Accessed March 2022.
    https://www.lifestation.com/
  3. Bay Alarm Medical . Accessed March 2022.
    https://www.bayalarmmedical.com/pricing/#!

Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

10 thoughts on “Does Medicare Cover Wearable Alert Devices

    1. Hi Maureen! Unfortunately at this time, Medicare does not cover Fitbits. However, that does not mean they won’t cover it in the future if the medical community considers them medically necessary at some point.

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