Here’s your basic guide to what a medical alert system costs:
It’s really pretty simple.
Most monitored medical alert systems cost about $30 a month.
What about no-fee or autodialer medical alert systems? These are the ones that dial friends and family instead of a monitoring center. These cost from $100 to $300. The model I like best (Amazon link) goes for around $269.
The reason I like that particular model so much is that it’s got two-way communication through the pendant that you carry around. This means the unit will work when you’re inside the house and also when you’re in the garden.
How to save money on a medical alert:
Saving money on a medical alert depends on what type you’re buying.
With a monitored system you can sometimes save money by paying in advance. For example, if you pay for 12 or 24 months at a time, your cost might go down to $19.99 or $24.99 per month.
Is this worth it? Maybe. Usually you’re locking yourself in for the term of your prepayment. Different vendors have different policies, so be sure to check. You might want to start with the month-to-month price and then after you’re sure you like the system then pay for a chunk of time in advance.
Sometimes you an also save on installation fees if you pay for a few months in advance. But some companies don’t have installation fees at all, so do your research.
The only way to save money on a no-fee medical alert is to spend less money on the unit. You won’t have any ongoing costs for monitoring, so the unit is your only expense.
But in my experience the cheaper units are definitely not as high quality as the better ones. Some of the worst you see don’t even offer real two-way communication. They just dial a number and play a pre-recorded message, then they tie up your phone line for another two minutes or so before the person who just got a scary phone call can call back and talk to you about the problem, if they can even communicate through the base station (mostly these low-end units don’t have a microphone for you to talk to the person who responds).