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does Medicare cover any medical alert systems

Does Medicare Cover Any Medical Alert Systems?

The advancements of technology in the medical field are making health care easier and more accessible. Let us say for example that you are living all alone in a house, and you experience a health emergency. With medical alert systems, if something happens to you, there can be a way to access health care with just a touch of a button. 

If you want to get one of these systems for yourself or a loved one, a common question is, “does Medicare cover any medical alert systems?” In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of the medical alert systems and some helpful info about the different types of these systems.

Does Medicare Cover Any Medical Alert Systems?

The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of the medical alert systems. That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your medical alert system. 

Original Medicare

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for the medical alert systems. So that means you will have to pay 100 percent for your medical alert systems. The reason as to why Original Medicare does not provide coverage for medical alert systems is that because they are not considered medically necessary. 

Original Medicare does not provide coverage for medical alert systems as it cannot improve a person’s medical condition. Even though medical alert systems may seem like Durable Medical Equipment (DME), Original Medicare does not provide coverage for them. 

Part C Coverage for Medical Alert Systems

However, you can find Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) that will provide coverage for medical alert systems. Medicare Advantage have to cover all the same treatments and services as Original Medicare. However, these plans will also provide coverage for some things that Original Medicare does not cover. What things a plan covers and how much the costs are for the coverage/plan will vary from plan to plan.  

Medical Alert Systems is one of the extras that some Medicare Part C plans provide coverage for. To know if your Medicare Part C plan provides coverage for medical alert systems, it is best to contact them and ask if they provide coverage for them. 

How Much Do Medical Alert Systems Cost?

Medical alert systems can cost an average of $100 or more, and you will also need to pay $20 to $55 for a monthly subscription. The exact costs of a medical alert system will depend on the brand and the type of products that the brands offer. Some popular medical alert system brands include Life Alert, Bay Alarm Medical, and Lifeline. 

What Are The Different Types Of Medical Alert Systems?

There are many types of medical alert systems including:

  • In-home assistants like Alexa or Google Home
  • Phone systems
  • Smartwatches
  • Two-way communication systems, which are wearable items like bracelets that have emergency buttons with them that allow you to call for aid.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series including: Does Medicare cover bypass surgery?

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