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“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” ®
Many of us remember those commercials from the late 80s and early 90s. These commercials were for Life Alert© and typically showed a senior, who had fallen to the ground, using Life Alert to call for help.
Those commercials were effective because they showed exactly how the product helped people. All these years later, Life Alert is still around. And, despite all the technology we have in our lives, their service is one that many still very much need.
The way they work is that if anything happens and you can’t reach a phone, you can use your Life Alert product to easily get help. Life Alert services are available 24/7 so whenever you need help, you can just use your Life Alert product.
Clearly these devices are not free, however. So a common question many people have is, “Does Medicare cover Life Alert?”
In this article, we answer that question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average costs of Life Alert and other helpful info.
Does Medicare Cover Life Alert?
The short answer is no. In most cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of Life Alert. 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 Life Alert.
Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for Life Alert. So that means you will have to pay 100 percent for your Life Alert. Original Medicare does not consider them to be medically necessary devices. This is because Life Alert does not directly improve a person’s health.
However, some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) provide coverage for Life Alert. Medicare Advantage plans cover everything Original Medicare covers as well as offer some additional benefits. However, coverage and out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on the specifics of your plan.
How Much Does Life Alert Products And Services Cost?
The basic Life Alert system costs nearly $50 per month if you have a landline. Those who do not have a landline will pay $10 more. There is also a one-time set-up fee of $96.
The Life Alert In-Home system with Help Button costs almost $70 per month with a one-time fee of $96. Alternatively, you can have a one-time annual payment of about $770 which also includes one month of free service.
The Life Alert system with Mobile and Help Button cost about $90 per month with a one-time fee of $198. You can also pay an annual payment of about $900.
Alternatives To Life Alert
There are also cheaper alternatives to Life Alert out there. Here are two popular options:
Bay Alarm Medical
They offer packages that include home, mobile, and car alert systems for about $20-$60 a month. There are no activation fees or long-term contracts.
In-home Lifeline costs about $30 per month for the 24/7 monitoring plus an initial fee of $50 for the equipment. Their GoSafe costs about $60 with an initial fee of about $150 for the equipment.
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 glasses?