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Medical Alert Review8 minute read

8 minute read

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Updated for December, 2018

OVERALL RATING:
Features:
Customer Support:
Consumer Reviews:

Medical Alert offers many of the standard configurations for medical alert systems, including wearable signaling devices that go through a base station to reach an emergency call center, and an attractively designed mobile option that will contact the call center directly from anywhere with mobile service. While the company provides excellent basic service, it doesn’t, however, offer a broad enough array of extra services or equipment to separate it from the rest of the pack—though it’s still worth a look for its affordable packages.

Pros
  • No contract required
  • No cancellation fees
  • Free lockbox
Cons
  • Range only 600 ft
  • Monitoring Center is not certified
  • No automatic testing – user must manually test once a month
  • Website not very informative or user-friendly
Pricing Home - Landline Home - No Landline On the Go
Monthly $32.99 $37.99 $42.99
Semi-Annually $29.99 $34.99 $39.99
Annually $27.49 $32.07 $36.66
Free Activation
Free Ground Shipping
Free Equipment Use
Long Term Contract No No No
Cancellation Fee No (after 3 months) No (after 3 months) No (after 3 months)
Product Features
Home Based
GPS / Mobile Based
Waterproof
Range 600 ft 600 ft Unlimited
Warranty Additional Fee Additional Fee Additional Fee
Battery Life 32 hr backup 32 hr backup 72 hrs
Shower Safe
Service Features
24/7 Emergency Call Center
Unlimited Button Presses
Multilingual Support 140 Languages 140 Languages 140 Languages
Call 911, Family or Friends

Medical Alert Review

All medical alert systems work in a similar fashion, by giving their users the ability to contact an emergency response center even when they’re incapacitated or have mobility issues. They do this by providing users with wearable devices that contact the call center either directly (through a cellular connection) or via a base station that either plugs into a landline or connects to a cellular phone network. Medical Alert provides this basic set up—at costs very much in line with its competition in the medical alert industry—and is certainly worth considering as you shop for a system that meets your needs. At the same time, the range of services and equipment on offer doesn’t really stand out, and in terms of basic equipment, there are a few brands that offer more competitive pricing.

Pricing Home - Landline Home - No Landline On the Go
Monthly $32.99 $37.99 $42.99
Semi-Annually $29.99 $34.99 $39.99
Annually $27.49 $32.07 $36.66
Free Activation
Free Ground Shipping
Free Equipment Use
Long Term Contract No No No
Cancellation Fee No (after 3 months) No (after 3 months) No (after 3 months)
Product Features
Home Based
GPS / Mobile Based
Waterproof
Range 600 ft 600 ft Unlimited
Warranty Additional Fee Additional Fee Additional Fee
Battery Life 32 hr backup 32 hr backup 72 hrs
Shower Safe
Service Features
24/7 Emergency Call Center
Unlimited Button Presses
Multilingual Support 140 Languages 140 Languages 140 Languages
Call 911, Family or Friends

Medical Alert offers two basic configurations of equipment—two home-based setups with a base station that communicates with a call center when the user sets off an alert, and a mobile system with a portable base station which can send alerts either directly or after being triggered by wearable signaling devices. Here’s a closer look at these systems.

Every package comes with free access to standard-level MobileHelp Connect apps, but it should be noted that some of the nicest features of MobileHelp Connect, such as medication reminders and location services require additional charges on a monthly basis.

For its home-based systems, Medical Alert provides two signalling devices per user. These come in the form of pendants or wristbands, and offer an easily-manipulated button for signaling to the base station; the pendant can also signal the base station automatically if it detects that the user has fallen. The base stations (which can either connect to a landline or to a cellular network) are pretty standard, with buttons to send an alarm if the user is close enough to use it for that purpose, and with a function that will cancel a false alarm once it’s sent. The home systems certainly match the equipment on offer from Medical Alert’s competition, with its 600 feet wearable-to-base-station range about average for the industry.

Medical Alert’s On the Go system is actually one of the more attractive setups available, and provide the user with a sleek, stylish, pager-type device that connects to the call center via a cellular connection. In addition, however, the On the Go system also provides two wearables: a pendant that provides automatic fall detection in addition to a push-button alarm activation and a wristband device that looks discreetly like a watch. The base station has a decent 72-hour battery life, making it a reasonable choice for a mobile unit.

Unlike a lot of companies, Medical Alert doesn’t offer much in the way of additional services or equipment—they really only offer the most basic setup for their customers. Nevertheless, they do offer two useful extra features: all packages include automatic fall detection (though it should be noted that only the pendant wearable provides fall detection), and all packages include a lockbox. Lockboxes are really an essential feature, since they store keys outside your house in a combination safe; in the event a user is unresponsive or can’t reach the door, the call center will give emergency responders the combination so they can access the key and enter the home without having to damage the door or other external structures.

Call centers are an essential feature of any medical alert system. Medical Alert provides a standard-issue call center, allowing unlimited button presses (a crucial feature, since it prevents users from second-guessing whether their emergency is enough of one to talk to someone) and multilingual support. It’s not clear, however, that the call center is certified, which is the only way consumers can be sure that the call center works efficiently and effectively before an emergency arises.

Every package comes with free access to standard-level MobileHelp Connect apps, but it should be noted that some of the nicest features of MobileHelp Connect, such as medication reminders and location services require additional charges on a monthly basis.

Pricing Home - Landline Home - No Landline On the Go
Monthly $32.99 $37.99 $42.99
Semi-Annually $29.99 $34.99 $39.99
Annually $27.49 $32.07 $36.66
Free Activation
Free Ground Shipping
Free Equipment Use
Long Term Contract No No No
Cancellation Fee No (after 3 months) No (after 3 months) No (after 3 months)
Product Features
Home Based
GPS / Mobile Based
Waterproof
Range 600 ft 600 ft Unlimited
Warranty Additional Fee Additional Fee Additional Fee
Battery Life 32 hr backup 32 hr backup 72 hrs
Shower Safe
Service Features
24/7 Emergency Call Center
Unlimited Button Presses
Multilingual Support 140 Languages 140 Languages 140 Languages
Call 911, Family or Friends

Medical Alert’s cost structure puts it in about the middle range for medical alert systems, (though its long-term commitment discounts can take off almost $70 from the cost for its most expensive package, the mobile-based On the Go device). We’re a little put off, too, by the fact that the company charges a fee to offer a warranty on its products. At the same time, Medical Alert does give its customers a certain amount of flexibility, including not requiring a long-term contract, allowing free use of equipment (some companies require you to buy the equipment in your home), and allowing you to cancel without penalty after 3 months of continuous service. In addition, most plans include a nice bonus—a free lockbox that lets you or your loved one store house keys outside so that emergency responders can get into your home without breaking down the door.

A company’s attitude toward customer service is often on display on their website, and it’s a good sign when the website gives customers what they need, which is, first and foremost, all the information necessary to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, Medical Alert didn’t shine in this respect, giving visitors to their site only the barest information on equipment and cost without fully fleshing out how the equipment operates. Even essential pieces of information, like the base station to wearable range, is hard to track down. Turning to customer reviews, Medical Alert does seem to have a positive track record, with many customers offering praise for the equipment, the call center staff, and the peace of mind they got from having a system at all. At the same time, though, we should mention that Medical Alert has garnered relatively few reviews online, so we can’t be sure if we’ve looked at a full representative sample of customers.

Pricing Home - Landline Home - No Landline On the Go
Monthly $32.99 $37.99 $42.99
Semi-Annually $29.99 $34.99 $39.99
Annually $27.49 $32.07 $36.66
Free Activation
Free Ground Shipping
Free Equipment Use
Long Term Contract No No No
Cancellation Fee No (after 3 months) No (after 3 months) No (after 3 months)
Product Features
Home Based
GPS / Mobile Based
Waterproof
Range 600 ft 600 ft Unlimited
Warranty Additional Fee Additional Fee Additional Fee
Battery Life 32 hr backup 32 hr backup 72 hrs
Shower Safe
Service Features
24/7 Emergency Call Center
Unlimited Button Presses
Multilingual Support 140 Languages 140 Languages 140 Languages
Call 911, Family or Friends

Medical Alert provides all the standard services and equipment you’d expect from a Medical Alert company, and while reviews are relatively scarce online, the company seems to have a track record of satisfied customers. We’re a little concerned about the fact that their call center appears to be uncertified, and about its relative lack of additional services on offer, but with a fairly flexible approach to services and with price points in line with its competition, we feel their offerings are worth checking out.