Medical alert systems help older adults maintain their independence, and offer loved ones peace of mind. In the event of an emergency, these systems are designed to alert caregivers and emergency personnel.
There are all sorts of medical alert systems on the market, from home-based devices to mobile wearables. Medical Care Alert is a company that offers both options, and their systems are designed to be simple and affordable. Read on to learn more about Medical Care Alert’s products and services, as well as how they stack up to competitors.
Medical Care Alert is a Michigan-based company specializing in medical alert monitoring for older alerts. They offer both in-home and mobile medical alert systems. Pressing the medical alert button on either system connects the user to a monitoring center in the United States that’s staffed with trained emergency medical technicians and emergency medical dispatch (EMT/EMD) certified operators.
Both systems are available for purchase on the Medical Care Alert website with no contract. It does require a monthly subscription, but Medical Care Alert offers a price-lock guarantee, which means the monthly fee won’t change over time. Plus, they don’t charge an initial hardware fee, unlike many other medical care alert companies.
Both Medical Care Alert’s HOME system and Home & Away GPS system feature two-way speakers and a medical alert button. Simply press the button to be connected to the monitoring center for immediate assistance. Operators will stay on the phone until emergency personnel arrive and send phone and text message notifications to the caregivers on your contact list.
Both systems are designed to be simple, with a plug-and-play design that sets up in under 30 seconds. With the in-home system, there are no devices that require charging and it works via a landline or with LTE cellular.
The Home & Away system has GPS, Wi-Fi location services, and a 3-day battery life with a charger. Caregivers can monitor the device remotely with RemoteCare 24/7, a free smartphone app.
Both systems have optional AutoFall protection, which initiates a call if sensors detect a fall. However, this requires an upgrade of $10 per month.
- reasonable price point, with no activation or equipment fees and a price-lock guarantee
- choice of monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual payment plans
- EMT/EMD-certified operators staff the monitoring center
- choice of in-home and mobile systems
- simple to set up and to use
- medical-grade equipment minimizes the risk of false alarms, but medical alerts can still be stopped
- fall detection is an upgrade
- equipment protection plan is an upgrade
- 14-day trial period is a little shorter than those offered by other medical alert companies
Like all of the medical alert systems we review, we investigated Medical Care Alert by exploring the company website, reading third-party feedback, and testing the products ourselves. We also carefully considered the following:
- Price point: We reviewed the prices for Medical Care Alert products, particularly in comparison to others on the market. The company offers several subscription plans, which makes it a good option for seniors on a fixed income.
- Warranty: We looked for a warranty policy, but Medical Care Alert doesn’t offer one. Instead, it has an Extended Protection Plan to cover lost or damaged equipment. This is an additional $5 per month fee paid annually.
- Customer reviews: We checked the reviews on and off the company website, including on Trustpilot, TrustSpot, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for an idea of what real customers think. We’ll cover more on that later.
- Range of products and services: We looked carefully at all of the options offered through Medical Care Alert to ensure it’s a company that can service a range of budgets, capabilities, and lifestyles.
HOME Medical Alert System
- Hardware price: $0
- Monthly membership price: $29.95
- What’s included: two-way voice speakerphone console, one shower-safe button for a wrist or necklace pendant, phone cord, phone jack splitter, and DSL filter for landline setup
- Additional benefits: 1,000-foot range from medical alert button to home base station, hospital-grade quality, works with landline or LTE, easy set up
The hospital-grade HOME Medical Alert System is designed for older adults who spend most of their time at home. The system has two parts: a whole-house, two-way voice speakerphone console that works via a landline or LTE cellular for an additional $5 per month, and a wearable button.
The button comes with a choice of a bracelet or a pendant. Both are safe to wear in the shower, and the internal batteries last up to 7 years. Free replacement buttons are available if necessary.
There’s also an option to add an extra button for a spouse. A separate fall detection pendant is an additional $10 per month.
In the event of an emergency, just push the button for the assistance of your choice.
Home & Away Ultra GPS Medical Alert System
- Hardware price: $0
- Monthly membership price: $39.95
- What’s included: shower-safe GPS pendant, charging cradle
- Additional benefits: two-way voice pendant, GPS and Wi-Fi enabled, voice-prompted setup, free smartphone app
This water-resistant wearable is best for older adults who spend time outside their home. It’s a 2-ounce pendant with GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular triangulation, so your location is always accessible. No cell phone is required, since AT&T or Verizon cellular service is included with your plan.
A voice-prompted system makes set up, programming, and testing easy. Fall detection is an upgraded service, and it ensures that calls are made to the emergency response center in the event of fall, even if the help button isn’t pressed.
This product has an accompanying smartphone app, RemoteCare 24/7, which includes device location, weather, recent events, and other features.
Both the HOME and the Home & Away systems include free lockboxes so you can hide a key outdoors — that way, in an emergency, EMTs can enter without damaging a door.
Extended protection plans are offered for both systems, and billing plans include monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual options.
Both systems are designed for ease of use. Simply press the alert button to be connected to the monitoring center. From there, you can request emergency personnel or ask to contact a specific caregiver.
The big difference between Medical Care Alert products is where they’re used. HOME is designed for peace of mind at home, thanks to its 1,000-ft range (which is broader than some other services). The Home & Away system is a wearable pendant that works at home and in all 50 U.S. states to pinpoint your location in an emergency. With both systems, you can speak directly to trained personnel at the monitoring center if and when you need help.
Medical Care Alert products are available for purchase on the company’s website only. You can request a free brochure by mail or contact customer service over the phone as well.
Base pricing for both systems from Medical Care Alert doesn’t include fall detection, which is an additional $10 per month. If you don’t have a landline, you’ll need to upgrade to LTE, which is an additional $5 per month. An optional Extended Protection Plan is $5 per month, paid annually.
There are four options for billing, including monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual. If you pay for the year in advance, you’ll get one month free.
Medical Care Alert offers a 14-day trial on its equipment and services. There is no long-term commitment, so if you choose to cancel service, just notify the company that you’re sending back the equipment. Once it’s received, you’ll be refunded any prepaid balances.
There is no warranty included with service. However, Medical Care Alert offers an Extended Protection Plan for $5 per month, paid annually. The plan protects your equipment against loss or damage, with some limitations. For example, there is a $50 deductible on the second replacement of the pendants in both the in-home and mobile systems.
Keep in mind, equipment replacements without this protection plan are pricey. A replacement system is $350, while replacement systems are between $29.95 and $200 depending on which one you have.
Medical Care Alert has a generally positive reputation. The company has been BBB accredited since 2012 and has an A+ rating. It’s consistently ranked among the best medical alert systems in the news and on third-party websites.
Much of the positive feedback relates to its U.S-based monitoring center, which is staffed by EMT/EMD trained personnel.
Customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive both on the Medical Care Alert website and on third-party review sites like TrustSpot and TrustPilot. On TrustSpot, there are over 2,000 reviews and an overall rating of 4.8 stars.
Positive reviews mention ease of use, simple set up, and excellent service. A handful of negative reviews take issue with the size of the pendant and some say it’s too sensitive to movement.
Medical Care Alert is worth consideration for older adults who prefer to continue living independently at home. Those with medical conditions that require immediate attention, including epilepsy, heart conditions, strokes, or seizures, may benefit from this simple system.
Adults who are recovering from falls, illnesses, or major illnesses, as well as those who may have trouble speaking clearly to a 911 operator, may also find Medical Care Alert a good option.
Medical Care Alert lacks some of the smart features offered in other services, but it’s a good basic system for independent older adults. Keep in mind that the fall detector may not detect every fall, so users should still be able to push the help button if they’re capable of doing so. That means Medical Care Alert may not be the best option if someone is considered at high risk of falling.
Keep in mind
Medical Care Alert products are not a substitute for emergency services.
In the event of a physical or mental health emergency call 911.
|Specifications||Medical Care Alert||Life Alert||Medical Alert|
|Price range||$29.95-$39.95 per month, with optional upgrades for fall detection and warranty protection||prices not listed online||$19.95-$39.95 per month, plus $79.99 programming fee, with optional upgrades for fall detection|
|Smartphone app required?||no||no||no|
|Battery life||up to 3 days||up to 10 years||up to 2 years|
|Rechargeable or replaceable batteries?||rechargeable||replaceable||replaceable|
|Response time||less than 1 minute||15-20 seconds||less than 1 minute|
|Subscription price||$27.45-$36.62 per month, with optional upgrades for fall detection ($10/month) and warranty protection ($5/month paid annually)||prices not listed online||$19.95-$39.95 per month|
|Fall detection||optional upgrade||no||optional upgrade|
|Warranty||none offered; extended protection plan available||lifetime||protection plan available|
|Trial period||14 days||none offered||30 days|
Does Medical Care Alert offer payment plans?
Yes. There are four payment options available, including monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and annually. The annual plan comes with one free month.
Is there a set-up fee?
No, Medical Care Alert doesn’t charge a set-up fee. You’ll choose a preferred payment plan when you purchase your service, and the company’s price-lock guarantee means that price will never go up.
Medical Care Alert doesn’t charge cancellation or activation fees, and there are no deposits.
Does Medical Care Alert accept insurance?
According to Medical Care Alert, most insurance or Medicaid plans don’t cover medical alert systems. However, you should contact your service provider directly to see what your plan covers for personal emergency response systems.
Medical alert systems are eligible medical expenses if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) and/or A Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
Can you change or cancel your Medical Care Alert subscription?
Yes. Medical Care Alert offers a 14-day trial so you can test out either product. If you decide you no longer want your Medical Care Alert subscription, you’re free to cancel at any time without penalty. Just contact the company to send back the equipment, and you’ll receive a prorated refund of any prepaid amounts.
Can I accidentally set my device off?
According to Medical Care Alert, their hospital-grade equipment is unlikely to go off accidentally if you’re bending over or moving in your sleep. However, some of the negative reviews did describe the equipment as too sensitive.
Medical Care Alert doesn’t charge for false alarms, and they can be canceled if an alarm is triggered accidentally.
Is Medical Care Alert better than Life Alert? How?
Medical Care Alert has no contract or commitment, which makes it much more flexible than Life Alert. Life Alert requires its subscribers to sign a 3-year service contract, and there is no option for fall detection services, even at an upgrade. Plus, unlike Medical Care Alert, pricing plans aren’t posted on the Life Alert website. You’ll need to contact the sales team directly for that information.
Medical Care Alert offers basic home and mobile medical alert services that are well-suited for independent older adults. Both systems are simple to set up and to use, and U.S-based monitoring centers utilize highly-trained medical personnel.
Base pricing for Medical Care Alert is reasonable, but keep in mind that upgrades like fall detection and the extended protection plan will push up costs. However, there are four different billing plans available, with a discount if you opt for the annual plan. Plus, there are no contracts or commitments, so you’re free to cancel your service as it suits you.
For a look at other medical alert devices on the market, you can check out our hub, here.