Life Alert or Medical emergency response systems can provide a sense of security for individuals, especially when you live alone. The system also ensures security and peace of mind for those prone to falling or having serious medical complications.
Since falling and other medical emergencies can occur anytime in old age, having a Life Alert in place is a good choice. It has gained popularity in the market and is being used by many individuals to continue living independently. However, the question is, since it is related to a medical emergency, does Medicare provide coverage for it?
Let’s find out!
What is Life Alert?
Life Alert is a protection service provided by different companies that allow a person to call for help in emergencies. The emergency situations can be;
- Falling in the bathtub
- Falling in some other part of your home
- Any serious medical problem that needs immediate attention
- Trespasser breaking into your home
Indeed, it can be used in other personal emergencies as well. So now, let’s see how it works?
How Does Life Alert Work?
The Life Alert services offer 24/7 access to a monitoring center that connects an ambulance, the police, the fire department, or other emergencies concerning authorities to a person’s house.
Now the question is, how does it monitor?
A Life Alert gives you plenty of monitoring options. Some of them are;
- A button to wear as a pendant or wristband, mainly waterproof, connected to a landline or cell phone.
- A button can be installed on a bedside table, in a shower, or on a wall next to a bathtub or toilet.
- An audio monitoring system can also be installed in a home that allows the monitoring center to hear activities inside.
- It also comes as a GPS tracker device that allows authorities to find a person anywhere in the United States.
- You also get an option to set the monitoring center on speed dial or via an app on your smartphone.
A life alert consists of three major components;
- a small radio transmitter that will be implemented in your home or you wear as a pendant
- A console that connects to your telephone
- A monitoring center that monitors calls and sends help
So, when someone presses a button in a transmitter, it sends the signal to the console that quickly dials an emergency number. By default, the manufacturing companies program the system to call an emergency response center.
As the center receives the call, the staff members begin to identify a person’s issue. And then, they look at the individual’s record to decide who to notify.
On average, a life alert company handles more than 2 million calls every year.
Does Medicare Covers Life Alert?
Original Medicare has two parts, as we all know, Part A and Part B. Part A covers inpatient care in the hospital, SNF, hospice care, and home health care. On the other hand, Part B covers outpatient care, services from doctors and other health providers, home health care, DMEs, and other preventive services.
However, Original Medicare does not consider Life Alert medically necessary and, therefore, does not cover it.
But Medicare Advantage Plans, provided by private insurance companies, offer the same coverage as Original Medicare, and more may cover Life Alert as part of preventive care. So a person with a Medicare Advantage plan or Part C plan has to check with their insurance provider to ensure whether the plan provides Life Alert coverage.
In some states, the Medicaid program can provide coverage for a part or all of the costs of a medical alert system. You can contact your Medicaid office to identify whether it is true.
How Much Does Life Alert Cost?
Life Alert costs vary from company to company. The cost also depends on the service a person chooses. According to Consumer Reports, the primary service cost can range from $20 to $50 per month.
However, you may have to pay more if you include more features in the services, such as GPS. The cost of adding GPS can range from $20 to $100 and beyond per month. Since the services provided by the Life Alert companies keep improving, the extra services keep added.
Another additional service that you can add is fall detection. But, again, you have to pay extra for it, which may range from $5 to $15 per month.
As we mentioned, costs may vary from company to company, and some companies also charge an activation fee, which may range from $25 to $95. Besides, there is a cancellation fee as well. Not many companies charge their customers for cancellations, but some do. Therefore, it is suggested to ensure that the company you are buying from doesn’t have any cancellation fee.
If you are considering buying Life Alert for yourself or your parents, remember Original Medicare does not cover it. However, you can explore Medicare Advantage/Part C plans to identify which plans cover it.
If you want to know any more information regarding Life Alert or want to know what Part C plan will suit your medical needs and whether it offers Life Alert services, you can also contact our licensed agents specializing in Medicare.
Visit our website to schedule a quick call with our agents today!