Medical alert systems are valuable tools for seniors and people with disabilities, some of whom are veterans who deserve peace of mind and security as they age. The technology in medical alert systems has evolved rapidly over the last decade: Landline connections are no longer a necessity, and on-the-go devices are now commonplace, which means veterans are able to live active lives with on-call help at a moment’s notice.
This guide focuses on medical alert systems that have discounts or other benefits for veterans and provides an overview of the companies that make the systems. For more in-depth information on cost and features, view our top 10 list of the best and most affordable medical alert systems.
MobileHelp is a health care technology company that was founded in 2006 in Boca Raton, Florida. Monitoring is provided through a partnership with Rapid Response, which has more than 25 years of experience in medical alert systems and home security. Calls and alerts are handled by operators based in the United States, with facilities in Syracuse, NY, and Corona, CA. Coverage is available nationwide.
Veterans receive a monthly discount on any service plan and a free upgrade to MobileHelp Connect Premium (normally an additional $5/month). This premium service provides a lifetime guarantee that the standard service rate won’t be raised, and it offers a 25% to 50% discount on select services as well as free or low-cost replacements in case of damage or loss. MobileHelp also partners with the Wounded Warrior Project by donating money and emergency response systems to be given to veterans.
The MobileHelp Classic provides in-home and mobile coverage via a cellular signal, which means a landline isn’t required. Equipment is provided at no cost and includes free shipping, and customers are only required to pay for the service plan subscription on a monthly basis. Fall detection can be added at an additional monthly cost. The Duo systems from MobileHelp provide multiple alert buttons to be used within the same house, which is useful for couples or roommates.
This medical device company was founded in 1977 and produces some of the most popular medical alert systems currently available. LifeStation is headquartered in Union, New Jersey, and operates two of its own monitoring centers in Texas and New Jersey to provide nationwide coverage with no outsourcing of calls.
U.S. veterans are only charged the discounted annual rate when paying monthly, which lowers the monthly rate by approximately 15% to 25% depending on the plan and model. AARP discounts are also available for members.
Veterans can choose from any of the available devices and plans, including home-based systems that use a landline connection and mobile alert devices with GPS tracking. Fall detection is available in select devices. The button device is waterproof, has a long-life lithium battery and low power detector and can be worn about the neck or wrist. Both the pendant and wristband are small and lightweight and can easily be concealed by clothing.
Alert1 is a U.S.-based company with its headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and offices throughout the country in Idaho, Utah and California. Calls are never outsourced to another country, and all Command Center operators speak clear English, which can help avoid misunderstandings in tense situations. Service is also available in 190 languages, and non-verbal emergency protocols can be used to help veterans with a hearing impairment.
The Alert1 Cares Program may help veterans by giving free service time on their plan. Veterans can contact customer support to inquire about this program. It’s also possible to donate service time to be given to veterans and others in need. Alert1 also provides AARP discounts.
The home-based systems available from Alert1 are most suitable for people who don’t often go outside without a caregiver. Fall detection is available in the home and with on-the-go systems and doesn’t require a landline connection.
At its core, a medical alert system is a help button that is designed to be a simple and reliable method of getting assistance in an emergency. The most popular devices have many more features, such as two-way voice communication and cellular connections, but the principles of simplicity and reliability remain the same. GPS tracking and fall detection are also fairly recent additions, providing added layers of security to any alert system.
Veterans are affected by many of the same medical and social issues as the senior population. However, due to the unique stresses of military life and combat, these issues often become apparent at a younger age. Veterans with a hearing impairment, mobility issues or PTSD may benefit from having a personal medical alert that can be used in an emergency related to these and other health issues, and the fall detection devices are designed to call help without any interaction by the user.
The most important features of a medical alert system for veterans is the quality of monitoring it provides and the effectiveness of the emergency operators who are responsible for answering alerts. The companies listed in this guide have decades of experience in monitoring health and security, are based in the United States and meet strict quality control standards under regular evaluations.
For most people, the price also influences decisions on what to buy. The standard cost for the basic model from most popular brands starts at $20 per month if paid annually, or $25 on a monthly contract, and the cost can reach $50 per month or more for certain features and brands.
Veteran discounts aren’t always immediately visible when searching among medical alert system providers, so it may be worth asking customer service whether they offer any deals.