Page Reviewed / Updated – November 18, 2021

A medical alert bracelet lets medical and emergency personnel know that a person has a medical condition that should be considered in an emergency. The issue could be severe allergies, diabetes, cardiac problems or one of a long list of other conditions. First responders are trained to look for a medical alert bracelet after they check vital signs, such as breathing and pulse. In some emergency situations, having a medical alert bracelet can even mean the difference between life and death.

Medical alert bracelets can easily be ordered online, but to get one at no cost, it might take some sleuthing. It’s worth trying to get a medical alert bracelet without paying for it, especially if you’re a senior living on a fixed income since the effort to uncover any free benefit helps stretch your limited dollars. Below are five ways you can start trying to find a free medical alert bracelet.

Contact a Local Hospital

Some hospitals provide free medical alert bracelets, and it’s worth calling the hospitals in your area. If a hospital doesn’t offer that service, ask if they can refer you to a local foundation or agency that provides medical alert bracelets free or at a discount. If you’re a veteran, be sure to check with the local veteran’s hospital and with any veteran’s service agencies in the area. Your family doctor may also have some tips on finding a free medical alert bracelet.

Call Your Insurance Provider

Your medical insurance provider will cover certain needs, including equipment or supplies that are considered to be medically necessary. Call the customer service number to find out if your insurer will pay part or all of the cost of a medical alert bracelet. To receive assistance, you may need to have your doctor fill out a form verifying that you need one or prescribe a medical alert bracelet for you.

Check Medicare or Medicaid Benefits

Although Medicare provides reimbursement for some medical equipment, medical alert bracelets aren’t covered under the standard Medicare plan. However, there are many Medicare Advantage plans to choose from, and some of them may cover the cost. If you have Medicare Advantage coverage, you can check with your provider. It’s also worth looking into if you’re covered by Medicaid since sometimes Medicaid will pay for a service or an item that Medicare doesn’t.

Look for a Foundation or Assistance Agency to Help

Every state has a branch of the Area Agency on Aging, an organization devoted to helping seniors find the resources they need to stay mentally and physically fit. Call your local branch to see if they can suggest a grant or program to help you get a medical alert bracelet for free. Also, some foundations offer support and financial aid for those who suffer from various medical conditions. Contact any of these organizations that focus on your medical condition to see if they can help.

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Sign Up for a Monitoring System

If you’ve been considering a medical alert monitoring system, there are medical alert companies that offer free equipment to get started, and even free shipping. Often, a medical alert bracelet is one of the items offered as an extra gift for signing up for a plan. Many services even have monthly fees with no obligation to sign a long-term contract.