Page Reviewed / Updated – December 02, 2020

Falls and other home-related accidents are much more common for older individuals. Seniors who are thinking of buying a medical alert stem for increased safety may be wondering how much medical alert systems cost. The costs vary based on the type of monitoring plan that is chosen, the type of device that is bought and the system’s features and capabilities. With that being said, seniors can expect to pay around $20-$30 per month to use a basic medical alert system. The more advanced systems cost anywhere from $40 to $75 per month.

In addition to monthly service costs, some companies also charge equipment fees or equipment activation fees. It’s important to check what extra costs may be charged in addition to the regular monthly fees. It’s a smart idea to compare system features, device offerings, and one-time and continuous costs when beginning to research medical alert systems. This can make it easier for seniors to choose a system and to better understand the costs that they will need to pay.

When coming up with the true cost of owning a medical alert system, there are different factors that are considered:

Monitored vs. Unmonitored Plans

Most medical alert companies offer both monitored and unmonitored plan options. For seniors who want to be able to get medical help quickly, choosing a system that is monitored by medical professionals may be a good choice to make.

For individuals who are less at risk for accidents and injuries, choosing an unmonitored plan, where only family members or caregivers are alerted during an emergency may be a better option.

The monthly costs that seniors pay to use a system vary based on whether they choose a monitored or unmonitored plan. Monitored plans cost more because they connect the individual directly with emergency professionals. Most monitored medical alert system plans cost $40 or more per month.

Home vs. Mobile Systems

Another factor that determines the cost of a medical alert system is whether the system is intended to be used at home or if it’s a mobile system that is made to be used while on the go. Home-based systems usually have a range of 600 to 1,000 feet and won’t work outside of a set range.

A mobile system can often cost more than a basic, in-home alert system because it usually has GPS capabilities built-in and can work anywhere. It can often cost anywhere from $10-$20 more per month for mobile service.

Fall Detection

Fall detection may be an extra service that isn’t included in the regular monthly service cost. If it’s not included, seniors can expect to pay around $10 per month for this feature. Since slips and falls are more common for older individuals, it’s a worthwhile expense to consider.

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Additional Equipment Costs

As mentioned above, some medical alert systems charge seniors for equipment. Some may need to pay to own the equipment or they may need to pay equipment activation fees. Other companies don’t charge for their equipment, as it may be leased with the service.

A medical alert company may charge device activation fees. Activation fees tend to cost anywhere $50-$200. This is a one-time fee that is usually charged per device. Some medical alert system companies include activation for free, so it’s possible to avoid this extra cost.

Finally, if seniors want to buy extra devices, such as extra emergency alert wall buttons or an extra wearable device, they will usually pay an extra fee for this. Extra button and device fees can vary, but on average, they cost around $50 each.