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Page Reviewed / Updated – October 22, 2020

Seniors interested in being able to contact emergency assistance when needed might want to use a medical alert system. Most medical alert systems require the user to wear a device that allows them to signal for help or alerts medical authorities when they’ve had a fall. These devices mean seniors or people with disabilities can immediately call for assistance, and they provide great peace of mind for seniors and their loved ones.

GreatCall, a company that has been working with seniors since 2006, offers a different take on providing medical assistance. Its Jitterbug Flip phone is not only a great option for seniors who only want basic phone service, but it also offers an innovative medical alert system. Depending on the level of coverage selected, users can contact emergency services, speak with a personal operator or notify chosen contacts about their current medical situation and location.

What You Need to Know About the Jitterbug Flip Phone

GreatCall’s Jitterbug Flip phone has consistently received top marks as a phone for seniors. Many reviewers have praised the Jitterbug Flip for its simplicity of use for seniors who want a cell phone but feel intimidated by smartphones. Also, this phone is the only one that provides seniors with medical alert features through the Jitterbug Flip’s Health and Safety Packages.

It’s 5Star Urgent Response button, which is featured prominently on the phone, connects the user immediately to a certified and highly trained urgent response agent. The agent can pinpoint the user’s location, call for help and stay on the line until help arrives.

The Jitterbug Flip’s Preferred and Ultimate packages include two other medical alert features:

  • GreatCall Link, which can, with the user’s permission, send an alert to a family member’s smartphone to provide the senior’s location or signal if their phone’s battery is running low.
  • Urgent Care, which provides 24/7 access to certified doctors and nurses

The Ultimate package also includes connection to a personal concierge operator who can help with directions, notify family members, place a call or arrange a Lyft ride-share car.

All the Jitterbug Flip’s services operate on the Verizon network and are mainly sold through Best Buy stores, which purchased GreatCall in 2018.

Medical Alert Features Basic Preferred Ultimate
5Star Urgent Response Yes Yes Yes
Urgent Care No Yes Yes
GreatCall Link No Yes Yes
Personal Operator No No Yes

Jitterbug Flip’s Plans and Pricing

The Jitterbug Flip doesn’t use long-term contracts. All plans are paid for monthly. Subscribers can keep their current number if it’s still available when they request a transfer. There are also no cancellation fees when they want to end their service.

The Jitterbug Flip normally sells for $99 but can be available at a Best Buy outlet for as little as $49.99.

While each of the Jitterbug Flip’s Health and Safety Packages offers the 5Star Urgent Response service, subscribers can add other features when they choose a higher level.

  • The Basic package costs $19.95 a month and includes 5Star Urgent Response and Brain Games, which are designed for mental exercise.
  • The Premier package also includes Urgent Care and GreatCall Link and costs $24.99 a month.
  • The Ultimate package includes all the above features as well as a connection to a personal operator. It costs $34.99 a month.

Talk and text packages add an extra cost, but the subscriber receives a discount when they sign up for any Health and Safety Package. If they’re only interested in using the Jitterbug as an easy-to-use phone and not as a medical alert device, they will pay more for these services.

For instance, when they choose any Health and Safety Package, 1,500 minutes of call time is $15, and it’s only $5 more for 1,000 texts. Without a Health and Safety Package, the user pays $20 for 1,000 minutes of talk time and another $5 for 1,000 texts. Costs can be more or less depending on how much each feature is used.

With the Ultimate Package, 1,500 minutes of call time and 1,000 texts would be $54.99 monthly.

Jitterbug Flip Pros

  • The phone is simple to use, with large back-lit buttons.
  • The phone’s camera can be used as a 5X magnifying device.
  • The phone has loud volume settings and is M4/T4 hearing aid compatible.
  • It’s Bluetooth compatible.
  • It has medical alert capabilities.
  • The 5Star Urgent Response button is prominently displayed and has a different tactile feel than phone dialing buttons so it can be easily picked out, even in the dark.
  • GreatCall’s partnership with ride-sharing company Lyft means users just need to dial zero, and an operator will order a Lyft car, give a fair estimate and charge the fare to their next GreatCall monthly bill.
  • The Jitterbug Flip includes a flashlight, which can be activated via a button on the right-hand side of the phone.
  • There’s no steep learning curve.
  • It offers voice dialing.
  • The phone’s screen is exceptionally bright and has a large text font.
  • It has excellent battery life, running for as long as 10 hours on a single charge.

The Jitterbug Flip Cons

  • The phone can be too simple for some people; it doesn’t contain features available on a smartphone.
  • There’s no Wi-Fi available on a Jitterbug Flip phone, meaning users can’t use Wi-Fi calling, for instance, to save money when making phone calls.
  • There’s no email.
  • The Jitterbug Flip doesn’t allow the blocking of calls.
  • The camera needs to be used in well-lit locations, or pictures will be fuzzy.
  • The Jitterbug Flip doesn’t allow the screen brightness to be changed.
  • The overall price of the Jitterbug Flip can be a bit pricey once the cost of a Health and Safety Package and a Talk and Text Package are added in, although it’s still significantly less than most smartphone plans.

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Jitterbug Flip FAQs

Can I only buy a Jitterbug Flip at Best Buy?

No. You can buy a Jitterbug Flip at a Best Buy store, but you can also order one online from Amazon or Walmart.

If I want more than a basic cell phone, does GreatCall offer a smartphone?

Yes, GreatCall also offers the Jitterbug Smart2. Like the Jitterbug Flip, it’s designed for ease-of-use by seniors but includes other features like email, maps and directions, and access to the internet. The phone costs $74.99.

Why should I buy a Jitterbug Flip?

It’s an excellent phone for seniors who don’t want a lot of bells and whistles that come with a smartphone. It has received numerous glowing reviews from a variety of publications and websites that cater to the needs of seniors. It’s also an innovative medical alert device that can provide peace of mind to seniors and their families. No other cell phone has the kind of health and safety packages that are available on the Jitterbug Flip.

Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator

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  • Search over 400 Programs