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Page Reviewed / Updated – November 24, 2020

With advances in health care, many people joke that 60 is the new 40. Older Americans want to live more independent, active lives. That doesn’t mean, however, that seniors don’t face serious health issues, and if they live by themselves, those issues could prove to be catastrophic. This is one of the reasons behind the growing market for medical alert systems.

Medical Care Alert is a family-owned Michigan-based company that provides a range of devices aimed at seniors who want to be able to reach out for help in an emergency with a push of a button. The company has been in business for more than a decade and has already attracted broad attention with its selection of medical alert system devices. Medical Care Alert uses devices manufactured by Bosch, a German company with a global reputation for health care and telecommunications equipment.

In the decade it has been in business, Medical Care Alert has already garnered a reputation for outstanding customer service. The company offers devices and packages for seniors who mostly stay in their homes, seniors who enjoy working in the garden or going for walks in the neighborhood and more active seniors who travel around their state or the country.

HOME

The HOME system offers protection to seniors in and around their residence 24/7. It’s ideal for seniors who want to remain in their homes but still want to be independent. This landline-based system comes with a base station that has a range of 1,000 feet and a 72-hour backup battery in case of an outage. It also includes two wearable buttons that are waterproof and can be worn as a wristband or pendant. It does not come with a cellular option and is only available to those with a landline.

HOME-3G

This is the cellular version of the plan mentioned above. It again includes a base station but does not need a landline as it works on a cellular connection. It still has a water-resistant help button, a 1,000-foot range and a three-day backup battery. Fall detection can be purchased for an additional $10 a month.

HOME & YARD

This device is designed for seniors who want the ability to signal for help when they are outside of their main residence, perhaps gardening, sitting on the front porch or picking up the newspaper or mail. This is also a landline-based system, but it includes a pendant with a two-way speaker built into the device.

While seniors need to be within 600 feet of the base station, if they need help, they can push the button and speak to someone through the pendant. Fall detection is not available with this device.

HOME & AWAY ELITE

This device relies on AT&T cellular service. Anywhere an AT&T phone can get a signal, the Medical Care Alert device works. It has a two-way speaker and help button and can be worn in the shower. Best of all, it includes GPS location services and has a battery life of 36 hours. Seniors can purchase fall detection for an additional $10 a month.

HOME & AWAY PRIMO

The difference between this all-in-one mobile device and the one above is that the HOME & AWAY PRIMO has better location tracking capabilities that include GPS and Wi-Fi. Also included is Track and Find, which allows family members or caregivers to find the location of a senior’s Medical Care Alert device. It’s an ideal device for seniors with memory problems who may wander away from home or caregivers from time to time. It has a longer battery life and only needs to be charged once every four days.

Features Table

HOME HOME-3G HOME & YARD HOME & AWAY ELITE HOME & AWAY PRIMO
Device In-home In-home In-home Mobile Mobile
Connection Landline Cellular Landline Cellular Cellular
Battery 72-hour backup 72-hour backup 24-hour backup 36-hour charge 96-hour charge
Wear in the shower Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Range of signal 1,000 feet 1,000 feet 600 feet Not Applicable Not Applicable
Fall detection $10 a month $10 month None $10 month None

Plans and Pricing

Medical Care Alert plans cost a bit more than some competitors but seniors can save money on them if paying annually.

  • HOME is $29.95 month when paid monthly, quarterly or semiannually. The annual subscription works out to be $27.95 month or about $330.
  • The price for HOME-3G is $34.95 a month when paid monthly, quarterly or semiannually. Those who subscribe annually pay $385, saving about $3 a month.
  • The HOME & YARD plan costs $34.95 a month when paid for monthly, quarterly or semiannually. An annual subscription saves around $3 a month or $385.
  • The HOME & AWAY ELITE is $39.95 a month. The bill for the annual version of the plan is $440, which is equivalent to $36.62 per month.
  • The HOME & AWAY PRIMO plan is also $39.95 a month or $440 when paid annually.

There are no additional fees for the devices themselves as the cost is included in the monthly subscription. There is no cancellation fee, and those who pay annually are reimbursed on a prorated basis.

Subscribers can add extras to their plan including lockboxes that allow family members or EMS personnel to enter the home, wall-mounted buttons that can be purchased for $29.95 and fall detection, which can be added to some plans for $10 a month.

Pros and Cons of the Medical Care Alert Systems

Pros

  • The plans come with a price-lock guarantee so the monthly subscription fee never goes up
  • There is a 14-day at-home risk-free trial
  • There is no additional fee for pushing the help button on a regular basis. In fact, Medical Care Alert encourages subscribers to use the button at least once a week to make sure it is still in working order
  • There is no additional cost to add another family member to the HOME or HOME and YARD plans other than the cost of purchasing a new device. The monthly subscription fee covers every family member who wears a device
  • All the operators who take emergency calls for Medical Care Alert are EMT or EMD-certified, the highest standards in the industry. Only operators with a minimum of two years of college or two years of medical service are hired
  • There is no charge to set up or activate the devices
  • No long-term commitments
  • State-of-the-industry customer service

Cons

  • Medical Care Alert plans are more expensive than competitors
  • Operators only speak English and Spanish so seniors who only speak other languages cannot use Medical Care Alert devices
  • Fall detection is not included in the subscription fee and is only available on some of the plans
  • Some customers find the devices uncomfortable
  • Only works in the United States

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Medical Care Alert FAQ

Do I have to purchase a device when I sign up for a plan?

No, the cost of the device is included in the monthly subscription fee. In addition, replacement batteries are free of charge.

Are the devices waterproof?

They aren’t waterproof but are water-resistant, so they can survive use in the shower.

Do Medical Care Alert devices include fall detection?

The HOME, HOME-3G and HOME & AWAY ELITE plans include a fall detection option for $10 a month. Fall detection is not available in the HOME & YARD or HOME & AWAY PRIMO Plans.

If I want to add my spouse to the plan is there an extra charge?

Not with the HOME or HOME & YARD Plans. The only additional cost is adding a new device which is around $30. The monthly subscription fee remains the same. The other three plans require seniors to pay separately for additional users.

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