Experts recommend medical alert systems for individuals who need extra protection and quick access to emergency services, such as people recovering from surgery or those living with a chronic medical condition.

Cost: $29.95 per month for the GPS Help Button or SOS smartwatch; $39.95 per month for an at-home and on-the-go bundle.
Fall detection: $10 per month
Activation Fee: No
Equipment Fee: GPS Help Button is $79 and SOS Smartwatch is $159
Contract Required: No

Cost: $39.95 per month for Mini and Mobile; $44.95 per month for Active Guardian 
Fall detection: $10 per month
Activation Fee: No 
Equipment Fee: No, unless you purchase the Mini Guardian or Mobile 2.0 for a $124.95 one-time fee
Contract Required: No

Cost: $33.95 to $44.95 per month
Fall detection: $10 per month
Activation Fee: No
Equipment Fee: No
Contract Required: No

Cost: $49.95 per month for the GoSafe 2 w/GPS
Fall detection: Yes
Activation Fee: $19.95 for self-installation or $99 for technician installation
Equipment Fee: On the Go one-time fee of $99.95
Contract Required: No

Cost: $37.95 to $43.95
Fall detection: $5 per month
Activation Fee: For some packages 
Equipment Fee: No
Contract Required: No

Cost: $24.95 to $45.95
Fall detection: $5 to $10 per month, depending on the plan
Activation Fee: No
Equipment Fee: No
Contract Required: No

Cost: $24.99 to $39 per month depending on the subscription package 
Fall detection: $10 per month
Activation Fee: $35 
Equipment Fee: $49.99
Contract Required: No

GPS capabilities allow an operator at the monitoring center or an identified emergency contact to identify your precise location even if you can’t respond.

Range of affordable medical alert devices offer comparable prices to the discounted brands

What is a GPS Medical Alert?

Global Positioning System, or “GPS” provides positioning, navigation, and timing data, according to GPS.gov. When used with a GPS-enabled medical alert device, the device receives signals from GPS satellites that transmit information to calculate your location. This allows call centers or loved ones to accurately determine your location when you activate the help button. GPS technology also provides a history of where you’ve been while wearing the medical alert device, which is helpful for people using unmonitored medical alert systems. 

What are the benefits of having GPS in a medical alert device?

If you spend a lot of time away from home or in your yard, a medical alert device with GPS is a good idea. A traditional medical alert device with a base station is designed for at-home use. This type of device has a limited range from the base station. If you leave your home (outside of the range), the help button is no longer able to connect with the monitoring center. However, if you have a medical alert system with GPS, you can use the help button at home and on the go. A mobile device with GPS can connect with the monitoring center via a cellular system, and the call center operator or a loved one will know your exact location.

What is the typical return policy for medical alert systems with GPS?

The return policy for medical alert systems with GPS depends on the manufacturer. Some companies, such as MobileHelp, Bay Alarm Medical, and LifeFone, offer a 30-day, money-back guarantee, while others will charge you for the current month even if you decide to cancel. The good news is all of the systems featured above can be canceled and returned without penalty.

Does Medicare cover medical alert systems with GPS?

In general, Medicare Part A and Part B do not provide coverage for medical alert systems. Therefore, the costs associated with medical alert systems are generally out-of-pocket. However, if you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may want to call the benefits department and ask about coverage. Medicare benefits vary by state, so it’s worth your time to research your particular plan before purchasing a medical alert system.

How fast are the emergency response times for medical alert systems with GPS?

Response times for medical alert systems with GPS vary and depend on the monitoring center. On average, the response time may be up to 60 seconds from the time the user activates the help button.

Resources:

Facts About Falls. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021).
https://www.cdc.gov/falls/facts.html

Aging in Place: Growing Older at Home. National Institute on Aging. (2017).
https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/aging-place-growing-older-home#support

The Global Positioning System. U.S. Space Force. (n.d.).
https://www.gps.gov/systems/gps/