Does Medicaid Cover Medical Alert Systems


$30 Per Month $179 For Equipment

Investopedia Video: Medicare Vs. Medicaid

Tech-savvy users might think you can simply use any smartwatch as a medical alert. After all, you’re always wearing it anyway, and you can use it to make emergency calls. But a dedicated medical alert smartwatch is different — it allows you to simply press an SOS button and get quick access to a 24/7 emergency dispatch center or call your caregivers.

Some medical alert smartwatches require a smartphone, but the Bay Alarm SOS Smartwatch is functional all on its own. It has two-way calling, so if you press the help button, you can talk directly to the dispatcher through the smartwatch . It also features location tracking and a built-in step tracker. The battery life ranges from six to 18 hours, depending on usage, and the device is water resistant with a rating of IP67. Note that it does not come with fall detection, as Bay Alarm says that technology is “simply not accurate enough” for its wrist devices.

In addition to the monthly fee, the SOS Smartwatch costs $179 to own the device outright.

Medicaid Consumer Directed Services

In some states, Medicaid distributes funds to enrollees and allows them to determine how the money should be spent. This is known as the Consumer-Directed Services program or Self-Directed Services program. If you qualify for this program, you may be able to use the funds to pay for a Life Alert system and ongoing monitoring. You’ll have the opportunity to draw up a written service plan and get help from people you trust as you work to determine the best way to use your Medicaid funds.

Pros Of Having A Medical Alert System

  • Minimized anxiety associated with the fear of dropping inside the house when alone
  • Improved comfort knowing that the system is easy to access
  • Much-needed security and protection knowing that with a single press of a button, immediate help will arrive
  • Improved self-assurance in performing normal activities
  • Overall improved quality of life

Read Also: How Can I Check If I Still Have Medicaid

How Do Medical Alert Systems Work

Heres how things work If you buy the basic setup:

As explained earlier, the base unit connects to your landline. The top side of the machine should feature two buttons one labeled help or emergency, and one labeled reset. The machine also should include a speaker and an embedded microphone.

When you press the help or emergency button, the system calls a dispatch center or loved one. Which one depends on if you have a monitored or unmonitored system. If youre able to do so, youll use the included speaker and microphone to talk with the person who answers.

Usually, pressing the machines reset button cancels a call. Thats not always the case, though. With some systems, pressing the reset button silences its alarm but doesnt cancel the current call.

The wearable device that comes with most medical alert systems communicates with the base unit when you press its call button. But, they rarely have microphones or speakers in them. If you arent close to the base unit you wont be able to talk with the person it contacts.

If you buy a more mobile system that includes cellular and GPS technology, itll work a little differently. Wearable call buttons with GPS can send your exact location to emergency personnel.

Also, wearables that can detect falls do so using built-in sensors. They contact a dispatcher, friend, or family member as soon as they notice a fall.

What Medical Alert Services Are Not Covered By Cbsm

Does Medicare or Medicaid Cover Medical Alert Devices or PERS?

The Medicaid fee waivers, do not include the following products or services that may be offered by a medical alert system provider:

  • Sensor or monitoring technology that automatically sends health data to a remote server or person, but is not activated by the wearer
  • Monitoring activities of daily living
  • Digital video equipment
  • Telemedicine monitoring services
  • Equipment used to deliver Medical Assistance services

Moreover, if the patient is on Elderly, Brain Injury or a Community Access for Disability Inclusion waiver and is receiving 24 hours customized support, they are not eligible for any medical alert funding.

Also Check: Can You Apply For Medicaid If You Have Insurance

So Medicare Is Out What Next

Many private insurance companies see medical alert devices as nonessential peripherals, therefore refusing to pay for them. If paying for Medicare parts A and B isn’t affordable enough, there are many options available in your community. There are hundreds of senior assistance programs in place that help seniors with a variety of different expenses, including PERS devices. To find out which services are in place in your area, be sure to contact your local Department of Human Resources. You can also touch base with the Department of Aging Services and similar departments that are tasked with serving the elderly.

What Are The Monitoring Options

Life Alert gives customers several monitor options:

  • a waterproof button to wear either as a pendant or a wristband, which connects to a landline or cell phone
  • a button that the company installs on a bedside table, in a shower stall, or on a wall next to a bathtub or toilet
  • an audio monitoring system that allows the monitoring center to hear activity in the persons home
  • a pendant with GPS that permits authorities to find a person anywhere in the United States
  • speed dial on a cell phone or an app on a smartphone that connects to the monitoring center

Read Also: How Do You Apply For Medicaid In Ny

Will Medicare/medicaid Pay For A Medical Alert Device

One of the many questions those on Medicare or Medicaid ask is whether or not the programs will cover the cost of a fall detection device or other types of medical alert devices, like the Lively GreatCall medical alert. These emergency response system devices are usually worn on a lanyard around the neck or on your wrist and allow senior citizens to contact emergency services if they fall simply by the press of a button. If your system features a fall detection option, then the pendant should automatically call for help if it senses a fall. This can be life-saving in the case where you are unable to get up or reach the telephone. Some can even have location tracking which will allow your family and emergency services to know where to find you.

So, will Medicare or Medicaid pay for medical alert monitoring? The answer is not as straightforward as one would think. Learning about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid can be confusing. Below we break down the different options you have to help pay for a medical alert device.

Medicare Parts A and B

Although Medicare Part B is responsible for medical equipment, neither Medicare Parts A and B will pay for medical alert devices.

To find someone to talk to about Medicare, select the dropdown menu and find your state. The site will list the questions you may have along with the contact information to get the answers you need.

Medicare Part C


Dont Give Up

What To Know About Medicaid

How Many Feet Does Your Medical Alert System Cover? | Bay Alarm Medical

Seniors aged 65 and older can qualify for Medicare. This is the federal health insurance program that covers a variety of health care expenses. There are different parts to Medicare that cover different services.

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care. Medicare Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services. Medicare Part C is a private health insurance plan that contains services from Part A, Part B, and additional benefits. Medicare Part D is optional prescription drug coverage.

Medical alert systems are not typically covered by Part A or Part B, Medicare. Certain Medicare Part C plans may cover medical alert systems in special circumstances.

Also Check: How Can I Print My Medicaid Card

Does Medicaid Cover Medical Alert Systems

Those in need of emergency response systems may wonder: does Medicaid cover medical alert systems? Currently, we are not able to accept Medicare, Medicaid, or any insurance as payment. We encourage our members to contact their health insurance provider to see if their plan will issue a reimbursement for a medical alert system.

Can Private Insurance Cover My Medical Alert System

In some cases, yes, private insurance may cover medical alarms for seniors and other at-risk individuals. But it depends on your insurance provider.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, your private insurance company might cover your medical alert device or service out of necessity. But youll need at least a doctors note to prove your need for one.

For older adults prone to falling injuries, a medical alert device with automatic fall detection can be a lifesaver. Ask your doctor if this is a risk for you.

These conditions increase your risk for falling injuries:2

  • Visual impairments
  • Dementia
  • Parkinsons disease

Learn about how to prevent falls in your home and avoid injuries as you or your loved one ages.

Read Also: Does Medicaid Cover Long Term Care Facilities

Alert1 Medical Alert Systems

As seniors age, they need assurance that they will receive help in a medical emergency. Medical alert systems are designed to give seniors this security. Our systems are connected through home landlines, cellular, or GPS technology to cover seniors wherever they go. Alert1 offers both home and mobile alert systems to fit your needs. These devices can include fall detection, which senses a fall and contacts emergency services in case the senior is unable to.

Does Medicaid cover medical alert systems?

How Can You Pay

Medical Alert Systems Covered by Medicare

Alert1 accepts payment from credit cards, debit cards, and checks through automatic withdrawal. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Those asking, Does Medicaid cover medical alert systems? should know that most PERS providers do not accept payment directly through any insurance plan.

While we cannot accept Medicaid, we want to make your experience with us as good as possible. Ordering a medical alert system is simple. Call our Sales Representatives at 1-800-693-5433 or order securely online.

Recommended Reading: Does Family Planning Medicaid Cover Mammograms

Starting At $40 Per Month $200 For Equipment

Aloe Care Health claims to have “the world’s most advanced medical alert system.” That’s a pretty bold claim, but its system is definitely a more innovative version of the traditional medical alert, while still remaining accessible and easy to use. The Smart Hub allows you to access a 24/7 call center through voice activation, and it automatically monitors the air quality, motion and room temperature.

Like other home-based systems, Aloe Care has a base unit and a wearable help button, and it uses 4G cellular coverage only . But unlike other brands, you don’t have to switch to another device if you want on-the-go coverage as well. You can just opt for the Essentials Plus or Total Care packages, which come with a mobile device that can go anywhere, yet is still compatible with your regular home unit.

Aloe Care’s caregiver app is one of the best around, according to reviewers. It allows your loved ones to check in directly with you and collaborate on your care. Add in other small, but important perks — like a free lockbox for your home valuables, and the ability to amplify sound for the hearing impaired — and this is a great all-in-one medical alert for those that can afford it.

Are Medical Alert Systems Worth The Price

Medical alert systems help many elderly adults feel safe and confident in any setting. If an accident occurs, seniors can press a button and request help. Some medical alert devices even have automatic fall detection, so emergency workers can pinpoint a subscribers location with GPS tracking and rush there to provide appropriate medical care.

Life Alert saves a life every 11 minutes, and other medical alert system providers also have a lengthy track record of helping seniors. Shelling out money for a monthly subscription may seem expensive, but consider the medical expenses associated with an untreated fall or a fall that doesnt receive prompt care. You may find that a medical alert system is worth the price, especially if it helps you or a loved one reduce hefty health-related expenses.

Recommended Reading: Wellcare Of North Carolina Medicaid

How Can I Get Help Paying For A Medical Alert System

Medical alert systems can have several fees, including costs for purchasing the system, initiation fee, and the monthly fee. Some ways you can get financial help with a medic alert system include:

  • Checking if Medicaid will cover costs. If you qualify for Medicaid in your state, some programs may help cover some or all of the costs for a medical alert system.
  • Contacting the company for potential discounts. Some medical alert companies will offer discounts based on income, membership in various organizations, or even through a local hospital.
  • Checking for tax deductions. Sometimes, you can deduct all or a portion of the expenses related to medical alert systems. Check with a tax preparation professional to see if this applies to your situation.

, research indicates that medical alert systems may provide some benefits.

However, there can also be downsides to consider.

Medical alert systems typically consist of three components. These include a help push button, a communication system that is often in the home, and an emergency response center. Some systems may also offer additional features, including fall detection.

Here is an overview of some of the popular types of systems available today:

Can Seniors Receive Financial Assistance For Medical Alert Systems

Best Medical Alert Systems | Medihill®

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging for help locating a senior center near you. Senior centers offer free or reduced meals and socialization opportunities, but some of them also provide grants and scholarships for medical necessities.

You may also find assistance options by contacting your states Department of Mental Health. This agency connects disabled adults with resources for personal care and general living expenses as well as costs associated with health-related essentials.

A veterans affairs office is an option for seniors who previously served in the military or married a spouse who did. Dial 2-1-1 on your telephone for help locating the agencies referenced above as well as other potential options for financial assistance.

Read Also: West Virginia Medicaid Provider Enrollment

Does Insurance Pay For Medical Alert Systems

Insurance coverage for medical alert systems varies. The majority of health insurance providers don’t cover these devices or services, but some do. Long-term care insurance is more likely to cover medical alert systems, but this varies by provider and plan. To find out if your insurance company offers coverage, you can:

  • Visit the plan’s website to review covered services

Below, we’ll review some common types of insurance that seniors have and their medical alert system coverage.

Does Medicaid Cover Life Alert Under The Money Follows The Person Program

Medicaid’s Money Follows the Person program aims to help older adults remain in their own homes or in community settings for as long as possible. The program makes funds available to help Medicaid enrollees receive necessary services and supports, allowing them to maintain their independence and quality of life. As of 2021, 43 states and the District of Columbia participate in this program however, nine states have run out of MFP funding, leaving Medicaid beneficiaries in those states unsure of how they will pay for emergency monitoring and other services.

Recommended Reading: Does Medicare Or Medicaid Pay For Glasses

Free Medical Alert Systems In Each State

Below is our list of State Agencies that may be able to assist you with a free medical alert system – check back often as we will continue to expand this list of free medical alerts. NOTE: During the current crisis, we understand that many state agencies are unable to complete in-home assessments to help qualify new participants for a free medical alert system. We are also learning of long wait lists as funding is limited.

South Carolina has nine Medicaid waiver programs through the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services . Three state agencies are responsible for operating the waivers. Call the South Carolina Healthcare Connection Coordinators at 1-800-578-8750 for details. The following Medicaid Waiver programs will pay for Personal Emergency Response Systems :

  • Community Choices Waiver. Contact DHHS/CLTC Centralized Intake: 888-971-1637
  • Mechanical Ventilator Waiver. Contact DHHS/CLTC Centralized Intake: 888-971-1637
  • Intellectual Disabilities & Related Disabilities Waiver. Contact DDSN Single Point of Entry 1-800-289-7012
  • Head & Spinal Cord Injury Waiver. Contact DDSN HASCI Division Information & Referral 1-866-867-3864
  • Community Supports Waiver. Contact DDSN Single Point of Entry 1-800-289-7012

Medicare Part C Coverage

Does Medicare Cover the Cost of Medical Alert Systems

Seniors who need a medical alert system for medical reasons might be able to get it covered by a Medicare Advantage Plan.2 Some Medicare Part C plans cover 100 percent of the cost, while others only cover a portion. You’ll need to talk with your insurance provider to find out how much they cover and for what medical reasons, and for how long.

The types of medical alert systems a plan might cover include:

  • Alert bracelets or necklaces
  • Cellular medical alert systems with GPS technology
  • Activity tracker systems

Recommended Reading: Is Neighborhood Health Plan Medicaid

How Much Do Medical Alert Systems Cost

It isnt easy to pinpoint exactly how much you might pay for a medical alert system. Thats because companies that sell these systems offer lots of different options and packages.

Still, if youre in the market for one of the more basic systems , expect to pay $25 or so a month.

If you prefer an emergency response system that connects using cellular networks, youll pay a little more $35 to $45 per month.

And if you want a fully mobile system that works anywhere thanks to cellular and GPS technology, expect to spend up to $75 each month.

The monthly fees tied to these systems arent all you have to consider, unfortunately. Here are some of the other fees you may face:

  • Activation
  • Monitored rather than unmonitored service
  • Regular wellness checks or medication reminders

Also, some companies make you sign lengthy contracts. Keep an eye out for those while shopping for one of these systems.


More like this

How Do I Sign Up For Pregnancy Medicaid

Can Uninsured...

Does Medicaid Cover Lo Loestrin Fe

You Are...

Dentist Who Accept Medicaid For Braces

Why Medicaid...