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Free Medical Alert Systems
We get a lot of questions from folks looking for a free medical alert system. In fact, many people consider our medical alert systems as free because they don't have to pay for the equipment. And while that is true, you don't have to pay for the equipment, that does not mean the medical alert service is free. Our clients pay a monthly fee (around $1 a day, depending on the features) for the medical alert monitoring service, and we provide the equipment for them to use at no cost.
So how do you qualify a free medical alert system?
Below are some resources that may be able to help you qualify for a free medical alert system, or help with some of the costs. PLEASE NOTE: Our company does not provide no-cost medical alert systems - we provide the equipment for use at no charge, but you still pay for the monthly monitoring fee. Please do not call us to request a no-cost system as we do not offer them. The resources below are options you may be able to explore:
LifeLine Free Phone Program
LifeLine is a federal government program for qualifying low-income consumers designed "to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services."
The Lifeline discount can lower or eliminate the cost of your monthly phone bills. Only one discount is available per household, either landline or wireless, but not both. To qualify for LifeLine, seniors will likely have to be on some form of government assistance, such as:
- Food Stamps, SNAP
- Supplemental Social Security
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
Visit LifelineSupport.org to see if you qualify and to find participating companies in your state. By qualifying for a free landline phone line, you can connect our HOME medical alert system to the phone line and get emergency help at the touch of a button.
Free Medical Alert Systems for Veterans
There are a few options for veterans looking for a free medical alert system, but these will typically be basic systems with no advanced features like automatic fall detection or GPS tracking. Also, most free veterans medical alert systems will only dial family or 911 and are not monitored by a dedicated medical alert monitoring center.
For those veterans or their families who opt to pay for their own medical alert system, Medical Care Alert offers significant discounts for veterans - just ask for a "Veteran's Discount" when calling us at 1-877-913-3680.
Veterans Administration Free Medical Alert System
Veterans wondering "does the VA offer a free medical alert system" do have an option. The VA offers a free phone dialer that serves as a medical alert system for veterans. The hardware is almost identical to our HOME & YARD medical alert system with one important difference - the system provided by the VA is NOT monitored.
The free medical alert system from the VA merely is programmed with three or four phone numbers and will dial them in the event of an emergency. Users are cautioned that some states prohibit programming 911 into a system like this - check your local laws. With our monitored medical alert system, we alert life safety EMS responders directly from our Emergency Response Center, getting you the fastest response.
We do not supply the free VA medical alert system - you need to contact the VA Veterans Administration directly to see if you are eligible for this service.
While the VA does not directly reimburse for the cost of a medical alert or Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), your out-of-pocket expense can count as an "un-reimbursed medical expense" for the purposes of qualifying for Aid and Attendance benefits. This can potentially help you to qualify for the maximum Aid and Attendance benefit payment. In 2022, qualifying veterans and their spouses could be eligible for up to $2,431.00 per month to help cover the costs of elder care assistance.
You will have to evaluate if the free VA system is the best medical alert system for your needs. Because it only calls 911, it may not be suitable for veterans who have difficulty speaking or providing emergency contact information.
Private Insurance Free Medical Alert System
Most private health insurance companies will deny coverage and not pay for a medical alert system. They do not consider a Personal Emergency Response System as a "medical necessity" and will not cover the claim.
In the rare cases where an insurance company will pay for a medical alert system, we find they are slow to approve the billing which will delay your shipment to receive the system. Check with your private medical health insurance company to see if they will cover the cost, or reimburse you, for a free medical alert system.
The Insurance companies will want the Personal Emergency Response System Procedure Code, which for most insurance companies is "S5161".
The cost of a Medical Alert System is considered as an eligible medical expense which can be paid for with funds in a Health Savings Account (HSA) and/or Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Your insurance carrier may ask for a prescription or primary care doctor's note stating the need for the "personal emergency response system".
Medical Care Alert can bill your insurance company directly with their prior authorization and a primary care provider doctor's prescription, or work with you to provide the documentation you will need for reimbursement. In either case, we will ship your system once payment is received.
We have direct relationships with several insurance providers, including:
- Crystal Run Health Care (NY)
- Commonwealth Care Alliance (MA)
- Michigan Complete Health (MI)
Michigan Auto No-Fault Insurance Personal Emergency Alert System
Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) are covered under Michigan's Auto No-Fault Insurance with authorization or script from your primary care physician (PCP). We'll need a copy of the script, along with all insurance information including the name of the case manager, policy number and claim number. Ask your Case Manager send to Medical Care Alert along with this Auto No-Fault Intake Form for easy processing. We will take care of direct billing to the insurance company that manages the claim.
The cost of a Personal Emergency Response Medical Alert System is considered as an eligible medical expense to prevent re-admissions, is at risk of falling, or if the patient has traumatic brain injury (TBI). Your insurance carrier will ask for a prescription or primary care doctor's note stating the need for the "Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)" or "Medical Alert System".
Medicaid or Medicare Free Medical Alert System
Medical alert systems or personal emergency response systems (PERS) are NOT covered by Medicaid or Medicare. However, with a Medicaid Waiver or certain Medicare Advantage plans you may be able to obtain a free medical alert device system.
- Medicaid Waiver Check with your case worker, or local Area Agency on Aging to obtain a Medicaid Waiver for medical alert systems. Some counties and municipalities may provide Medicare waivers for free medical alert systems, which are generally reimbursed after the fact.
- Medicare Advantage While Medicare does not provide payment coverage for personal emergency response systems, check with Medicare Advantage plans in your area (those that provide Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, and possibly Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage). Some Medicare Advantage plans may pay for your Medical Care Alert personal emergency response system as an additional benefit. Call your Medicare Advantage plan company's Member Services department for more information.
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.
The Elderly and Disabled Waiver is designed to provide services allowing elderly and/or disabled individuals who would otherwise require care in a nursing facility to live in the community. This waiver is operated by the Alabama Department of Senior Services.
Personal Care Services provides support for about 4,000 Alaskan seniors and individuals with disabilities. PCS is provided statewide in Alaska, the administration of the PCS program is overseen by the PCS Unit of Senior and Disabilities Services, Department of Health and Social Services.
Member-directed options are available to most Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) members who live in their own home.
- Medi-Cal Qualifications
- California Medical Alert Systems for Seniors
- California In-Home Supportive Services
- Medical Care Alert for Florida Seniors
- Nursing Home Abuse Center
- Florida Statewide Managed Long Term Care
- Illinois Home Services Program
- Maine's Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities Waiver
- MaineCare Consumer Directed Attendant Services
Maryland's Department of Aging coordinates with 19 local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) to provide services and programs to its seniors. To see which services are available in your area, find your county below and call the phone number for more information to see if you can qualify for a free medical alert system.
- Allegany County - 301-777-5970
- Anne Arundel County - 410-222-4464
- Baltimore City - 410-396-4932
- Baltimore County - 410-887-2108
- Calvert County - 410-535-4606
- Caroline, Kent & Talbot Counties - 410-778-6000
- Carroll County - 785-242-7200
- Cecil County - 410-996-8435
- Charles County - 301-934-9305
- Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico & Worchester Counties - 410-742-0505
- Frederick County - 301-600-1605
- Garrett County - 301-334-9431
- Harford County - 410-638-3025
- Howard County - 410-313-6410
- Montgomery County - 240-777-3000
- Prince Georges County - 301-265-8450
- Queen Annes County - 410-758-0848
- St. Marys County - 301-737-5670
- Washington County - 301-790-0275
- Maryland Community First Choice Program
- Michigan Auto No-Fault Insurance will pay for a Personal Emergency Response System from Medical Care Alert. If you've been in an auto accident and have an open case number, ask your Case Manager to submit this intake form along with claim number, insurance company contact, and Primary Care Provider (PCP) authorization to have your PERS system covered by insurance.
- Michigan Medicaid does not pay for a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) directly. Michigan residents must be covered by one of two kinds of waivers: MI Choice or MI Health Link.
- MI Choice Medicaid Waivers are administered by your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) or other agency like The Information Center. Tell your case manager you want a PERS system from "Medical Care Alert by American Response Technologies".
- MI Health Link will pay for a PERS System, and is also administered by your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in Michigan regions 1, 4, 7 and 9. Tell your case manager you want a PERS system from "Medical Care Alert by American Response Technologies".
- If you are 55 years of age or older and eligible for nursing home level of care as determined by the State of Michigan you may qualify for a free medical alert system through a PACE agency. PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) can cover many costs, including a Personal Emergency Response System. Medical Care Alert participates with Thome PACE and Huron Valley PACE.
- Additional Michigan Resources are available here.
- Veterans Resource Network of Southeast Michigan
- Michigan Veterans Trust Fund (MVTF): This program will provide emergency assistance to eligible peacetime-era veterans 65 years and older. Veterans interested in applying for the 65+ Peacetime Program should contact the MVTF county committee serving the county they reside in or fill out and submit the emergency assistance form available online at Michigan.gov/MVAAEmergencyAssistance. Veterans can call the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) at 1-800-MICH-VET (1-800-642-4838)
Minnesota DHS licenses certain home and community-based services provided to people with disabilities and those ages 65 and older. Most of the services are funded under one of Minnesota's Medicaid waiver programs: Brain Injury (BI), Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals (CADI), Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI), Developmental Disabilities (DD), and Elderly Waiver/Alternative Care Program (EW/AC).
- Minnesota Area Agency on Aging website MinnesotaHelp
- Minnesota Home and Community Based Services
- Minnesota Personal Care Assistance Program
- The Mississippi Elderly and Disabled (E&D) Medicaid Waiver program is administered by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid's Office of Long Term Care. The E&D Waiver is designed for low income elderly and / or disabled people requiring nursing home level of care, but prefer to remain living at home.
- Mississippi Independent Living Waiver
- The Aged and Disabled Waiver is managed by the Division of Senior and Disability Services within the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, in coordination with MO HealthNet. However, the application processing time is between 45 - 90 days.
- Missouri Consumer Directed State Plan
- Missouri Independent Living Waiver
- New Mexico ADRC (Aging & Disability Resource Center) can get you started.
- Monday-Friday 7:45am-5pm MT
- Toll-Free 1-800-432-2080
- Santa Fe 1-505-476-4846
- TTY 1-505-476-4937
- New Mexico Centennial Care Community Benefit
South Carolina has nine Medicaid waiver programs through the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS). 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 (PERS):
- 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 (ID/RD) Waiver. Contact DDSN Single Point of Entry 1-800-289-7012
- Head & Spinal Cord Injury (HASCI) Waiver. Contact DDSN HASCI Division Information & Referral 1-866-867-3864
- Community Supports Waiver. Contact DDSN Single Point of Entry 1-800-289-7012
- TX Medicaid Waiver Program
- Texas Consumer Directed Services
- Dallas County Health and Human Services. DCHHS Older Adult Services Program offers socializing opportunities and more independence for Dallas County residents 60 years and older. Call 214-819-2000 or visit Dallas County DCHHS Older Adult Services online.
- Salt Lake County Area Agency On Aging (ask for a PERS system from Medical Care Alert) Aging & Adult Services
- Mountainland Area Agency On Aging (ask for a PERS system from Medical Care Alert) Mountainland AAA
- Utah State Plan Personal Care Services
- Vermont's Choices for Care (CFC) Medicaid long-term care program, helps older state residents who require moderate to high levels of care assistance. It helps them to remain living at home. More information is available through the Vermont Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) Adult Services Division.
- Vermont Attendant Services Program
- Vermont Choices For Care (CFC)
- Washington residents can learn about senior elderly service and support options through the Community Living Connections website and toll free phone line. Visit www.waclc.org or call 1-855-587-0252.
- Washington COPES
- Washington Medicaid Personal Care (MPC) Program
Qualifying Wisconsin residents can obtain a Medicaid waiver to cover the costs of a Personal Emergency Response System through the IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) program. Medical Care Alert is an approved provider of PERS systems through the Wisconsin IRIS program.
- Department of Health Services, IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct)
- Wisconsin IRIS Program
Additional listings of resources for free medical alert systems can be found with this list of medical alert companies, including Medical Care Alert. Getting a medical alert system is smart as it provides a lifeline emergency alert to get you help when you need it.
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Read what our customers say
Saved My Life
System with GPS
My experience thus far has been excellent. We accidentally omitted information on the customer agreement, and Customer Service followed up to get everything in order. I appreciate the concern shown to make sure my mother-in-law is treated properly should emergency treatment be needed. We are very relieved that she has this device.
Saved My Life
System with GPS
My Mom was in her 90s and lived alone. I purchased Medical Care Alert and have since not only had piece of mind but the service has been repeating by my Mom. Excellent response and the two way communication has been invaluable when she had a fall and was not injured but needed help getting up. Can't say enough positives.
Saved My Life
System with GPS
I am 87 years old and very healthy and independent. However, my beloved family and friends have been after me for several years to order one of these life saving devices. I have to admit, the unit does give me peace of mind. You have a marvelous product that will certainly be of service to many senior people. Thank you again for your kindness.