Does Anthem Cover Life Alert?
- A Life Alert system can help seniors stay safe at home. Find out whether Anthem covers Life Alert and which policies include medical alert systems as a benefit.
Many older adults prefer to live at home instead of entering a residential setting if they develop a health condition that increases their risk of an emergency. However, worrying about falls or medical events can be a barrier to maintaining an independent lifestyle in later life. A personal emergency response system like Life Alert can help you stay safe and feel more confident by allowing you to call for help in an emergency by pressing a button on a bracelet or pendant.
Many seniors feel that their Life Alert systems are essential for their safety and security, but not all insurers include these systems as a benefit. If you're an Anthem enrollee, you may be wondering whether Anthem covers Life Alert.
Does Anthem Cover Life Alert?
Whether Anthem covers Life Alert (or a similar product) depends on your policy type. Typically, Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) plans purchased through Anthem don't include personal emergency response systems as a covered benefit. Anthem's Medicare Part D plans don't include Life Alert because they only cover medically necessary prescription drugs.
However, some Anthem Medicare Advantage plans cover a personal emergency response system, but you may not be able to specify that you want the Life Alert brand. These plans may also include a range of other benefits beyond the scope of Original Medicare, including:
- Fitness facility membership
- Meal delivery services
- Coverage for over-the-counter medications and healthcare products
- Transportation to healthcare appointments
- Telehealth services
Not all Anthem Medicare Advantage policies offer every benefit on this list. You can ask an insurance agent to recommend an Anthem policy that covers Life Alert or another medical alert system if you need one. Alternatively, check your policy documents or contact Anthem directly to find out if you have coverage as an existing enrollee.
Does Medicare Cover Life Alert?
Typically, Original Medicare doesn't cover Life Alert or similar products and services. Medicare Part A covers in-patient services, so it doesn't cover systems designed for home use. Medicare Part B may cover durable medical equipment (DME.) However, DME must be medically necessary and treat or monitor an existing health condition to qualify for coverage, which likely excludes personal emergency response systems like Life Alert.
You might be eligible for personal emergency response system coverage if you have a Medicare Advantage plan from a private insurer. These plans replace Original Medicare and often include benefits excluded from regular Medicare coverage, including products designed to enhance safety and well-being. Furthermore, some companies include Life Alert (or similar) coverage with their Medicare supplemental insurance plans.
If your healthcare insurance doesn't cover Life Alert, you may be entitled to a discount on the cost of your unit. Many insurers offer discounts on certain products and services, including personal emergency response systems.
How Much Does Life Alert Cost Without Insurance?
If your Anthem policy doesn't cover Life Alert, you will have to pay out-of-pocket costs. Life Alert charges a one-off fee of $198, which activates your membership and includes the cost of installing and programming your system. You'll also need to pay a monthly fee for monitoring services. Monthly prices start from around $69.90.