Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Life Alert?

In this article...
  • Life Alert can help you contact emergency services if you're hurt or sick. Find out whether Blue Cross Blue Shield covers Life Alert and similar products.

Life Alert is a type of personal emergency response system (PERS). PERS products come with a personal alarm, often a pendant or wristband, that the owner can press if they fall or experience a medical emergency. Pressing the button alerts the emergency services to assist, and some products also alert a nominated caregiver or primary doctor.

Life Alert systems can provide excellent peace of mind for many seniors and ensure you get help quickly if the unexpected happens. While Original Medicare (Parts A and B) don't cover Life Alert, some Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans may cover personal emergency response systems like Life Alert. Compare plans available where you live to find out what they cover, and find the right fit for you.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Life Alert?

Whether your Blue Cross Blue Shield plan covers Life Alert depends on your policy and which company you buy it from. Some Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Medicare Advantage plans may cover a free PERS system and regular monitoring through Blue Cross Blue Shield providers.

However, your plan may include a system from a different provider to Life Alert. For example, some Medicare Advantage Plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield California include a LifeStation system as a benefit. This system has similar features to Life Alert products and comes at no extra cost if your plan includes it. You won't need to meet any eligibility criteria to receive this benefit if you qualify to enroll in the plan itself.

Does Medicare Cover Life Alert?

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) is unlikely to cover Life Alert or a comparable system. Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans combine your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits into a single plan, and most Medicare Advantage plans cover additional benefits Original Medicare doesn't, such as dental, prescription drugs, vision, hearing aids and more.

Medicare Part B covers some durable medical equipment (DME). Life Alert doesn't meet the description of durable medical equipment because it doesn't treat a medical condition. Therefore, people enrolled in Original Medicare only will usually have to purchase their own system out-of-pocket.

Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Life Alert?

Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to Original Medicare. Approved private companies sell these policies and may include benefits beyond the scope of Original Medicare. Many Medicare Advantage policies come with benefits such as hearing and dental care, and they may also include PERS coverage for a Life Alert system or a similar alternative.

You may also be entitled to a free alert system if you have a Medigap policy. Unlike Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap policies fill some coverage gaps to supplement Original Medicare.

Coverage of Life Alert systems varies widely across different policies and providers. Therefore, you should consult your policy documents to determine if a free PERS is a covered benefit.

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