Does Wellcare Cover Life Alert?
- Personal emergency alert systems let seniors signal for help during a medical emergency. Learn how and when Wellcare covers Life Alert or similar systems.
Personal emergency response systems, such as Life Alert, can provide peace of mind for seniors who live alone, letting them easily signal for help if they fall or experience a medical emergency. Unfortunately, in most cases, Wellcare doesn’t cover Life Alert or similar systems because they fall into the category of long-term care and supports. If you’re looking to install Life Alert or another personal emergency response system in your home, and you have medical coverage through Wellcare, here are a few things you should know.
What Is Life Alert?
Life Alert is a personal medical alert system that provides at-home and on-the-road monitoring, quickly connecting users with lifesaving services after a fall or other emergency. Purchasers receive a standard base unit, a waterproof shower button and a small wearable help button with GPS functionality that works throughout the United States. These devices give users access to a two-way communication system, which connects them to a certified monitoring center that can dispatch emergency services and other relevant assistance.
How Does Life Alert Work?
When a Life Alert customer needs help, they simply press the button to be connected with Life Alert’s certified call center, which is available 24/7. Through the device’s two-way communication system, users can request assistance from emergency services, which are dispatched immediately. The user’s designated emergency contact is also called, and a call center operator will stay on the line until help arrives. If the wearable button is pressed while the user is away from home, its GPS feature helps emergency services locate the individual quickly, so help can be dispatched.
Does Wellcare Cover Life Alert?
Because Wellcare only provides coverage through government-sponsored healthcare programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, its coverage rules typically meet or exceed those required contractually by these programs. In some cases, this may include coverage for personal medical alert systems.
Wellcare Medicare Advantage Coverage of Life Alert
Although Original Medicare doesn’t cover Life Alert and other personal medical response systems, Wellcare’s Medicare Advantage plans may provide additional benefits. However, what’s covered by Wellcare varies, depending on the individual policy, and plan availability changes based on where you live. To find out if your Wellcare Medicare Advantage plan covers Life Alert or another type of personal medical response system, reach out to your plan administrator for details on your coverage.
Wellcare Medicaid Coverage of Life Alert
In states where Medicaid services are provided by Wellcare, Life Alert may be covered if a Medicare-approved physician deems it medically necessary. Typically, to qualify for a personal alert system under Medicaid, an individual must live alone and require regular supervision due to a health condition. To find out whether your Wellcare Medicaid plan covers Life Alert or another type of personal medical response system, reach out to your local Medicaid benefits office.
Does Wellcare Offer a Discount on Life Alert?
No, Wellcare doesn’t offer a discount on Life Alert. However, members of certain Wellcare plans may be eligible to receive discounts on personal medical alert systems from LifeStation, which offers similar services to Life Alert.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Life Alert?
Prices for Life Alert aren’t listed on the company’s website. However, the cost of a Life Alert system can typically be broken down into three components:
- An upfront equipment fee
- A one-time activation fee
- A monthly subscription charge
Costs vary depending on the subscription type and the number of buttons purchased, and buyers may be required to sign a multi-year contract. Interested seniors can find out more about Life Alert costs by requesting a free brochure at (800) 360-0329.
Can I Get Financial Assistance to Help Cover the Cost of Life Alert?
If your healthcare insurance doesn’t cover personal medical alert devices, you may be able to get financial assistance to cover some or all of the cost of Life Alert or a similar system through the following channels:
- Long-term care insurance: If you have long-term care insurance, your coverage may include the cost of a personal medical alert system, such as Life Alert. However, depending on the policy, you may need to meet certain criteria before reimbursement is approved.
- Veterans’ programs: Although the S. Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t cover Life Alert, eligible veterans may qualify for a free medical alert system through MedEquip Alert or LiveLife Personal Mobile Alarms. However, veterans whose benefits include TRICARE for Life may receive full or partial coverage for Life Alert.
- Local non-profit organizations: Many organizations throughout the United States offer resources to seniors who wish to continue to live independently. To find local resources, reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging.
Where Can You Purchase Life Alert?
Life Alert is only sold by its manufacturer. Individuals who wish to purchase this system should visit the company's website or call them directly at (800) 360-0329.