Does UnitedHealthcare Cover Life Alert?

In this article...
  • Some Medicare Advantage plans may cover Life Alert or other personal emergency response systems (PERS). Find out if UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans in your area offer systems like Life Alert.

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Medical alert systems such as Life Alert can be invaluable to seniors, particularly those who wish to retain their independence and age in place rather than moving to a retirement home or assisted living facility. But these devices can get expensive. They usually have an upfront cost as well as a monthly monitoring fee.

While Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) doesn't typically cover Life Alert or similar personal emergency alert devices, some privately sold Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans may cover some or all of the cost of a medical alert system. 

Compare UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans near you that may cover Life Alert systems. You can request a free plan quote online, or you can call to get help from a licensed insurance agent.

What Is Life Alert?

Life Alert is a medical alert system that consists of a wearable help button linked wirelessly to a device in your home that connects to an emergency response call center. If you suffer a fall or any other type of medical emergency, you can simply hit the button.

This can be life-saving in a situation where you aren't physically able to reach your phone to call 911. The call center will dispatch a medical team to your home. You can also use the device if you feel you're in danger for any other reason, such as an intruder in your home.

While Life Alert might be the most recognizable brand of medical alert system thanks to its ubiquitous marketing efforts, it is far from the only option. Many competing brands offer the same capabilities and more. Before choosing a device, it is a good idea to compare features and determine which model your Medicare plan covers.

Does UnitedHealthcare Cover Life Alert?

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans, offered in partnership with AARP, may not cover the specific Life Alert brand. Some UnitedHealthcare plans, however, may cover devices from Lifeline, another brand of medical alert system.

Lifeline products offer similar features to Life Alert plus several additional capabilities.

Are Other Medical Alert Systems the Same as Life Alert?

Most medical alert systems have the same basic capabilities, but some have features that others lack. Before purchasing a medical alert system — or choosing a Medicare Advantage plan specifically because it pays for one — it is a good idea to compare its features to other models and make sure it does what you need it to.

Because Lifeline products are covered by some UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans, it might be useful to compare them side by side with the Life Alert system.

The table below compares the features and benefits available from Lifeline products and the Life Alert wearable device.

Feature

Philips Lifeline

Life Alert

Water-resistant

Yes

Yes

Wearable technology

Yes

Yes

Landline connectivity

Yes

Yes

Wireless connectivity

Yes

Yes

Two-way voice capability

Yes

Yes

Fall detection

Yes

No

Location detection

Yes, on mobile devices via GPS

Yes, on mobile devices via GPS

House key lockbox

Yes

No

Medication dispenser

Yes

No

How Much Does a UnitedHealthcare Plan That Covers Life Alert Cost?

The average cost of a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plan that covers a medical alert system can vary.

  • Some Medicare Advantage plans may offer $0 monthly premiums, though you may still need to pay your monthly Medicare Part B premium.

  • Some plans may cover medical alert system purchase or rentals, with coinsurance, copayments or deductible amounts that can vary.

  • Some plans may offer an annual allowance that you can use towards qualified medical devices, which may include a medical alert device.

  • Some plans may not cover medical alert devices at all.

The Cost of Life Alert and Other Medical Alert Systems Without Insurance Coverage

If your Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan doesn't cover a medical alert system, there may be models available with low up-front and monthly monitoring costs. Before buying one, however, you should understand its features and capabilities and make sure it offers the security and protection you need.

The table below lists the upfront and monthly costs of several popular medical alert systems if you don't have insurance coverage.

Product

Up-front cost

Monthly monitoring fee

Life Alert

$200

$49.95

Lifeline HomeSafe Standard

$50

$29.95

LifeStation In Home Medical Alert System

Tax and shipping

$32.95

Medical Guardian Classic Guardian

Tax and shipping

$29.95

Lively Mobile+

Tax, shipping and fees

$24.99 (+ optional $9.99 per month for fall detection)

Bay Alarm Medical SOS Home Basic

Optional fall detection for additional $30 fee

$24.95


Learn more about whether UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans in your area cover Life Alert or a similar device. You can compare plans online for free or get help by calling to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

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