Medical emergency response systems can provide peace of mind and a sense of security for older individuals or those who are wary of falling or suffering from a serious medical complication. Life Alert is one of the most popular systems on the market, and it is commonly used to allow people to continue living independently. Many Medicare recipients who qualify for their coverage based on age or disability appreciate Life Alert’s response features.
What is Life Alert?
Life Alert is known as an emergency response system and is also sometimes called a Personal Emergency Response System, or PERS. This device can be worn around a user’s neck or placed on their wrist, allowing for convenient access in case of an emergency.
A button is located on the product, which instantly connects the individual to an emergency call center if it is pressed. The representative in the call center can then assess the situation, gather information, and send the appropriate response team. Medical emergency response systems allow users to get in contact with emergency medical or fire services. Additionally, the PERS products allow for communication for non-emergency situations as well.
This type of emergency system can be very beneficial for individuals that live alone or who are disabled. Having medical services available at the touch of a button allows these people to avoid entering a nursing home or needing a full-time caregiver by their side.
What Medicare Coverage Options are Available for Life Alert?
In most cases, Original Medicare plans do not provide coverage for medical alert systems. Medicare coverage is often only provided for services or supplies that are deemed to be medically necessary. Medicare insurance makes the argument that these devices are not necessary for health and that care facilities or in-home care can provide similar benefits.
Medicare Advantage plans are required to provide at least the same benefits as Original Medicare, but many offer additional coverage. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, the benefits included in the plan may cover the cost of an emergency response system or PERS. However, Medicare coverage varies on a case-by-case basis, so you should be sure to contact your Medicare Advantage plan directly to confirm whether or not your plan’s benefits will cover this cost.
If neither your Original Medicare nor Medicare Advantage plans cover the cost of Life Alert, there are other options that may help with the cost of these devices and the associated medical services. Some agencies are run by the state or local entities and may provide a discount. The price of this service can vary, but often ranges from between $20 and $40 per month. There may be initial setup or activation fees as well.
Now, even if you do not have any coverage for these devices or the services they provide, you can be sure that Medicare will provide coverage for any necessary ambulance transportation or medical services that are needed in case of an emergency.
Life Alert provides a great service that can help individuals maintain their independence and offers them assurance that they will be able to reach out for medical assistance in case of an emergency. While these systems are not always covered by Medicare insurance, they can provide an invaluable service for some individuals and can be beneficial in a variety of ways.