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      August 24, 2019

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  1. Bay Alarm Medical
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Life Fone vs Life Station

Best Medical Alert Systems

To help you find the Best Medical Alert Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Life Fone and Life Station.

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Who has the best Medical Alert Systems? As the US population ages, the need for medical alert systems grows. Given the increasing number of seniors who prefer to "age in place" - living in their own home as long as possible, rather than moving to an independent or assisted living facility for the elderly - it is easy to see why a medical alert system could make the difference between life and death.

Medical alert systems give users the ability to rapidly contact emergency services, typically through a button worn on the wrist or as a pendant around the neck. All it takes is a click of that button to get in touch with an operator who will help determine if a call to emergency medical services is needed. For added peace of mind, a number of companies offer equipment that can automatically detect when the wearer has fallen.

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Best Reviews

2019

Medical Alert System Reviews

4 stars
Life Fone

LIFE FONE Visit Site

Cost:

Starting at $24.95/month

Since 1976, LifeFone has been a part of the healthcare communications industry. With both a A+ rating at the BBB and thousands of independently-verified positive customer reviews, this company continues to offer reliable, effective service through their medical alert systems.

When considering what LifeFone has to offer, you'll see that they have three general packages for their medical alert services:

  • At Home Landline and Cellular: for a monthly fee of $29.95 for landline service and $34.95 for cellular connection, you'll get an in-home base unit and a wristband or pendant help button with a range of 1,300 feet: one of the best in the industry. It also includes a high/low temperature sensor, where help can be automatically summoned if extreme temperatures are detected.
  • At Home and On-the-Go GPS: for a monthly fee of $39.95, you'll get both an in-home base unit and a mobile system that can be used anywhere and that uses AT&T cellular coverage and GPS to determine your location in an emergency. You'll have 600 feet of range from this base station and 350 feet of range from the mobile unit, which can be placed in different parts of your residence when at home to expand your signal coverage and voice range.
  • At Home and On-the-Go GPS with Voice-in-Pendant: for a monthly fee of $46.95, you'll get the same features as the previous package, with the addition of a pendant that includes a two-way speaker. The pendant can also be worn on a belt clip, and it allows you to speak directly to the 24/7 monitoring center in the event that you need help. It should be noted that LifeFone does not recommend this system for those who have trouble hearing; instead they should consider the previously-described medical alert system.

All plans offer discounts if you pay quarterly or annually; look at the bottom of the main pricing page to see those options. Only the annually-paid plans come with free standard shipping on your equipment; however, there was a limited-time promotional offer at the time of our review that included free shipping and a free month of service on all plans, regardless of payment schedule.

LifeFone has a 30-day free trial on all medical alert systems, and you can cancel at any time. If you've prepaid for your service, you will get a refund on any unused amount as soon as your equipment is returned.

The company offers several add-on services, such as daily-check in calls, medication reminders, and location services. Check at the bottom of your desired plan's pricing and information page to see what additional features are included and at what cost. Most plans allow for free monitoring for a spouse, though you may have to pay for the additional help button pendant or wristband. Also, Fall Detection is available on all plans for an extra charge of either $5 or $10 per month, depending on which plan you choose.

With LifeFone, you also have the opportunity to create a customized plan of Emergency Care Instructions with the help of a customer service agent. This plan includes the user's medical history and medications, preferred hospital and physicians, allergies, as well as family members, friends, or neighbors who should be contacted in an emergency. Such information makes it much more likely that you or your loved one will get the right kind of care in a timely fashion, and that first responders will be well-informed when they arrive.

We were glad to see so many customers with good things to say about LifeFone's response to emergency situations. Their monitoring center has a great track record for getting people help quickly as well as informing the family members or friends designated in the Emergency Care Instructions.

In short, LifeFone keeps people safe with a good selection of medical alert systems that are priced fairly and serviced well.

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3 stars
Life Station

LIFE STATION Visit Site

Cost:

Starting at $25.95/month when paid annually

LifeStation is based in New Jersey and has been in business for 14 years. They offer both landline- and cellular-based medical alert systems, along with Fall Detection if desired.

Unfortunately, you can only get pricing on non-landline medical alert systems if you call a representative; LifeStation could improve their ability to compete with other services by being more transparent with all of their systems and prices right on their website.

We did speak with a very knowledgeable customer service representative. We like that their reps do not work on commission, which makes it less likely that callers will be pushed to commit to a plan. Between the representative and the website, here is the available information for LifeStation's plans:

  • In-Home: landline required. Base unit plus button wristband or pendant. 500 foot range. Fees range from $25.95/month to $29.95/month, depending on whether you choose annual, quarterly, or monthly payment plans. Fall Detection can be added for an extra fee.
  • Enhanced Location with GPS: necklace has two-way speaker to communicate with the monitoring center. We were given a quote that included Fall Detection, priced at $42.95/month if paid annually, $44.95/month for quarterly, and $46.95 if we paid month to month.

LifeStation does offer a 30-day trial period, where you can return the equipment and get a full refund if you're not satisfied with any part of the service. However, if you choose a prepaid plan and cancel after the first 30 days, you will not be eligible for a refund of your prepaid fees. This is also true if the user no longer needs the service, so we suggest you consider carefully before committing to a quarterly or annual plan if there's any chance that you may not use the medical alert system for the full three months or year.

The rep we spoke with gave us a "limited time offer" of $29.95 per month on the Enhanced Location system, but we would have had to give them a credit card over the phone to hold the price until making a decision. Without having that pricing in writing, we were hesitant to give them that kind of information.

Looking at many of the complaints filed with the BBB, it's a good thing we didn't: several people report being asked to provide a credit card "to hold the special pricing", and they were charged for the plan/medical alert system even though they never called back to authorize it. LifeStation has an A+ rating with the BBB and seems to respond - using a copy/paste response - to the complaints.

On a positive note, a plus offered by LifeStation is 24/7 customer service. While all medical alert services have 24/7 monitoring for emergency response, these operators aren't necessarily able to help users with technical issues like getting a GPS unit to track properly or installing a base unit. LifeStation does both: 24/7 monitoring as well as customer service, to make sure their clients can get either kind of help whenever they need it.

LifeStation gets high marks for a good rating with the BBB and round-the-clock customer service. On the other hand, they could improve by adding transparent pricing to their website, as well as by not seeming to play games with using credit cards to hold "special-offer pricing" and then charging customers without their permission.

Visit Site

Continued from above

There are a wide variety of choices when it comes to medical alert systems: some services that have been on the market for many years, and others that are newer to the industry. When shopping around for the right product for yourself or for a loved one, you may find a straightforward, easy-to-use website that clearly explains your options. On the other hand, some companies still rely on pushy sales tactics that won't give you much information unless you speak with a representative.

As you compare the various medical alert systems currently available, there are several aspects to keep in mind:

  • Cost. How much will you spend for equipment and monitoring fees?
  • Variety of Productsand Services. Can you get the coverage you need? Does the business offer upgrades like fall detection?
  • Cellular vs. Landline. If you or your loved one doesn't have a landline, can they still use the system? Or will you need to incur the extra expenses of installing a landline and paying for a phone plan?
  • Ordering Process. Can you easily shop the site and get what you need on your own terms, or will you have to work with a representative in order to start service?
  • Contracts. Will you have to sign a lengthy service contract for the medical alert system? Can you cancel the service if it doesn't meet your expectations or the user no longer needs it?
  • Reputation. What do other customers say about the company, the equipment, the service, and the attitude of company representatives? Does the business have a rating with the BBB?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best medical alert systems on the market today. We hope these reviews give you the information you need to select the medical alert service that will give you or your loved one extra safety and peace of mind.

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