If you are a senior, or you have a health condition that should be monitored, a medical alert system covered by Medicare can save you money. Statistics show that after the age of 65, six out of ten people will visit a hospital emergency room because of a fall.
Other benefits of medical alert systems include:
✔ Lowered anxiety and confidence in fall detection systems
✔ Faster access to help in a medical emergency
✔ Better communication about your health to friends and family
This article tells you how to find out if your medical alert system is covered by Medicare. If your doctor doesn't accept Medicare, ask for a referral to a clinic who will. You can also find a Medicare physician yourself.
Take note: enrolment for Medicare runs annually from October 15 to December 7.
What does each Medicare plan cover?
|A - Hospitalization and inpatient cover||B - Medical and outpatient treatment||C - Medicare Advantage Plan (paid)||D - Cover for prescription drugs|
|Inpatient hospital care||Provider services||Dental||HIV/AIDS drugs treatment|
|Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care||Durable medical equipment (DME)||Vision||Antidepressants|
|Home health care||Ambulance services||Hearing||Antipsychotic drugs treatment|
|Hospice care||Home health services||Row 3 - Cell 2||Anti-convulsive drugs for seizures|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||Mental health services||Row 4 - Cell 2||Immunosuppressant drugs|
|Row 5 - Cell 0||Therapy services||Row 5 - Cell 2||Anti-cancer drugs if they are not included in part B|
|Row 6 - Cell 0||Lab tests and X-Rays||Row 6 - Cell 2||Most vaccines|
|Row 7 - Cell 0||Services of a Chiropractor in the case of subluxation of the spine||Row 7 - Cell 2||Row 7 - Cell 3|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||Certain prescription drugs||Row 8 - Cell 2||Row 8 - Cell 3|
Look out for more details of each plan on the Medicare website. Durable medical equipment (DME) coverage can cover certain medical alert systems.
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What type of Medicare cover do you have?
Medicare has four health care plans, each outline above.
Medicare Plan A and B don’t appear to provide free life alert systems for seniors, or for anyone with a health condition who might want one.
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, can offer cover for select medical alert systems.
Medicare Advantage covers everything in Medicare Original such as crutches, wheelchairs and walkers, and additional treatments. This plan might give you all or some help towards the cost of a medical alert system.
If you have Medicaid and your state uses Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) there may be a free medical alert system available for your condition. In the program’s list of care provisions it does have personal emergency response systems.
Are there free medical alert systems for seniors?
There are no free medical alerts for seniors with Medicare, but if you're a veteran the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will give you a free medical alert system. They cover the costs of devices supplied by LiveLife Personal Alarms or MedEquip Alert.
If you're not covered as a veteran, get in touch with your local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA). They don’t give free medical alert systems themselves, but they will recommend other agencies that can advise you on how to apply for financial aid.
You should also contact providers of alert systems because they sometimes give away a free medical alert device.
For example Assistive Technology Services give away medical devices to people on a low income. Medical Care Alert has a long list of states giving away free medical alert systems to seniors or the disabled.
Only the Medicare Advantage Plan and the Medicaid HBCS Waiver give either whole or partial cover for a medical alert system.
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Freelance Healthcare Copywriter at Bluebean Copywriting