Medical alert systems’ usefulness as a tool to preserve our loved ones’ lives can’t be overstated. They are a simple, yet powerful tool designed to provide a safety net of sorts, allowing its wearer to have almost instant access to medical and emergency personnel in case of an unexpected event.
The way this medical alert system technology works is pretty straightforward. A bracelet, or button, is continuous with the person, at all times. It is also in constant communication with a receiver or central unit that will immediately patch you through a trained operator ready to contact and dispatch the right type of help with the push of a button.
Like having your very own 24-hour emergency call system, the operator instantly gets notified of your location, medical history, which they can use to update medical teams en-route, improve their chances to provide accurate and efficient care some data on your current status. This is all intended to improve emergency responder’s chances of saving lives.
It is a handy gadget for those people of advanced age, or that have some disability that would make it difficult for them to promptly communicate with a medical response team if the need should strike.
Fires, robberies, accident, and yes, medical emergencies are situations where the device can make a life or death difference. So it stands to reason that many (if not all) health plans should completely or at least partially cover the service’s expenses.
Are Medical Alert Systems Covered in Health Plans?
A senior citizen primarily uses medical alert systems, so I’ll begin by framing this question inside the type of insurance any American aged 65 or more gets access to by law.
These types of gadgets are gaining a lot of popularity over the past few years since they allow the person to retain a certain level of independence and keep living in their homes, while still having access to emergency response care should the need arise.
The problem is that, although no one doubts their effectiveness to help save lives, most insurance companies and most versions of Medicare fail to cover these devices.
One might think that because Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers different kinds of durable medical equipment, medical alert systems should be included. Unfortunately, they are not included in that category. However, in certain instances of Medicare, like private Medicare insurance plans, some Medicare Part C plans might cover them. Check out this comprehensive post by the Medicare Advantage vs Medigap experts at MedicareWire to determine the best choice.
In particular, Medicare Advantage (Part C) may provide medical alert services when primary health-related issues are involved.
As usual with Medicare, navigating the specifics of what is and isn’t covered might be complicated, but some online resources can assist you in that regard.
What about Private Insurance?
Once again, even in the case of Private Insurance, when you ask “are medical alert systems covered in health plans?” the answer is most likely going to be no. It is how most common insurance policies have yet to update and keep up with modern medical technology.
However, some policies – especially those with long-term care insurance – will offer reimbursement if the patient’s circumstances merit it. If the medical alert system’s purchase were made at the behest of a doctor’s recommendation, they would most likely reimburse the services’ costs.
Medical alert systems are just another way technology helps transform and prolong our lives by making emergency medical support even more readily available.
Many of our insurance setups are yet to catch up with the tech implementation, but as the intervention of these devices saves more and more lives, it is to be expected that they will become more popular and start being covered by them.