What Does the Cost of Medical Alert Systems Say About their Quality?

The cost of medical alert systems can be confusing – especially for those just beginning their research. Some systems cost over $100 per month, while others have only a flat fee of around $100. What do these prices say about the devices?

In most cases, drastic price differences can indicate different services. If a medical alert system comes with a monthly fee, that means the device is monitored. If the button only has a one-time fee, it is unmonitored. Below, we’ll unpack the differences between these terms. But, if you’re looking for a quick answer, monitored alert systems are the safest, and Alert1 provides some of the best devices you can find.

Monitored vs. Unmonitored Alerts

There are two types of medical alert devices. The cost of medical alert systems depends on which service is offered: Monitored or unmonitored.

·         An unmonitored medical alert system is one that connects the user directly to 911. There is no call operator on the phone, and there is no Circle of Care. These devices can only be used in an emergency. The cost of medical alert systems that are not monitored is often quite low. This is because users pay only for the device itself – there is no additional service. Think of these buttons as direct lines to your local emergency department.

·         A monitored medical alert system can be used in a wider array of situations. When you press your button, a trained call operator comes on the line to help you decide who to contact. Plus, Alert1 operators will stay on the phone with you until help arrives, ensuring a safer and more comfortable experience amidst an emergency. These devices incur a monthly cost, as the service provided is ongoing, robust, and personal.


To be as transparent as possible, we want potential members to know that unmonitored medical alert systems are the cheaper option. The one-time cost means you will only ever spend a couple hundred dollars for the device. While most monitored systems allow folks to use their devices without a materials cost, the service itself is billed monthly. Those using the lowest-cost option from Alert1 should expect to pay around $240 for a year of service.

Unsurprisingly, however, this low cost comes at a price. Unmonitored medical alert systems can be dangerous. They are often unreliable. Because they connect users directly to 911, they are less likely to be used in situations that aren’t outright emergencies. Those relying on unmonitored alert systems in a moment of crisis are less likely to get the help they need. On the other hand, a monitored alert system guarantees a better, more comfortable experience – you’ll get the help you need when you experience an emergency. In this case, the cost of medical alert systems translates directly to your service. 

Choose Alert1 for Your Monitored Care Needs

All devices Alert1 offers are monitored. This means that, when you press your button, you will be connected to a call center operator. This person will then either contact emergency services or put you in touch with a person in your Circle of Care.