Old age, chronic illnesses, and physical disabilities can have a debilitating impact on the life of an individual. Apart from losing ability to perform tasks that were once taken for granted, you may also be forced to forgo your independence and move to an assisted living facility. Hence, seniors and other individuals with limited mobility look for products that improve the quality of their life. Medical alert systems, also known as personal emergency response systems, have offered several innovative solutions in past few decades.
Medical alert systems provide immediate assistance to individuals with limited mobility. You can connect to a monitoring agent with the click of a button. The agent is trained in emergency dispatch. He analyses you situation and procures help to your doorstep. You will get 24/7 assistance, throughout the year. You can continue to live independently in your home or apartment. Many medical alert system providers offer mobile alerts. You can take these systems with you to the park or the mall. You will receive help anywhere in the United States within a few minutes.
Although the best medical alert systems offer great solutions, they can set you back by almost $40 each month. Some companies charge equipment fees, activation fees, and termination fees as well. This can have a significant impact on the financial situation of seniors and disabled individuals with limited resources. Many of them, therefore, hope that insurance companies, Medicare or Medicaid will pay for their medical alert system.
Medicare and Medicaid
Seniors and many individuals with disabilities are eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or both. These state-run health insurance programs commonly pay for physician visits, inpatient services, and diagnostic tests but do not cover medical equipment such as personal emergency response systems. Some companies claim that Medicare Part B, which is an optional program with monthly premiums and annual deductibles, pays for Durable Medical Equipment (DME) including medical alert systems because:
- They are reusable.
- They benefit injured or seriously ill individuals but are of no use to other people.
- They are appropriate for medical use.
These medical alert system providers require a prescription from your doctor. They also ask you to pay for the product upfront and state that they will reimburse your bill once the company receives money from the insurance. This can be a scam. Talk to the medical alert system provider and Medicare representative to make sure the product is covered by Medicare Part B. If not, you may be stuck with expensive bills each month.
Most private insurance companies do not pay for medical equipment such as medical alert systems even with a prescription from your doctor. While they acknowledge the benefits of the system, insurance providers believe that medical alert systems do not impact your health directly and therefore there is no medical alert system insurance. You may, however, talk to the insurance provider. Very rarely, some of you may receive partial compensation for equipment and service.
Many seniors also have long-term insurance that pays towards home care services of aging and disabled seniors. This includes certain types of DME as well. Since medical alert systems fit all the criteria, your long-term insurance provider may pay for equipment and a part of monthly coverage as well. Call the insurance provider to learn more about your policy before making a purchase.
Social Service Agencies
Your best chance, however, lies with social service agencies supported by the State Departments of Health or Social Services. You may also contact the local Area Agency on Aging. They have several programs to support seniors and disabled individuals with low income and limited resources. They may provide a grant to fund your equipment and monthly bill for a certain period of time.
Many personal emergency response providers also offer discounts and special payment plans to low-income seniors and disabled individuals. They also offer lower monthly coverage price to individuals who pay annually. You may also choose additional services and features according to your requirements and budget.
Medical alert systems offer peace of mind to seniors and disabled individuals living independently. Your loved ones can also relax and go on with their lives without worrying about your safety. You will have access to emergency medical care at all times. You can live alone and maintain your lifestyle in the best possible way.