Medical alert systems, also known as personal emergency response systems (PERS), medical response systems (MRS), or fall buttons offer peace of mind by allowing the wearer of such a device to call for assistance during an emergency. Anyone who is at risk of falling or having a medical emergency would benefit from having such a device. And there are numerous options and prices for the various systems which are available.
One of the most commonly asked questions is whether Medicare pays for the cost of a medical alert system. The answer, unfortunately, isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
Below is a breakdown of options that will help you to cover or defray the costs of a medical alert system.
If you are enrolled in Medicare, then you’re automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A. Without getting into all of the specifics, you can think of Part A as paying for all hospital expenses. In general, it pays for inpatient care, nursing home stays, and hospice or in-home health care.
Unfortunately, Part A doesn’t cover the costs of a medical alert system even though such a system is used in the home. So if Medicare Part A doesn’t cover personal emergency response systems, then you might think that Medicare Part B does.
Medicare Part B is an optional plan and has a monthly fee associated with enrollment. It differs from Part A in that it covers doctor’s visits, x-rays, lab work, medical equipment, and any tests used to diagnose medical conditions.
You might think that Medicare Part B would cover medical response systems since medical equipment is covered. But unfortunately, medical alert systems are expressly excluded from coverage under Medicare Part B. As a result, a Medicare Advantage Plan is the only way to have the costs covered for a medical alert system.
Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C, is a private health insurance plan for those who are members of Medicare Parts A and B. Think of a Medicare Advantage Plan as bundling all of the services of Part A and Part B together along with other services of Part C such as vision, hearing, and dental coverage.
It is here within the Medicare Advantage Plan that you may be able to receive coverage for a medical alert system. But not all Advantage Plans are created equal. Call us today and we’ll walk you through the different Medicare Advantage Plans available to you.
We’ll review all of the options available to find a Medicare Part C plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.