Offering some of the most competitive pricing, Bay Alarm Medical is also one of the best medical alert systems available. It gives you the choice of in-home, 4G, and in-car alert systems, but lets you mix and match bundles if you want protection everywhere.
Bay Alarm Medical makes it easy to buy its protection plans, with a clean website that makes it clear what you pay upfront and what you’ll be paying per month. Pricing is attractive, with in-home monitoring starting at just $19.95, including the hardware, and on-the-go GPS monitoring from just $39.95 per month. There’s free coverage for a spouse living at the same address, too, although you have to purchase an additional alert button to activate this. This all means that Bay Alarm Medical is significantly cheaper than our top pick, Medical Guardian.
Watch out for the warranty, as the standard option doesn’t cover you for hardware replacements even though all of the equipment is leased from the company. An enhanced warranty is available that covers this.
Packages: How much does Bay Alarm Medical cost?
Bay Alarm Medical has specific packages to cover in-home, GPS and in-car protection, plus it offers bundles so that you can get your own mix of protection both in and out of your home. Each package comes with a different range of hardware options, which we look at here.
Bay Alarm Medical review: In-Home Medical Alert
The In-Home Medical Alert system is the basic package that covers your home. The system has been tested to cover 1,000-feet, although that was tested in a field, so the construction of your house is likely to impact this.
The Standard Protection package ($19.95) consists of the In-Home Base Unit, which connects to your landline, although a cellular version is available for an additional $10 a month. Once charged, the internal battery lasts for 32 hours, so you’ve got protection even if there’s a power failure.
This package includes a Personal Help Button, which can be a wrist or pendant, both of which should last for around five years on the integrated battery. Opt for Preferred Protection ($24.95 a month) and you get the addition of two Wall Buttons, which it’s recommended are placed in high traffic areas and low down in places where there’s a slip hazard, such as bathrooms, so that they’re easy to reach. Upgrade to Premium Protection ($29.95 a month) and you get four Wall Buttons and free shipping.
The package can be customized with additional sensors. Fall Detection is available through a necklace for an additional $10 per month. If you want more Wall Buttons, they’re available for $3 a month for one button, $5 a month for two and $10 a month for four.
If you want a spouse to be covered, an additional wrist or necklace costs $34.95 as a one-off fee, and there’s no additional monthly charge.
Bay Alarm Medical review: 4G LTE GPS Help Button
To take protection outside of your home, you need the 4G LTE GPS Help Button. Again, it’s available in three different packages, giving you a different range of hardware. The Standard Protection ($39.95 per month) gives you the GPS alert device, which lasts for 72 hours on a charge.
Upgrade to the Preferred Protection ($49.95 per month) and you get Auto Fall Detection and Caregiver Tracking, where a loved one can use a smartphone app to track their elderly relative’s current location, get low battery alerts and notifications of incidents.
With Premium Protection ($59.95 per month) you get all of that plus the Standard In-Home Medical Alert.
You can further customize the package. Fall Detection can be added on for $10 a month for GPS, if you have a package that doesn’t include this. Likewise, Caregiver Tracking costs $5 a month. For a Spouse, an additional GPS device costs $30 per month.
Bay Alarm Medical review: In-Car Medical Alert
With its In-Car system, you get a GPS-tracked device that sits in your car, providing automatic-crash reporting alongside push-button alerts. The In-Car package costs $29.95 and gives you the standard service.
Upgrade to In-Car + In-Home ($39.95 per month) and you get the Standard In-Home protection as well. For the Full Coverage package ($69.95), you get everything above plus the standard 4G service, too.
These packages can be customized with Wall Buttons and additional wrist and necklace buttons to extend coverage, as listed above.
Bay Alarm Medical review: Bundle and Save
With the Bundle and Save options, you can combine protection inside and outside of your home. The two more expensive packages are the same as the two more expensive In-Car packages, but the In-Home + GPS option ($49.95 per month) gives you the standard In-Home and GPS packages together, for a saving of $9.95 a month.
All packages can be customized with fall detection and extra alert buttons, as with the other packages.
Bay Alarm Medical review: Extras
With any package, you can buy a Lockbox ($39.95) to keep your keys, so that emergency personnel can get into your home without having to break down the door or smash a window. The Lockbox comes preprogrammed with your four-digit PIN, and this code is only revealed to emergency services on dispatch.
All new subscriptions get a free Vial of Life, which you should attach to your fridge. It can be filled out with your medical information to help emergency responders deal with an emergency.
Bay Alarm Medical review: Warranty and cancellation
Bay Alarm Medical: Key Specs
Free cancellation: 30-days
System price (starts at): $0
Monthly costs (starts at): $19.95
In-home monitoring: Yes
GPS monitoring: Yes
Bay Alarm Medical has a 30-day trial period, during which all hardware can be returned for free (minus the shipping costs). Outside of that, the company has no cancellation period, so if the service isn’t required any more, you can just turn it off and send the equipment back. Your account is then cancelled when the equipment has been received and it’s checked to be in good working order.
There’s a standard warranty, which protects equipment against manufacturing defects and problems caused by wear and tear. If your equipment is damaged beyond the company’s control, then there’s a $299 charge for replacement parts, such as getting a new Base Station. Accessories, such as wrist buttons, have to be replaced at the full price.
This fee can be a bit of a shock, so consider the Premier Protection Plan ($5 a month). This gets you a surge protector for the Base Station and will cover the replacement of one unit (Base Station, GPS or In-Car) per year. Additional equipment replacements cost $100 each. This extended warranty cuts the cost of lost or damaged accessories in half.
If the Bay Alarm Medical system is going to a house where it’s likely to be damaged or accessories lost, the Premier Protection Plan is well worth the extra money.
How does Bay Alarm Medical deal with an alert?
In-home if an alert button is pressed or fall sensor triggered, a call is automatically placed to the call center, where someone responds. The Base Station doubles as a very loud speakerphone, which should be loud enough to hear anywhere in most homes.
This call gives you a chance to ask for specific help or to cancel the alarm if it was a false alert. If a request for help is given or there’s no answer, the monitoring center sends out emergency help to your home.
Bay Alarm Medical doesn’t hold any medical details of its customers, but it can tell emergency services where to find the Vial of Life, and the best way to access the house (spare key, lockbox, etc).
For the GPS products, including in-car, an incident (button press, fall or crash) connects you to the call center for confirmation of the problem. Again, if you ask for help or can’t respond, Bay Alarm Medical will send out emergency services to your GPS location.
Bay Alarm Medical review: What the users say
More medical alert system reviews
Judging response times and quality of service means getting the opinions of more than one person, and information from people who have been in real emergency situations. To find out how Bay Alarm Medical performs, we’ve used our own experience with the product, plus user reviews. It’s worth pointing out that people are more likely to post reviews when they’ve had poor service than good service.
Looking at the trustworthy review sites, Bay Alarm Medical scores highly, with a 4.7 score on Google Reviews, 4.6 on ConsumerAffairs and 4.3 on TrustPilot. With these scores, reviews are generally positive, with people complimenting the company on its competitive pricing, friendly support center and quick response times. Users also complemented the range of the in-home products and the range of options that were available.
Those that complained about the product, cited ambulances being dispatched by mistake and some calls not going through to the call center. When we tested the system, we found that the in-home section was very good, but we had problems with the GPS system failing to connect to an emergency responder four times during testing. In all cases, the disconnection prompted Bay Alarm Medical to call our emergency contact numbers, but we weren’t always near that phone line.
It would make sense to put a cell number of the person with the GPS device down as the first person to contact, just in case of these errors.
Bay Alarm Medical: Verdict
Bay Alarm Medical is one of the best-value medical alert monitoring systems available, with no up-front hardware costs for the first person, although spouses incur additional hardware costs. The range of packages makes it an enticing buy, with packages to cover in-home, GPS and in-car, with bundles giving you a decent discount on buying the packages separately.
While the packages are cheap, watch out for expensive replacement costs if you don’t take out the extended warranty.
The in-home component would appear to be the most popular and it’s the part that has the most praise. When we tested the system, we found that it was very loud and clear. Outside of the home, we had some issues with the GPS component not connecting properly. As a result, our recommendation leans towards the in-home package. If you want GPS coverage then you can find better deals elsewhere, such as with GreatCall.