If you’re living on your own, having a state-of-the-art medical alert system in place can be a lifesaver. Beyond monitoring for falls and dispatching emergency help to your location, medical alert systems also provide peace-of-mind to you and your loved ones and help you maintain independence. But of course, with any great service, there are costs involved that can add up over time.
Depending on your chosen medical alert system provider and the type of service you receive, those costs can vary greatly. For example, you might pay a one-time equipment rental and setup fee in addition to monthly monitoring charges. Other companies provide equipment and installation for free and just charge a monthly monitoring fee – which may or may not require you to sign on for a two- or three-year contract.
So, does our Canadian medicare system help pay for or offset the costs of medical alert systems in any way? The simplest answer is a firm “no.” Our system won’t completely reimburse you or cover the cost of a medical alert system. Though, in some case at least a portion of the cost might be tax deductible as a medical expense. Be sure to chat with your accountant or tax specialist for more details on what you can or can’t claim.
Can your private insurance provider help cover medical alert system costs?
If medicare doesn’t pay the cost of a medical alert system, what about going through a private insurance provider? Can they at least help reimburse a portion of your expenses? The simplest answer here is, “no, but it depends.”
Some insurance companies will encourage you to get a medical alert system installed if there’s a risk of you falling or having some type of medical emergency in your home. Most companies, though, won’t go as far as covering the costs of the systems.
It’s always worth having the conversation with your insurance company after buying a medical alert system to see if you’re eligible for some type of reimbursement, as they’ll look at your specific set of circumstances. Better yet – if your doctor approves or recommends you get a medical alert system, it can help increase your chances of getting some coverage from your insurance company.
Along with private insurance providers, long term care insurance may help provide some form of payment to cover the costs of medical alert systems and monitoring services if you’re eligible. The Canadian Government provides a helpful breakdown of what it takes to qualify for long-term care insurance here.
If you do have to pay for your medical alert system out of pocket (which often ends up being the case) remember that it’s not all bad news. Many companies offer deals, incentives, low-cost financing options or multi-year deals that make your monthly payments more affordable. You might even be able to work with local agencies that can help deliver you medical alert systems at a fraction of the cost if you’re on a fixed income.
Whichever road you take to cover the costs – be it going through your insurance provider, tax deductions or footing the bill yourself – know that a medical alert system is ultimately a sound investment in your long-term safety and wellbeing.