Bay Alarm Medical vs Life Alert

A Comprehensive Comparison of Medical Alert Systems

In an era where technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, it’s no surprise that it has made its way into the realm of personal safety and healthcare.


Starts at $24.95/month

Bay Alarm

  • Fall Detection
  • GPS Location Tracking
  • Water Resistant

Compare top features


Ranges from $95-$198

Life Alert

  • Professional installation
  • Landline and cellular options
  • Emergency button

Compare top features

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In an era where technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate, it’s no surprise that it has made its way into the realm of personal safety and healthcare. One such innovation is the medical alert system, a device designed to signal the presence of a hazard requiring urgent attention and to summon emergency medical personnel.

Two of the leading companies in this industry are Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert. This article will delve into a comprehensive comparison of these two giants, providing you with all the information you need to choose the right medical alert system for you or your loved ones.


Bay Alarm Medical: An Overview

Bay Alarm Medical, a family-owned business for decades, is one of the most widely used medical alert systems in the country. They provide life-saving devices for older adults who need protection both at home or on the go. With no contracts, hidden fees, or start-up costs, Bay Alarm Medical offers affordable in-home and on-the-go medical alert devices that help older adults feel protected and safe 24/7.

Bay Alarm Medical In-Home Systems

The company offers a range of different wearable and in-home options. The In-Home system is intended for seniors who spend a majority of their time at home. It features a base unit and a personal help button that can be worn either around the wrist or the neck. Additionally, the in-home system starts at $24.95 per month and can be paired with fall detection for an extra $10 per month.

Bay Alarm On-the- Go Options

For active individuals, the GPS help button can keep you safe both in and outside the home. About the size of a car key fob, this system can be worn around the neck or carried around the waist. For a one-time purchase of $99 (along with the monthly fee of $29.95), users can own the system instead of leasing it like other medical alert systems. One of the other perks of this device is that it includes location tracking so loved ones and first responders can find where you are. This device is also compatible with fall detection.

For users who prefer an alternative to traditional medical alert systems, the SOS Smartwatch may be a good option. With a user-friendly touchscreen, individuals can push the help button on their smartwatch and wait to be connected to an operator via two-way communication. There’s a one-time equipment fee of $179 (after which you own the smartwatch) and a monthly fee of $29.95.

Bay Alarm Bundle Packages

Bay Alarm Medical also offers Bundle Packages for 24/7 protection in and away from home. Currently, Bay Alarm Medical offers three main bundle packages to choose from starting at $41.95 per month. When you bundle, you can potentially save up to $119 per year if you decide to combine a mobile and in-home medical alert system.

Bay Alarm Monitoring Association

Bay Alarm Medical provides 24/7 monitoring from one of three monitoring centers located in the U.S. After pressing the help button on your system, you’ll connect to a trained operator in about 45 seconds or less. The operator will then respond with care and urgency. The 24/7 monitoring centers are TMA Five Diamond certified, demonstrating the high level of training and promptness of each operator.

Bay Alarm Important Things to Note

Bay Alarm Medical offers affordable and streamlined on-the-go and in-the-home medical alert systems and services that help seniors live more comfortably. With plenty of affordable add-on accessories and versatile on-the-go options ranging from the GPS help button to an SOS smartwatch — there’s a device that fits every unique need. As a family-owned business for decades, they’ve provided life-saving medical alert systems to over 100,000 customers and live by their code of ethics to provide transparency and protection for aging adults.

Life Alert: An Overview

Life Alert, founded in 1987, is one of the oldest medical alert companies and is well-known for its slogan, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” The company offers at-home and on-the-go medical alert systems designed for immediate assistance during a medical crisis, fall, or other emergency. However, Life Alert requires a three-year contract and charges high monthly fees, which range from $49.95 to $98.85, plus a $198 activation fee and a $197 installation fee.

Life Alert At-Home System

The at-home system includes a main base station and a help button that can be worn as a necklace or bracelet. The base station doesn’t connect to a traditional landline or cellular network, but instead, has its own self-contained connection. The device range is up to 800 feet from the base station. The system also includes a 72-hour backup battery.

Life Alert also offers a wall button that connects directly to the monitoring center and has a built-in microphone and two-way speaker. This button is designed to be placed in the shower, bathtub, or bathroom. However, it must be purchased as part of a package, adding $30–$50 to your monthly monitoring fee.

Life Alert On-the-Go System

The on-the-go system connects to the monitoring center both inside or outside your home. This mobile device is designed for those who want to stay connected to the 24/7 monitoring center while outside their home. The device is about the size of a pager and is lighter than a deck of cards. It has a battery with a 10-year life that never requires charging. However, a significant downside of this is that fall detection is not available.

Life Alert does not include add-on accessories, such as a lockbox, caregiver app, or fall detection. The company does not sell lockboxes, but a lockbox code can be added to a user’s Life Alert account information if they have a lockbox or purchase one from another company.

Life Alert Customer Service

In terms of customer service, Life Alert has 4.1 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot based on 47 reviews. However, common issues in negative reviews include caregivers receiving monthly bills after the user passed away, dealing with rude, pushy sales representatives, and overall poor customer service. The most common complaint across negative reviews on Trustpilot was difficulty getting out of the three-year contract.

Life Alert Important Things to Note

Life Alert may be a top option if you prioritize industry experience and brand recognition when shopping for a medical alert system. However, it requires signing a three-year contract and charges high monthly fees. If you’re at a higher risk of falling, Life Alert may not be the right option for you since fall detection is not available with any packages.


Company Device Variety Fall Detection 24/7 Monitoring GPS Tracking Pricing User Reviews
Bay Alarm View Packages Yes Yes Yes Starts at $24.95/monthh Reliable 24-hour service
Life Alert View Packages No Yes Yes Ranges from $95-$198 Easy to use

Equipment and Features

When it comes to equipment and features, both Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert offer a range of devices designed to cater to different needs and lifestyles.

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical offers several systems, each with its unique features:

  • SOS Home System: This is a traditional in-home system that works over a landline or cellular connection. It includes a base unit and a wearable help button that can be worn on a wristband or a neck lanyard.
  • SOS Smartwatch: This is a modern twist on the medical alert device, offering the same emergency services in a sleek, wearable device. It includes features like GPS tracking and automatic fall detection.
  • SOS Mobile System: Designed for active seniors, this system provides protection both at home and on the go. It includes a mobile device with GPS tracking and an in-home wearable button.

Life Alert

Life Alert also offers a range of medical alert systems:

  • Medical Emergencies System: This system provides immediate assistance in the event of a medical emergency. It includes a base station and a wearable help button.
  • Shower Emergencies System: This system is designed to provide help in the event of a fall or other emergency in the shower. It includes a waterproof help button.
  • HELP on the go+gps System: This system provides personal protection on the go. It includes a mobile device with GPS tracking and a long battery life that lasts up to 10 years.

Costs and Contracts

The costs and contract requirements for Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert vary, allowing customers to choose a plan that best fits their budget and needs.

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical offers a variety of plans for their different systems:

  • SOS Home System: Starts at $19.95 per month with no equipment fees.
  • SOS Smartwatch: Starts at $24.95 per month with a device purchase fee of $179.
  • SOS Mobile System: Starts at $24.95 per month with a device purchase fee of $70.

All Bay Alarm Medical plans come with a 30-day risk-free trial and do not require long-term contracts.

Life Alert

Life Alert does not publicly disclose their pricing information on their website. However, it’s known that they require a three-year minimum contract. For more detailed pricing information, potential customers are encouraged to contact Life Alert directly.

Monitoring and Emergency Services

Both Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert provide 24/7 monitoring services through their own call centers. These monitoring centers are staffed by professionally trained operators who can quickly respond to emergencies and dispatch emergency services as needed.

Bay Alarm Medical’s monitoring center is UL-Listed and CSAA 5-Diamond Certified, ensuring high-quality, reliable monitoring. Similarly, Life Alert’s monitoring center is UL Certified, providing dependable service to its users.

In the event of an emergency, both companies’ systems allow the user to communicate directly with the monitoring center through the system’s base unit or mobile device. This two-way communication ensures that help is sent quickly and accurately to the user’s location.

User Experience

Bay Alarm Medical User Experience

  • Bay Alarm Medical is a well-established company that has been in operation since 1947. Initially a home security business, it later expanded into the medical alert industry and now offers a range of medical alert devices and services.
  • The company is known for its reliable 24-hour service, which is provided through U.S.-based call centers. This ensures that users can always get help when they need it, and in a timely manner.
  • Bay Alarm Medical offers a range of devices, including in-home systems and mobile devices. These devices are designed to be easy to use and come with a range of features, such as fall detection and GPS tracking.
  • One of the standout features of Bay Alarm Medical is the On The Road plan, which provides protection while driving. This device sends out an emergency signal in the event of a crash, and trained reps can then take the appropriate measures, from road assistance to contacting and sending emergency services.
  • Bay Alarm Medical also offers a range of optional caregiver features, including geofencing, which can provide additional peace of mind for seniors and their families.

Life Alert User Experience

  • Life Alert was founded in 1979 and has since grown to provide medical alert services to over 150,000 seniors across the nation.
  • The company operates its own call center to ensure quality service and a rapid response. Representatives are trained to manage the entire process once a senior sets off an alert, so there’s always someone specific overseeing the emergency response.
  • Life Alert offers two types of devices, both of which come with a free warranty. However, unlike Bay Alarm Medical, Life Alert does not offer a fall detection feature.
  • The company also offers a mobile app that connects directly with the monitoring center, making it easy for users to get help when they need it.
  • Despite these features, Life Alert requires a 3-year service contract and has expensive one-time fees, which may be a drawback for some users.

Reviews and Ratings

Bay Alarm Medical Reviews and Ratings

  • Bay Alarm Medical has received positive reviews for its affordable pricing and reliable service. Many users appreciate the company’s month-to-month plans and the range of features offered, such as fall detection and GPS tracking.
  • However, some users have noted that the basic coverage doesn’t include many features and that the company uses a third-party call center. There have also been complaints about the lack of a price guarantee, with some users reporting that monitoring costs may change over time.

Life Alert Reviews and Ratings

  • Life Alert has also received positive reviews for its service. The company maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, indicating a high level of customer satisfaction.
  • Users appreciate the company’s 24/7 monitoring and the fact that the company operates its own call centers. The Life Alert’s devices are also praised for being waterproof and easy to use.
  • However, some users have expressed dissatisfaction with the company’s 3-year contract requirement and the lack of a fall detection feature. The high one-time fees have also been a point of contention for some users.

Expert Opinions

  • Experts generally agree that both Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert are two of the best medical alert systems, offering reliable devices and systems that can provide seniors with the help they need in an emergency.
  • However, they also note that Bay Alarm Medical offers more features for your money, making it a better value overall. They highlight the company’s On The Road program and the fact that it provides more features for your money.
  • Experts also note that Life Alert is a solid company, but it’s best for seniors who prefer simple devices without any extras. They point out that Life Alert has a slight edge in terms of battery life, but they don’t believe that this justifies the company’s high prices.
  • Overall, experts recommend Bay Alarm Medical for its affordable pricing, customizable systems, and a full 30-day refund period. They also appreciate the company’s price lock guarantee, which ensures that the cost of your plan won’t increase over time.
  • On the other hand, experts acknowledge that Life Alert may be a suitable choice for those who value long-term reliability and are willing to invest in a higher-priced service. They commend the company’s long-lasting batteries and two-way-talk shower button, noting that these features contribute to the overall quality of the Life Alert system. While the service fee is nearly $90/month, experts suggest that for some users, the peace of mind and the company’s longstanding reputation in the medical alert industry may justify the investment.

Conclusion: Life Alert VS. Bay Alarm

When it comes to choosing between Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert, it’s clear that both medical alert companies have their unique strengths and offerings.

Bay Alarm Medical, with over 70 years of experience in the medical alert industry, stands out for its reliable monitoring services available 24/7 in more than 170 languages. The company’s unique On The Road plan provides protection while driving, a feature that is currently unique in the business. This device sends out an emergency signal in the event of a crash, and the trained operators can take appropriate measures, from road assistance to contacting and sending emergency personnel.

In addition to the On The Road plan, Bay Alarm Medical offers the In The Home and On The Go plans. These devices are waterproof and come with an optional fall detection feature for an additional monthly cost. The cheapest plan starts at just $19.95 per month, making Bay Alarm Medical a cost-effective choice for many.

On the other hand, Life Alert has been in the business for over three decades and serves hundreds of thousands of users. It offers five different devices that are monitored 24/7 by U.S. team members for medical emergencies, shower emergencies, home intrusion, mobile plus GPS, and a mobile app. All products come with a free warranty, however, they lack the fall detection feature.

The cell phone app with Life Alert makes contacting the call centers very easy. The provider also offers help buttons, which are larger and can be set up in bathrooms and bedrooms where the wearers probably do not have the pendant or wristband on them. The intrusion plan with Life Alert enables the client to call for help in silence, allowing the operators to monitor the home via hidden microphones.

Both Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert are reliable medical alert companies with efficient products. Your choice between the two will depend on your specific needs, budget, and preferences.


What are some of the top medical alert companies?

Some of the top medical alert companies include Bay Alarm Medical, Life Alert, and Medical Guardian. These companies offer a variety of medical alert systems that can suit different needs and budgets.

What are some features of Bay Alarm Medical systems?

Bay Alarm Medical systems offer a range of features including fall detection, GPS tracking, and medication reminders. They also provide in-home systems and mobile devices for on-the-go protection.

What makes a medical alert company stand out?

A medical alert company stands out based on the quality of its products, the reliability of its monitoring centers, and the level of customer service it provides. Additional features like fall detection, GPS tracking, and medication reminders can also make a company stand out.

Which is considered the best medical alert system?

The best medical alert system depends on individual needs and preferences. However, both Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert are highly regarded in the industry for their reliable services and efficient products.

What are the similarities between Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert?

Some of the Bay Alarm Medical similarities with Life Alert include 24/7 monitoring, waterproof devices, and the availability of mobile systems. Both companies also offer GPS tracking for on-the-go protection.

What are some of the claims made by Life Alert?

Life Alert claims in its marketing materials that it saves a life every 11 minutes. However, this claim has been questioned by some. According to a company information page on the Life Alert website, out of some 500,000 calls Life Alert says it receives every year, only about 12,000 of them are for “life-threatening emergencies.” This is significantly less than the number of lives the company claims to save every year, which starts with the assertion that Life Alert saves a life every 11 minutes. It’s also worth noting that Life Alert defines a saved from a catastrophic outcome as an event where a subscriber activated the system, had an actual emergency, was home alone, was unable to get to the phone to call for help, and Life Alert dispatched help.

What is the fall detection option offered by Bay Alarm Medical?

The fall detection option offered by Bay Alarm Medical is a feature that can automatically detect if the wearer has fallen and send an alert to the monitoring center. This feature is optional and comes with an additional monthly cost.

How do Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert notify emergency services?

Both Bay Alarm Medical and Life Alert notify emergency services through their monitoring centers. When an alert is received, the trained operators at the monitoring center will assess the situation and contact the appropriate emergency responders if necessary.

What are mobile systems in the context of medical alert systems?

Mobile systems in the context of medical alert systems refer to devices that can be used on the go, outside the home. These systems often include features like GPS tracking to help locate the user in case of an emergency.

Clifford Ano

Written by

Clifford Ano

More than just a writer; Clifford is a dedicated advocate on a heartfelt mission to reshape how our society treasures its senior citizens. With a heart brimming with compassion and a mind tuned into the needs of the elderly, Clifford pours his words onto the digital canvas to champion a world where respect, care, and dignity are the cornerstones of how we treat our older generation. Through his insightful and touching blog posts, he sheds light on the issues faced by seniors and offers uplifting perspectives on how we can collectively create a more compassionate and nurturing world for them.