A medical alert bracelet is a wearable bracelet that provides health information to first responders. These bracelets can be engraved with your ID and health information, which is important in the event that you are unconscious or unable to respond to medical questions. In addition, some health alert bracelets can notify first responders that you need help even when you’re unable to dial 911.
Medical alert bracelets are particularly useful for anyone with medical conditions that may result in an emergency situation in which you’re unable to communicate. Some common conditions for which a medical alert bracelet is useful include:
In addition, many seniors use medic alert bracelets because of the possibility of falling. If you fall and are unable to get up or become unconscious, an emergency alert bracelet can notify responders.
Many healthy young people also use medical alert bracelets simply to identify themselves to emergency personnel in the event of an accident. For example, cyclists often wear medical alert bracelets and other types of safety bracelets so that they can be properly treated in the event of a serious crash.
There are 2 different types of medical alert bracelets: medical ID bracelets and fall alert bracelets.
Medical ID bracelets such as the MedicAlert bracelet are designed to communicate health information to first responders and other medical personnel. This type of alert bracelet is typically engraved with your name and information about any underlying medical conditions or allergies you may have. It can also have an ID number that links to an online database with your complete health details, emergency contact information, and even your physician’s contact information.
If you are unconscious or unable to answer questions, medical responders can use the information on your alert bracelet to provide treatment and notify loved ones that you’ve had an emergency.
Fall alert or fall detection bracelets are designed to notify responders in the event that you fall and are unable to get up. These bracelets have a button that you can push, which will send an alert to a 24/7 monitoring center. The monitoring center can then dispatch a medical team to help you.
There are a number of things to consider when choosing a medical alert bracelet.
To start, you need to think about why you’re buying a bracelet in the first place. Do you want to notify medical responders of a chronic condition or allergy in the event of an emergency? Or do you want to be able to notify someone that you’re having an emergency and get help, even if you don’t have a phone in reach? These different situations call for different types of medical alert bracelets.
If you want a bracelet that’s engraved with your information, it’s also important to consider what type of information you can make available to responders. You can choose a larger bracelet to engrave more personal and health details, or you can opt for a service that will host your health records and contact information online. Either way, you’ll want to keep the information you’re sharing with first responders as simple as possible—only display the information that’s relevant to your condition or medical details that might impact how you’re treated.
For a medical alert bracelet to do its job when you need it, you have to wear it all the time. That means that it needs to be both comfortable and stylish. Check whether a bracelet’s fit can be customized by adding or removing links, as well as whether it’s available in multiple colors or styles.
You can use our chart above to compare the best medical alert bracelets and choose the one that best meets your needs.
The cost of medical alerts bracelets can vary widely based on the type of alert bracelet you need. Engraved medical ID bracelets start at less than $10 for the cheapest models, although designer medical alert bracelets for women can cost significantly more. In addition, medical bracelets that link to an online database of your health records typically require an ongoing subscription. That can cost $25-$100 per year on top of the initial cost of your alert bracelet.
Fall alert bracelets for seniors that include access to a 24/7 monitoring center can be significantly more expensive. These services typically cost $20 to $60 per year, and there may be additional costs to set up a two-way speaker or other signalling equipment in your home.
Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover any medical alert bracelets. However, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may be eligible for discounts on the cost of a medic alert bracelet or ongoing subscription fees. Check with your plan provider to see what medical alert bracelet options, if any, your plan may cover.