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By Gabriel Sánchez Vissepó
November 11, 2020
Medical Guardian Classic Guardian. Madison Russ/ Consumers Advocate.org

Medical Guardian Review

Founded by Geoff Gross in 2005, Medical Guardian is a Philadelphia-based medical alert systems provider that offers home and on-the-go emergency alert devices for older adults and caregivers.

PROS

Variety of available products. Medical Guardian offers a host of medical alert devices, each with its own price point, functionality, and potential user. All of them connect the user with Medical Guardian’s emergency monitoring center operator, which in turn can dispatch 911 emergency services to their location if needed. It offers landline-dependent and cellular options, as well as in-home and mobile devices. The variety of products allows for customization: those who want protection when they step outside their homes can opt for a portable device, while those who prefer to stay at home can choose a system with several wall-mounted buttons for extra security.

By offering wrist or neck alert pendants, as well as a smartwatch option, Medical Guardian gives customers multiple alternatives that fit into their lifestyles and provide peace of mind.

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Transparent pricing. Medical Guardian’s website clearly details each of its medical alert devices including pricing options, features, and component parts. Its three subscription options (monthly, quarterly, and annually) are prominently displayed, with a per day cost so customers can compare and find the most affordable option for them.

Unlike other medical alert companies, Medical Guardian doesn’t have hidden fees, and equipment fees are explicitly stated when applied. Furthermore, prices for add-ons are also presented before proceeding with a payment. That way customers know the total with no surprises afterwards.

CONS

Costly add-ons. The basic products and services provided by Medical Guardian include most of what older adults need to feel secure. But Medical Guardian also offers add-on features that provide additional protection both for the customer and the equipment. These add-ons, however, can quickly raise the price of the service.

Additional sensors such as wrist or neck pendants carry a cost per unit (usually $2.99), as do each wall-mounted and voice-activated button. Automatic fall alerts that contact the monitoring service if the device detects a fall is another feature that several of the devices have, with a $10 monthly charge. A lockbox option so that keys to the home are secure but available if emergency services need to get inside is also available for $2.99 per month. Not to mention there’s a $6.99 protection plan that covers stolen or damaged devices.

When you add these all up, the subscription can be substantially higher than what you were expecting. It’s important to understand which features are truly necessary and which can be left out so that customers can still have protection at an affordable rate.

No smoke or carbon monoxide monitoring. Although, for the most part, Medical Guardian’s systems carry up-to-date technology that is in line with industry standards, they might lack some features that competing providers include. Other medical alert systems offer smoke and carbon monoxide monitoring as an extra security measure, something that no Medical Guardian product offers. And while this may not be a deal-breaker (homes should already have independent smoke and carbon monoxide detectors), any additional protection is welcomed.

Medical Guardian Medical Alert Systems

Medical Guardian’s suite of products include both in-home and on-the-go devices. To get a sense of what each of them entails, Medical Guardian’s website presents each product in a clear manner, including its parts, functions, and cost. Customers should have no problem comparing and picking the device that’s right for them.

Moreover, the website also includes a product quiz which matches you with a device based on your answers to a few questions, although you will need to provide your name, phone number, and email address to receive the recommendation. Nevertheless, it’s useful for customers who don’t know much about medical alert systems and need some guidance to make the decision.

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Medical Guardian offers flexible payment options for all their devices and systems. For the most part, long-term contracts provide more savings than going month-to-month or even quarterly. Additionally, annual subscriptions can include several free features such as a free month of service, free second help button, free lockbox, and free ground shipping.

The seven different devices currently available are:

Mini Guardian

This is a light-weight cellular system that comes in three colors (black, silver, and white) and features a five-day battery life. It does not have wearable pendants; you carry the device around with you and talk directly into it. It’s also water resistant and has GPS tracking technology. Ideal for customers who value portability.

  • One-time base price – $124.99
  • Monthly – $39.95
  • Quarterly – $199.85
  • Annually – $439.45

Freedom Guardian

A smartwatch which you wear like any other, it comes in black and white, has GPS tracking and wi-fi connectivity. An option for active older adults looking for a stylish alternative.

  • One-time equipment fee – $179.95
  • Monthly – $44.95
  • Quarterly – $134.85
  • Annually – $494.45

Active Guardian

With Medical Guardian’s longest battery life, the Active Guardian has no base station and functions as a completely independent, cellular device. It is also waterproof and has GPS location tracking. Another alternative for customers on-the-go.

  • Monthly – $39.95
  • Quarterly – $119.85
  • Annually – $439.45

Mobile Guardian

Similar to the Active Guardian, but the Mobile Guardian has a base unit that also features either a neck pendant or wristband with a 350-foot range.

  • Monthly – $44.95
  • Quarterly – $134.85
  • Annually – $494.45

Home Guardian

For in-home use that doesn’t require a landline since it has cellular connectivity. The Home Guardian comes with a wearable emergency button with a range of 600 feet and 30-hour backup battery.

  • Monthly – $34.95
  • Quarterly – $104.85
  • Annually – $384.45

Classic Guardian

A landline-dependent system, it has the largest range of any device (1,300 feet) and a 32-hour backup battery in case of a power outage. Customers can choose from a waterproof neck pendant or wristband. This is the most affordable option.

  • Monthly – $29.95
  • Quarterly – $89.95
  • Annually – $329.45

Family Guardian

The most expensive and robust system, the Family Guardian combines three, in-home safety sensors with 1,300 feet range for a complete monitoring experience. It also allows access through the Family Guardian app.

  • One-time base price – $299.95
  • Monthly – $79.95
  • Quarterly – $239.85
  • Annually – $879.45

Add-ons

Some of the above-mentioned systems give you the option to add features for an extra monthly charge. Among the available add-ons are:

  • Automatic fall detection for $10
  • Protection plan that insures the equipment against damage, loss, or theft for $6.99
  • Enhanced emergency notifications so family members get real-time alerts or text messaging in case of emergencies for $2.99
  • Additional neck or wrist pendants (up to 3) for $2.99
  • Additional voice or wall mounts (up to 4 each)
  • Lockbox for $2.99

Medical Guardian Billing

Most of the medical alert systems offer free equipment, the notable exceptions being the Freedom Guardian ($299.95), the Mini Guardian ($124.99), and the Family Guardian ($299.95) which all carry the stated base price in addition to the monthly subscription.

Medical Guardian offers a protection plan for damages for $6.99 a month, although they do cover malfunctions or defective equipment without cost. If you decide to not purchase the protection plan, lost or damaged equipment can lead to equipment fees in the hundreds of dollars.

Although Medical Guardian states that there are no activation fees, it is unclear about the cancellation fees that may be applicable.

Medical Guardian Purchase Process
Have an idea of what you are looking for in a medical alert system
Use Medical Guardian’s Product Quiz for help determining which one is right for you
If you do not wish to provide your cell phone number or email address, view each product’s description on the Medical Guardian webpage
After choosing the system, you can choose the billing frequency (monthly, quarterly, or annually)
You can also choose any add-ons that you feel you might need
Fill in your personal information as well as an emergency contact and complete the purchase by providing a payment method

Medical Guardian Monitoring Service

Medical Guardian‘s monitoring consists of a U.S.-based call center that’s available 24/7 for any emergency. Should an emergency occur, you should follow these steps:

  • Press the medical alert button on your device to call Medical Guardian. This can be on the main device, your neck pendant, your wrist pendant, or on any wall-mounted or voice-activated buttons around the house.
  • Once pressed, you will be put in contact with an emergency monitoring center operator who will assist you in getting the help you need.
  • Medical Guardian operators can dispatch emergency services to your home and reach out to family or friends in your Care Circle of contacts
  • If, for any reason, the device was triggered but the emergency response operator cannot hear your voice, they will attempt to reach you through your regular phone number. If no contact is established, they will dispatch emergency service responders to your exact location.
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Medical Guardian FAQs

How do I choose between an in-home or on-the-go medical alert device?

The reasons for determining the type of medical alert system to choose will vary on a case-by-case basis. Older adults with limited mobility, who prefer to stay indoors, and who live alone might prefer a more robust in-home system that offers multiple wall or voice-activated buttons, such as the Classic Guardian or Family Guardian They might also want a waterproof device that can be worn in the shower, where accidents are prone to happen.

On the other hand, older adults who like to enjoy the outdoors or travel could prefer a portable device such as the Freedom Guardian or Active Guardian. These devices have GPS technology and a baseless system that does not require landlines or a permanent setup.

Are medical alert devices covered by Medicare or Medicaid?

Original Medicare does not provide coverage for medical alert systems. However, older adults enrolled in Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) should check their policies, as some of these plans do cover certain medical alert devices. Additionally, customers with Medicaid should check with their provider to see if they offer medical alert system coverage.

Medical Guardian: Bottom Line

  • Offers a wide variety of in-home and on-the-go medical alert systems for you or your loved one.
  • Landline and cellular network devices are available.
  • Three types of subscription plans: monthly, quarterly, and annually.
  • No activation fees and equipment fees only apply to three specific devices.
  • Available add-ons such as automatic fall detection can drive the price up.
  • 24/7 monitoring with a U.S.-based customer care center.
  • No smoke or carbon monoxide detection.
Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST