Does Health Insurance/OHIP Cover Medical Alert Systems?

Everyone wants what is best for their loved ones. Adults want to ensure that their seniors are doing well at all times especially if the seniors live alone or independently. Everyone wants access to fast and reliable medical intervention in case something happens to their loved ones while they are away and there is nobody around to help. This has resulted in a corresponding increase in the number of people seeking solutions such as the employment of medical alert systems.

According to the New England Journal Of Medicine, “For elderly people who live alone, becoming incapacitated and unable to get help is the common event which usually marks their ability to live independently and the mortality rate is five times higher for people who lay incapacitated for twelve hours versus those that can get immediate help”.

When striving to safeguard the safety and well-being of your vulnerable family members and loved ones, medical alert systems give emergency monitoring both inside and outside the home. They’re made to alert emergency responders to a situation that requires immediate attention. Family members and caregivers can be notified as well depending on preference and severity of possible injury associated with the accident.

Quality medical alert systems however are generally not cheap and this has led people, specifically Ontario-based Canadian residents, into wondering if Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) is responsible or obligated to also cover the costs associated with owning a medical alert system, and if not, would their private health insurance cover medical alert systems.

OHIP And How Does It Work?

OHIP is a government-run health insurance plan for citizens of Canada that reside primarily in the province of Ontario. Under the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), everybody with a primary or permanent residence in Ontario is entitled to free emergency and some preventive health treatments. Residents of Ontario can request the services of every doctor practicing in the province and have their services invoiced to the government through OHIP. OHIP covers the cost of doctor visits, hospital visits and stays, emergency and ambulance services and some dental services.

OHIP normally does not cover prescription medicines. There are however exceptions made for seniors and children not under private insurance who are covered by OHIP. For seniors covered by OHIP, the Ontario Drug Benefit program pays for their prescription medicines.

Does My Health Insurance Cover The Cost Of My Medical Alert System?

The answer to this question is no. OHIP does not cover the cost of owning and maintaining a medical alert system. It also does not cover the cost of its monitoring service. Medical alert systems are more likely to be covered by long-term care insurance, but this depends on the health insurance provider and the plan offered. Some private health insurance providers have plans that cover the costs of owning a medical alert system. You can find out if your insurance carrier provides coverage by reviewing the plan’s website to see what services are covered. You could also opt to speak with a representative by dialing the number on your insurance policy.

Can I get a Free Medical Alert System?

In some cases, it is possible to get a free medical alert system. LiveLife Personal Mobile Alarms or MedEquip Alert can provide a medical alert system to veterans who apply for VA assistance. There are several non-profit organizations that supply free medical alert systems. The only problem is that they run mostly on donations and as such, there is no guarantee that you would be able to get one. There are also health insurance providers that provide medical system coverage at low cost to aid people with limited budgets.


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