People who rely on older life alert systems (also called personal emergency response systems, PERS, or medical alerts) need to ensure they are still working. Most life alert systems rely on cellular networks to work. In 2022, the wireless carriers are shutting down their 3G networks, which older life alert systems still use. Once 3G is shut down, medical alert systems that used the 3G network will no longer work. AT&T already shut down its 3G network.
The Alarm Industry Communications Committee found in a survey of its members that about 2 million devices, including security, fire and medical alert devices, remain on 3G, including hundreds of thousands of people with PERS life alert systems.
Contact your life alert provider to find out if you need to upgrade or replace your system. If you are a senior or a low income consumer, you may be eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit to help you obtain a discounted, updated device. If you receive your PERS/Life Alert through a Community HealthChoices (CHC) plan, contact your CHC plan for help. Telephone numbers for each CHC plan's Participant Services line can be found below:
AmeriHealth Caritas PA CHC
Keystone First CHC
PA Health and Wellness
For more details and tips on how to stay connected, please consult the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) consumer guide here.