GreatCall: Plans, Features & Pricing

Endorsed by safety advocate John Walsh, GreatCall offers smartphones, flip phones and medical alert systems for seniors. GreatCall was established in 2006, and in 2015, the company acquired Lively. The California-based business also provides health and safety services, including texting and mobile apps, for elderly adults.

Instead of routing calls through a landline, all GreatCall devices use a cellular connection powered by Verizon. GreatCall is a mobile virtual network operator, which means it shares Verizon’s towers rather than creating its own network. Plans typically range from $14.99 to $59.99 per month, though fees for special features may increase a senior’s bill. These fees fall in the low-to-average range when compared with similar options from competitors, though seniors generally must pay for GreatCall devices. Some companies, such as BoomerAlert, offer free devices for new subscribers.

GreatCall is ideal for active seniors who need the flexibility of a cellular-powered device rather than a landline-enabled medical alert system. Subscribers can use smartphones and pendants anywhere with a Verizon connection even if they leave the state.

Numerous health and safety solutions are available from GreatCall, so choosing the right one isn’t always easy. However, there are more than 900,000 GreatCall customers, so the company offers products geared toward an assortment of needs. Find out more about this trusted company, including which products and features it provides for seniors, in the detailed review below.

GreatCall Features

Many safety solutions for seniors focus on medical emergencies, but GreatCall products also cover other emergencies. Seniors can request roadside assistance, ask questions about medical matters and play brain games with GreatCall devices. Some of GreatCall’s apps even work with existing smartphones, so seniors aren’t obligated to buy devices from the company.

Subscribers can stick with basic plans or add on additional features, such as data packages, text packages and call packages. These packages have additional fees ranging from a few dollars up to $50 per month.

GreatCall Plans for Elderly Adults

GreatCall plans are available for less than $15 per month, though monthly smartphone services may cost $59.99 or more. Seniors may also pay device fees and activation fees depending on which plan they choose, but there are no long-term contracts required. There are also no cancellation fees if you decide a device or subscription doesn’t meet your needs, so you can try devices for a couple of weeks before committing to them.

Jitterbug Smart2 Jitterbug Flip Lively Mobile Plus

Lively Wearable

Monthly Cost*

$19.99 to $59.99

$14.99 to $39.99

$24.99 to $39.99

$14.99

Device Type

Smartphone

Flip phone

Mobile system

Mobile system

Connection

Cellular

Cellular

Cellular

Cellular

Fall Detection

N/A

N/A

Yes

Yes

Battery Life

Varies; 24 hours with moderate use

Varies; 10+ hours for voice calls

Up to 80 hours

Up to six months

Water Resistant

No

No

Yes

Yes

*Prices are listed for plans without add-ons, so your total price may exceed the one listed.

Jitterbug Smart2

Device Information

The Jitterbug Smart2 is a smartphone from GreatCall. The phone boasts a 13MP camera with flash, plus a practical, list-based menu that easily details your options. An M4/T4 rating for hearing aid compatibility helps promote clear conversations, and the phone is Bluetooth compatible for hands-free use.

Pricing

Expect to spend anywhere from $19.99 to $59.99 per month for this phone, plus extra for data packages, text packages and voice call packages if you exceed your plan’s levels.

Jitterbug Flip

Device Information

The Jitterbug Flip is a cell phone from GreatCall. It’s best for seniors who prefer simple technology rather than a feature-loaded smartphone. The flip phone has an easy-to-view screen with large numbers, and it’s available in red or graphite.

The phone captures photos with a 2MP camera. Use the magnifier with flashlight when you need up-close illumination for a book or project.

Pricing

The Jitterbug Flip costs $14.99 to $39.99 per month, plus extra for additional text, call and data packages.

Lively Mobile Plus

Device Information

The Lively Mobile Plus is a wearable medical alert system. The device is waterproof and has a battery that lasts up to 80 hours. You can wear it as a pendant or bracelet.

Pricing

The Lively Mobile Plus device costs $24.99 per month before including optional fall protection. Fall detection and product replacement features are only included in the Ultimate plan, which costs $39.99 per month.

Lively Wearable

Device Information

The Lively Wearable works well for seniors who may struggle to find the time to recharge a device. The device has a removable battery that lasts up to six months, and instead of charging it when it dies, you replace it with another battery. Make sure you keep a few extra batteries on hand so you’re always prepared for a quick swap.

The Lively Wearable is water resistant, so you can wear it in the rain, at the pool or in the tub. It has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can sync it with your smartphone. The device also tracks your daily steps.

Pricing

The Lively Wearable device costs $49.99, plus $14.99 per month. There is also a $14.99 activation fee for the device.

Who Should Use GreatCall Health and Safety Solutions?

GreatCall health and safety solutions are ideal for seniors who enjoy spending time in their community, though home-based seniors can also benefit from the programs. The devices work anywhere with a Verizon connection, so elderly adults have the freedom to enjoy local parks, shopping centers and restaurants with their loved ones.

Many medical alert systems offer fall detection and other wellness-inspired features, but seniors can also request roadside assistance, a locksmith and other special services from GreatCall. This keeps elderly adults safe no matter the situation.

Seniors who subscribe to GreatCall products should feel comfortable with technology, especially if they choose the Jitterbug Smart2 device. The Jitterbug Flip is a better option for elderly adults who aren’t tech savvy because it has fewer features. Seniors can also install GreatCall safety solutions on an existing mobile device.

Pros and Cons of GreatCall Health and Safety Solutions for Seniors

Before selecting a GreatCall product, consider the pros and cons. Each device has its own benefits and drawbacks, but here are some factors to consider no matter which system you choose.

Pros of GreatCall:

  • U.S.-based company
  • 5Star Urgent Response connects subscribers with IAED-certified agents when an issue arises
  • 24/7 access to urgent care services from medical professionals, including board-certified doctors and registered nurses
  • Fun brain games help improve memory and concentration
  • Prices are comparable to companies with similar products
  • Services are available anywhere with a Verizon connection
  • Some products are waterproof
  • Safety solutions include around-the-clock access to locksmith services and other options unique to GreatCall
  • Seniors can use their existing smartphones with some plans

Cons of GreatCall:

  • Short battery life, especially when compared to products from competitors
  • The smartphone and flip phone aren’t waterproof
  • No option for landline users
  • Some seniors may prefer simple devices with fewer features
  • Fall detection does not work with all devices

Every elderly adult has unique needs, so it’s important to review health and safety solutions carefully before making a selection. Consider the information above, as well as your budget, when choosing a GreatCall product.