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Unlimited high-speed data, video streaming and mobile hot spot are now standard for most But those features don’t always meet the needs of senior citizens, who may not need — or want to pay for — all the extras.
Take heart: There are cell phone plans designed to help seniors stay connected without committing large chunks of their monthly incomes.
We've highlighted several low-cost options. Note that if you're on Medicaid, food stamps/SNAP, Supplemental Security Income or other government programs, you may qualify for subsidized plans from some of these companies via the .
These plans from T-Mobile and AT&T are perfect for people who don't really want a cell phone, but would like the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can reach family or a medical professional in an emergency.
These flexible, build-your-own plans are a great alternative to traditional pay-as-you-go service. You pay a set monthly service fee each month, but usage is billed in tiers. If you use a lot of texts one month but none the next, your bill will reflect that. The same goes for minutes and data.
If you were tech-savvy at age 64, you’ll still be tech-savvy at 65; no need to turn in your iPhone when you officially become a senior. These options let you stay connected without overpaying for a bloated plan.
GreatCall's cell phone plans are specifically for seniors. The Jitterbug, GreatCall’s signature phone, features big buttons, a loud speaker and a bright screen with large display text. The prepaid carrier also allows you to add health services to your plan, such as the ability to speak with a live nurse or doctor; a personal operator to help you make phone calls or add appointments to your calendar; and 5Star Urgent Response, which connects you to an agent who can assist you during an emergency at the push of a button.
We evaluated more than 200 cell phone plans offered by the following carriers: AT&T, Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Cricket, GreatCall, Google’s Project Fi, MetroPCS, Net10, Republic Wireless, Sprint, Straight Talk, T-Mobile, Tracfone, Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile.
To determine the best plans, we looked at the monthly plan price before taxes and fees, as well as features such as health services and plan flexibility. We only considered national carriers, which ruled out regional providers like U.S. Cellular. For pay-as-you-go plans, we prioritized low monthly price over large minute or data packages. For mobile-savvy users, we looked at plans that included at least 1GB, but had no more than 5GB. Lower monthly price was favored over a lower price per GB.