A lot of worse-case scenarios for many people living with serious medical conditions and their families are quite similar. You (or your loved one) are out and about, but something happens and they get hurt. How will people know what their medical needs are when they can’t tell EMT workers if they’re allergic to certain drugs, or if they are having a seizure? To help prevent these situations, we use medical identification tags. Read on to learn more:

What is a Medical ID?

Medical ID tags are usually made of a pliable metal like sterling silver and are built to last. These tags are usually attached to bracelets or necklaces, and users will often have their name and a list of medical conditions or allergies engraved into the tag. In the case someone with a serious medical condition is unable to vouch for themselves in an emergency, doctors can consult their medical ID to help gain insight on their situation and thus provide the best care possible.

What Kinds of People Need Medical ID Tags?

People who suffer from serious medical conditions that can cause emergencies and people whose medical information is necessary to know in an emergency need medical tags. These conditions range from physical complications to mental illnesses and even allergies. Some common conditions people will have on their ID tags include asthma, ALS, epilepsy, hearing or vision impairment, heart disease, or “invisible” disabilities. Cognitive conditions include dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other mental health conditions that can affect the individual’s safety.

Sometimes, caregivers will get medical ID tags so they can accompany the people they care for in specific situations, like riding in an ambulance alongside the patient. These tags will usually say “I am a caregiver” or “I am a healthcare professional” on them.

Where Can I Get a Medical ID Tag?

Medical ID tags can be purchased online or ordered at your pharmacy, although they do take some time to prepare. When you purchase a medical ID tag, the company you purchase it from will also need a list of your conditions to put on the tag itself and will mail the finished product to you once it’s made. Different manufacturers need different information (some may need documentation as well), so always consult a company representative if you have questions.

Are Medical IDs Covered by Insurance?

In short, yes and no. Medical IDs may be covered under some insurance plans, can be reimbursed in others, and may not be included in other plans at all. Typically, your insurance plan will note if medical identification tags are covered under your plan. If they are not, check with your local hospital. In some situations, hospitals will give out medical IDs for free or at a discounted price. In other situations, organizations like the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation will provide medical ID tags for people who meet certain health requirements. In this case, the DRWF will provide tags to people who have diabetes.

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