Last week I was reading an article in The Consumerist, which profiled a patient that faces bankruptcy after the ambulance took her to an Out-Of-Network hospital instead of one a few blocks further that was covered by her insurance. While she would have only had $1,500 in out-of-pocket expenses at the hospital in her network, she now has $50,000 in medical debt, and this has turned her life upside down. She has had to postpone her engagement while both her and her partner get a second job, cash out their retirement accounts, or take out loans to cover the medical expenses.
You may be asking if there is anything that could have been done to prevent this. She was unconscious and there was no way for her to tell the EMT which hospital to go to. Fortunately, if you have an iPhone with the iOS8 operating system, then there is a way.
The iOS 8 Medical ID
The Medical ID, part of the Health App, can be used by medical responders to learn of any allergies or medical conditions you have and who to contact about your injuries. They can do all of this without unlocking your phone. When I read the story mentioned above, I remembered the Medical ID. I wondered if it could also be used to enter a preferred hospital to prevent a situation like this from happening. It can! In fact, I pulled up the YouTube video embedded below on EMS World, and the EMT in the video actually recommended the Medical Notes section as a place to put your preferred hospital information.
Here is how to do it:
- Open the Health App
- Click on “Create Medical ID” that you see in red
- In the Medical ID you can add our name, birthday, height, weight, medical conditions, allergies, medications, blood type, and organ donor status, etc.
- In the Medical Notes section put your preferred hospital. You can also put your insurance company and insurance identification number
- Enter your emergency contact information
- Make certain that you have the “Show When Locked” feature on
There you have it. Now your phone can speak for you when you cannot.
Here is that video I promised about the iPhone Medical ID featured on EMS World: