Medical Conditions

Medical Conditions That Require a Medical ID 

A medical ID is an identification tag that can save your life.  It can be worn on your wrist, around your neck, on your shoe, or carried as a wallet card. A MedicAlert ID is custom engraved with your specific medical information: medical conditions, medications, allergies, and emergency contact information. If you experience a medical emergency or are in an accident, a medical ID communicates for you when you cannot. 

How does a medical ID protect people living with medical conditions? 

Individuals who live with one or more medical conditions would benefit from wearing a medical ID to help protect them in an emergency. Doctors, the Centers for Disease Control, patient advocates, and health care organizations around the world recommend medical IDs for people living with chronic medical conditions. Wearing a medical ID provides protection and peace of mind from knowing that in an emergency, first responders will have immediate access to your critical medical information so they can give you the best possible care. 

First responders, EMS, doctors, nurses, and other emergency response professionals are trained to look for medical IDs, because the information on them is necessary for quick responses and accurate care. Wearing a medical ID can help prevent misdiagnoses and harmful drug interactions, and it improves outcomes without posing any risk to the person being treated.  

Who should wear a medical ID? 

Actually, just about everyone could benefit from wearing a MedicAlert ID. A medical ID is recommended for people who: 

  • Have a chronic medical condition 
  • Have allergies that could result in anaphylaxis 
  • Are prone to wandering, including people with dementia, autism, or developmental disabilities 
  • Have an implanted medical device 
  • Take a medication that impacts how you’re treated in an emergency  
  • Take blood thinners 
  • Have transplanted or missing organs 
  • Have a rare condition that needs specific treatment 
  • Are hearing or sight impaired 
  • Have communication challenges (nonverbal) 
  • Are active; people who run, bike or swim should always wear an ID in case of an accident 

What medical conditions require an ID? 

MedicAlert has an ID bracelet, necklace, shoe tag, watch or wallet card that can be customized for any medical condition. Following is a list some of medical conditions that require wearing a MedicAlert ID. 

Chronic Medical Conditions 


Neurological Conditions 


According to the CDC, there are over 130 million emergency room visits per year in the U.S. Over 60% of those visits are attributed to these common chronic medical conditions: 

  • Asthma 
  • COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
  • Diabetes  
  • Heart disease and heart failure 
  • Hypertension 
  • Behavioral health issues 

Given the increased likelihood of emergencies for individuals with these conditions, a MedicAlert ID is a “no-brainer”. A medical ID is even more important for someone with multiple ailments.  

Why should I wear a MedicAlert ID? 

Your MedicAlert ID, engraved with your critical medical information, helps first responders make the best decisions for your individual care. 

Benefits of wearing a MedicAlert ID: 65 years of protecting and saving lives 

There are many benefits to wearing a MedicAlert ID. MedicAlert has been protecting and saving lives since 1956, by providing unique products and services for people with chronic medical conditions. We are the original creators of the very first medical identification tag, and the forerunners in this category. MedicAlert Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and the only medical identification organization that is backed by a 24/7 emergency response service.  

The MedicAlert emblem is the most recognized symbol of medical identification among first responders worldwide, with nine international affiliates in Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Iceland, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and Zimbabwe. MedicAlert helps train first responders around the globe to look for and respond to medical IDs.  

Medical ID FAQs 

What should be engraved on my MedicAlert ID? 

It’s smart to engrave your MedicAlert ID with any medical data that is pertinent to the specific care you need if you are in an accident or emergency. Include your existing medical condition(s), medications you are taking, any food, drug or environmental allergies, and any implanted medical devices. 

How do I select a MedicAlert ID? 

When considering an ID to purchase, keep a few details in mind: 

1) Emblem size: The emblem size should fit all the vital medical information that a first responder needs to know in an emergency. 

2) Style: MedicAlert has a wide variety of bracelets, necklaces and shoe tags to fit your lifestyle and match your personal style. For example, the MedicAlert ID for Apple Watch is great if you don’t want to wear two items on your wrist. If you’re an active individual, you may prefer our silicone performance band. Many of our members choose two IDs –one for everyday use and one for special events. View our collection of IDs here. 

3) Fit: Your ID should fit securely, yet comfortably, around your wrist or neck. Our sizing guide can help you find the perfect fit. 

Do I need to select a MedicAlert membership plan to purchase a MedicAlert ID? 

For our engraved IDs, a membership is not required. However, when you pair your custom-engraved ID with a MedicAlert membership protection plan, you’ll gain access to all of MedicAlert’s lifesaving benefits – including a detailed digital health profile and support from our 24/7 emergency response team. The digital health profile is important because it’s what’s conveyed to first responders during an incident. A membership gives you peace of mind, knowing that first responders will have access to your full health profile – beyond what’s engraved on your ID – and that MedicAlert will reach out to your loved ones in the event of an emergency.  View our membership plans here. 

Note that for our digital products – including the Smart Medical ID Card and ICE Tags – an active membership is required. These products use a QR code to quickly access your health record. A membership enables you to keep your digital health record and emergency contacts up to date at all times, and protects you by making sure that first responders have all the information they need to treat you quickly and safely.