by Cyndi Norwitz
I called up MedicAlert so the prices I quote are correct as today.
Summary: MedicAlert is a non-profit org that makes medical bracelets and wallet cards and follows that up with 24 hour call-in services for people using your bracelet to get emergency information about you.
I am a lifetime member, having paid my $35 emblem fee back in 1993. I pay $12 each time I order a new wallet card with changes other than address changes (those are free). They no longer have lifetime members; all new members pay an annual fee of $15. But wallet card changes are free and unlimited. Plus if you get additional emblems (that means a bracelet), you get $10 off.
You have a choice of 3 metal types of emblems and 3 sizes/shapes. The sizes are necklace (I think it's rounder than the bracelet), large bracelet, and small bracelet. I have a small bracelet; the large one would overwhelm my wrist (I have a normal to small wrist for a woman). The brochure they send says exactly what the sizes are and how much you can inscribe on each. I only have a wallet card change/emblem replacement form in front of me so I don't know all those details. Expect to put about 10 words on an emblem.
The 3 metal types are different prices but you can get any size for the same price. If a bracelet, you choose the chain length. The necklace comes with a longer chain. The stainless steel is $35. Sterling silver is $50. Gold filled, 10KT, is $75. These prices have been stable since 1993 at least.
The bracelet tells people immediately the most important things they need to know. Also engraved is a phone number to call collect and your member number. When someone calls, they get the information on the computer, which includes what's on your wallet card. Other info they can keep on the computer is who has medical power of atty for you and where to find that paperwork on file.
You also get a paper wallet card. I keep mine so you can see it sticking out when you open my wallet. It gives your name, address/phone, a paragraph giving details on your medical needs that you compose, persons to notify, and a couple other stats of your choosing such as birthdate and SS# (optional). The back of your card has room for you to write such things as your vaccination record and health insurance information.
In case you hadn't noticed, I think this service is fantastic. Just having the bracelet has made a big difference in my life. Even though I've never used it (I have handed the wallet card to paramedics though).
Here's the contact info:
Medic Alert Foundation
P.O. Box 381009
Turlock, CA 95381-9009
1-800-432-5378 (for all admin inquiries; the emergency number is different)
Addendum by Susan Beck, email@example.com, May 1998:
According to my brochure there is a sports model brecelet which is only $10.00 more than the metal one but has only a small metal part on a material type band. For people like me who don't like to have a lot of metal on them and none touching the skin, this is ideal. It comes in four color combinations and 2 sizes.
I am just going to order one and saw the medit alert article and thought I would mention it. The metal sits on top of the material for those with skin allergies to metal. Cheaper than gold. And less metal in total as I said for EMF reasons its removed from you somewhat and not all around the arm. This is the Canadian one. [The author was unsure if this option is available in the U.S.]
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