A hand is pointing to a cell phone with a picture of an insurance card and an ambulance on it.

Carry a Copy of Your ID and Insurance Cards on Your Phone

During the past year, there has been little reason for me to go places. I don’t know about you, but most of my “outings” have involved the pharmacy, doctors’ offices, and the grocery store garage for curbside pickups. An additional reason to be out and about has been to go bike riding.

Carrying the essentials

Without the need to drive my car many places and be on the go for extended periods of time, I haven’t needed to load up a purse with all of the essentials in quite some time. Instead, my purse has been downsized to a wallet that holds ID, health and car insurance cards, credit cards, and my AAA card. Hand sanitizer and an extra mask might be stuffed in a front pocket or jacket pocket. My purses are surely lonely by now.

Important information when exercising outdoors

When I go cycling, I wear a Road ID wristband that contains valuable information: my name, address, emergency contact name and phone number, blood type, and any special medical needs. For cycling, my small purse-substitute wallet is further reduced to ID, health insurance card, and credit card stored in a snack-size reusable bag that can easily slip into a jersey or bike shorts pocket. There are times that I will go for a “short ride” and forgo the plastic baggie wallet.

My biking accident

Recently I took a ride and was only one mile from home when another cyclist rode into me. The accident was shocking, unexpected, and very painful. Several people stopped to help which was nice. One person took my phone and called my husband for me. I would have done so myself but when I looked at my phone, I realized that I couldn’t see the screen. At that moment my vision was a wall of splotchy whiteness. The pain was literally blinding me for a short period of time.

After determining that I couldn’t put weight on my leg, one of the kind folks who stopped to help — who also happened to be a nurse — offered to take me to the nearest hospital emergency department. My bike was loaded into her SUV and off we went. By the time we got to the hospital, the shock had worn off and I was seeing and thinking more clearly. I was definitely in pain, but at least alert and able to communicate for myself.

May I have your insurance card?

During the triage and intake portion of time at the hospital emergency department, I was asked for ID and insurance information. I reached to the likely places where the cards are normally stowed and came up empty-handed. It was okay I was reassured. I was asked if I had pictures of the cards on my phone.

Insurance card tips with MS

Pictures of my ID and health insurance card easily accessible on my phone? Why hadn’t I thought of that before? What a great idea!!!

Take photos of the front and back of your insurance card

I already use the Notes app on my phone to keep a list of all my medications. I experimented to find a way to similarly save my IDs. Here is how I did that on my iPhone. I took photos of each side of my driver’s license and each side of my health insurance card. These images are now on my phone in the Photos app. But I want them in the Notes app.

Copy the pictures into the Notes section of your phone

I opened one of those photos and selected the "send" icon in the bottom left of the screen which opens a multitude of send choices: message, email, Facebook, etc. On the 2nd row of options is a "copy" icon. But before I copied the first photo, I selected the additional photos by tapping the circle on each image. Then I copied all of the photos at once.

Next, I opened the Notes app and started a new "note" in which I pasted the photos. The photos are now easily accessible within the Notes app when I tap on the 'Attachments' icon that looks like four small squares and is currently located in the lower-left corner of the screen. Now I have a quick way to access my IDs in digital form when in an emergency; a situation I hope will not occur again for a long time.

Do you have any tips on how to carry important information on your phone or another method? What documents do you wish to have easily available when you are away from home?

Be well my friends,
Lisa

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