Many people in the United States still don’t have easy, electronic access to their health information, and many don’t know that the Federal government has taken a large step towards solving that problem. Today, Blue Button is available to people whose insurers, health care providers or other entities that maintain their health information (pharmacies, labs, etc.) offer a way to make that info easily available online. Today, veterans, members of the military and Medicare beneficiaries have access to the Blue Button. Other federal agencies and many companies in the private sector such as UnitedHealthCare1 and Aetna2 , are also offering Blue Button to their beneficiaries or members. We encourage all other organizations that maintain your health information to make it easier for patients to be able to easily and securely access their health information electronically.
Blue Button is already expanding in use – in December 2011, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) asked all health insurance carriers in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) to offer the Blue Button functionality to their personal health record (PHRs) systems on their web site so that patients can see, download and keep their personal health data by clicking a Blue Button on a secure Internet site.3 There are more than 200 separate health insurers in the FEHBP that deliver benefit to more than eight million employees. Health care providers, pharmacies, and others are also using Blue Button in growing numbers.