Medical identity theft is often over-looked and not discussed enough. It’s a form of fraud in which someone uses your personal information to receive medical services and bills your insurance or Medicare. According to the U.S. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, roughly 1.5 million adults are found to be victims of this each year. It’s important to understand medical identity theft and to protect yourself.
Understand Medical Identity Theft
You may be a victim of medical identity theft if:
- You get a bill for services you did not receive;
- You’re told by your insurance company you have hit your limit on benefits when you have not; or
- You receive a denial for coverage of a nonexistent medical condition.
If someone steals your medical identity, your records are compromised. That means you could experience misdiagnosis, delays in treatment, or inappropriate care.
Reduce Your Risk
Taking a few quick, proactive steps to protect yourself may reduce your risk and save you a lot of time and frustration in the future.
- Give personal information only to approved medical professionals.
- Remove prescription labels before recycling or discarding the containers.
- Shred papers with personal information before throwing them away.
- Review your medical and insurance records periodically for suspicious information.