What you can do to prevent it
Medical identity thieves use stolen health-care records or medical insurance information in a number of insidious ways. Criminals use the information to receive hospital treatment, to obtain prescription drugs or to receive discounted doctor’s visits. Furthermore, medical identity thieves use the information to file phony insurance claims to get big payouts from health insurance companies. As a result, this criminal act not only ails the victim’s credit reports, but causes the victim to suffer as well. Here are some tips to prevent you from becoming “ill” from medical identity theft.
Tips to Avoid Becoming a Medical Identity Theft Victim:
1. Always review your medical bills and insurance statements to verify their accuracy.
2. Protect your health insurance cards the same way you would protect your credit cards and bank account information to avoid becoming a victim. Your insurance card can be fraudulently used to obtain prescription drugs or medical attention and needs to be safeguarded at all times.
3. Prevent medical identity fraud by reviewing personal health-care records. The Medical Information Bureau compiles information from several hundred health insurance companies to provide a free annual report to U.S. consumers. People who have applied for disability, life or health insurance in the last seven years can order a copy of their Medical Information Bureau report by calling 1-866-692-6901. Review the report for mistakes or unusual entries which may indicate health-care identity fraud. If anything seems awry in the health-care records, immediately contact the appropriate insurance company.