Protect Yourself Against Medical Identity Theft

Retailers and websites aren’t the only entities victimized by hackers and large data breaches.

Medical identity theft is on the rise. In 2015, Blue Cross Blue Shield suffered a hack as three of their largest health insurers were victims of major data breaches with an estimated 92 million records affected.

When someone uses your personal information to get medical services – that is when you have become a victim of Medical identity theft. Unlike credit card or mortgage fraud, medical identity thieves do not need your social security information to commit the crime. Your name, date of birth, and address information could be enough.

Signs that your medical identity has been stolen:

  • You receive medical bill(s) for services you didn’t receive or authorize
  • Calls from debt collectors about medical debt that you don’t owe
  • Your credit report shows medical bills in collection that are not yours

Protect yourself:

  • Get copies of your medical records and check them for errors
  • Obtain and keep the account disclosures sent from your medical insurance company so that you can match it up with your medical bills
  • Don’t share medical or insurance information by phone
  • If a person or company outside of your normal healthcare providers offers a free health service but requires your insurance information or social security number to begin — beware.

By now, everyone knows that it is important to keep track of credit card use and protect sensitive financial data and personal information. We should also check health records regularly and read all incoming medical bills and medical disclosures thoroughly to protect ourselves from becoming victims of medical identity fraud.