Posts Tagged ‘Medical Identity Theft’

Getting Sick from Medical Identity Theft

Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Feeling Confident?

Feeling Confident?

Just when you think that the electronic society couldn’t become more inhuman, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, our over-burdened consumer protection agency, alerts us to signs of medical identity theft:

  • You are billed for medical services that you never received.
  • A debt collector contacts you about medical debt you don’t owe.
  • Your credit report shows medical collection notices that are unfamiliar to you.
  • Your health insurer denies your legitimate claim for medical benefits, stating that you have reached the limit allowed under your plan.
  • You are denied insurance coverage because your medical records reveal a pre-existing condition that you don’t have.

Misuse of your identity can arise from dishonest staff in medical offices filing fraudulent insurance claims with your information or someone has been using your insurance information to obtain medical treatment, which can harm your health as well as your finances. The imposter’s medical information, such as his diagnosis of his condition, may appear on your medical record, exposing you to the risk of improper treatment, possibly leading to injury, illness or death.

In addition to being vigilant about protecting your personal documents, examine your explanation of benefits sent to you each time your insurer pays a claim on your behalf. I used to discard those without reading them. I don’t do that any more; now I look at them carefully and when I discard them, I use a document shredder.