October 18, 2012
Did you know that the fastest growing type of identity theft is that of your medical identity? Even now knowing that most of us have given very little thought to our medical identity being compromised, and unfortunately it can have a devastating affect on your credit, medical future and overall financial security.
There are three common ways in which your medical identity can be compromised:
1. Financial Medical Identity Theft- Someone is getting medical treatment through the use of another person’s name and information.
2. Criminal Medical Identity Theft- A victim may be held responsible for the actions of another’s criminal behavior.
3. Government Benefit Fraud- Someone’s government benefits are being used by someone else. For example Medicare, and Social Security.
Medical Identity Theft can cause severe damage resulting in false medical information, out of pocket expense to resolve theft and lost wages and work. Mitigating and resolving medical id theft cost on average $20,000 and up to 6 months in time. Nationally Medical Identity Theft is responsible for the loss of more than 30 billion dollars.
There are several things that an individual can do to safeguard themselves against medical identity theft:
1. Closely monitor any “EOB’S” Explanation of Benefits. This will allow you to determine if someone is using your benefits.
2. Proactively requesting a list of benefits from your health insurance carrier.
3. Request a current copy of your medical records from each of you providers.
4. Correct erroneous and false information.
5. Keep an eye on your credit report. Look for delinquent medical bills or reported to collection agencies.
6. Request an accounting of disclosures.
It is our hope at Keller Leopold that you will never have to deal with a medical identity theft, but we also hope that we have brought to your attention a topic that you now can protect yourself against.