What Is Medical Identity Theft? How to Prevent It?
Medical fraud is big business. With prescription drugs paying big on the street and doctors making prescriptions for certain medicines scarce, thieves need new avenues to get the drugs they want. Your medical identity is the right target and can cause you years of misery, along with poor medical service because of mismatched information from the thief. You know it is imperative to your financial health to keep your financial documents safe. What about your medical identity? If you haven’t heard this term, then keep reading. It is an identity thief’s paradise, and you will pay the price if yours is stolen.
Medical Identity Theft – What It Is and How to Prevent It to Gain Peace of Mind
Medical identity theft is the act of someone using your Medicare number, name, Social Security number, or other personal bits of information to submit a fraudulent claim to Medicare and other insurers without your authorization. Not only is this illegal, but if a thief’s medical information becomes intertwined with yours, your medical care can be significantly affected. Here are some steps you can take to prevent medical identity theft:
- Protect All Documents Containing Your Medical Information: Just like you keep financial records securely stored, you should do the same with medical and health insurance records along with other documents, such as:
- Health insurance enrollment forms
- Health insurance cards
- Prescription bottles
- Billing statements
- Explanation of benefits
- Shred Personal Documents before Throwing Them Out: Don’t give a thief easy access to your personal information by throwing things out as one piece. If you don’t have a shredder, look for a ‘shred day’ in your community, or contact an information management company to see about setting one up.
- Ask Questions BEFORE You Share Your Medical Information: You do not have to give private information to everyone who asks. It is okay to inquire why the company or office needs it and how they will protect it. Ideally, they have systems including offsite records management in a secure facility that is monitored 24/7.
- Review All Bills and Explanation of Benefits When they Arrive: Thoroughly check the documents received from insurers to ensure you received the treatment they are billing for. If there is any discrepancy, inform them immediately.
- Request a Full List of Benefits Paid in Your Name from Your Insurer Annually: This helps you determine if you have received all statements or if there are extras that may indicate fraud and medical identity theft.
- Be Cautious and Stop Before Jumping on Offers for Free Health Services: Fraudsters like to offer free services in exchange for your Medicare or health plan number. Don’t let the fear of missing out overtake you. You may regret that free blood pressure monitor that never comes while someone is taking advantage of your insurance.
Protect Your Medical Identity with Help from Crown Information Management
Don’t fret about someone abusing your medical identity. Take timely steps to secure your information. Crown Information Management offers many services to aid in securely and adequately destroying paperwork and computer hardware so that you can sleep better at night. Give us a call, and let’s work together to ensure your medical identity remains safe.
For secure, pest-free storage and easy and timely destruction of records, count on a SOC1 Level 2 Report,NAID AAA, and PCI Certified company. Call Crown Information Management at 800-979-9545 or contact us online to learn more about our document storage, destruction, and shredding services.