Medical identity theft happens when someone starts filing medical bills in your name and collecting the payments. It’s identity theft on steriods, but there are ways to fight it.
I’m Ilyce Glink with Expert Real Estate Tips dot net and today we’re going to talk about medical identity theft.
Medical identity theft isn’t at all like regular identity theft where somebody might steal your personal identity or get new credit card accounts and charge up all kinds of things or maybe go out and buy a car or get a mortgage in your name.
With medical identity theft someone actually pretends to be you. And then they get hospital care, they get prescription drugs, they get medical tests. All of it which is billed back to you. and if you’ve got any kind of refund coming for any hospital treatment you’ve received, if they’ve truly stolen your identity and it’s medical identity theft, they’re going to get your refund check.
If you keep a close watch on your credit card accounts, bank accounts, and credit history, cross shred everything and never carry around your social security card you probably feel fairly well protected against identity theft. But if you’re not watching your medical bills and insurance statements you could be the victim of medical identity theft and not know until years later.
More than a quarter million Americans have been victimized by medical identity theft which typically happens in one of two ways.
Someone pretending to be you has a medical procedure that gets charged to your insurance policy or someone changes your information to receive your drug and insurance reimbursements. In some cases, to get the information employees at doctors’ offices or pharmacies steal patient records or identifying information.
You can protect yourself by watching your explanation of benefits form for office visits you didn’t make and asking for current medical files.
For the latest news and updates on medical identity theft and for information on how to clear your name go to World Privacy Forum dot O-R-G.
For more great real estate and personal finance tips, visit my Web site, Expert Real Estate Tips dot net.