Medical Identity Theft may be the most dangerous form of Identity Theft, because it could mean life or death. It may change your medical and health insurance records. A record is created with the imposter’s medical information which might be mistaken for your medical information. Incorrect medical information could lead to dangerously wrong treatments, leading to injury, illness or death.
You could also be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition that you do not have. You could be billed for medical care you never received. Your insurance limits could be exceeded.
Detecting Medical Identity Theft
You need to read and question all insurance, medical and financial statements you receive. Did you receive the treatments? Does the care received match the claims reported? Are the amounts charged correct?
Order your free credit reports every 12 months from http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com and look for charges that should not be on your credit report.
Get copies of your medical files from your providers – doctors, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories and health plans. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule gives you the right to copies of your records. Unlike credit reports they may not be free. You may have to complete a form and pay a fee to get a copy of your records. They have 30 days to provide you a copy.
If you find a problem you have the right under HIPAA to correct any errors in your medical and billing records. Write the provider with details of the errors. Send copies (not originals) as supporting documents. Detail each individual error and ask for them to be corrected or deleted. Always send your dispute by certified mail, and ask for a return receipt. Keep a record of dates and times of letters, emails and phone calls. (Do not send your Social Security Number via email or fax.)
Always verify who wants your information and why they need it.