According to a recent Wall Street Journal article (subscription required), an estimated 2.3 million Americans were affected by medical identity theft last year. Not only are thieves stealing health insurance information and obtaining medical procedures for which the victim is billed, but the victims’ medical records then contain inaccurate information—that of the thief.
In response, the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance has been formed by a number of organizations, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna and the U.S. Department of Labor, in an effort to “reduce the frequency and impact of medical identity fraud.”
Though sometimes linked to organized identity theft rings, medical identity theft often is committed by someone close to the victim with access to his or her information. Here are three items to remember:
- Protect your medical insurance cards with the same care as your driver’s license or Social Security card.
- Review your medical records for accuracy.
- Review notices of submitted or paid claims from your health insurance company.
For more information or questions regarding this topic, contact a BKD forensics professional.