Don’t you hate it when you go to pay your health bill only to find that someone used your name and social security number to get a $12,000 liposuction procedure?

What, this has never happened to you?  Well, if you’re not careful, it may.

Sierra Morgan of Modesto, CA., had her medical identity stolen and the thief racked up that $12,000 bill.

Shortly after opening a health care credit account to get braces for her teeth, a thief stole the account.  Morgan didn’t learn about the crime until she logged in to pay the bill and saw the charge.

Medical identity theft is not a cakewalk to recover from. Collection calls, damaged credit, and outrageous bills are the easy part.

What happens if someone uses your identity to get treatment for allergies, diabetes, or even a rare blood disease? What if they have a different blood type than you?

If you are injured and need medical help, the doctors may treat you differently because you “have diabetes” or are blood type A when in reality you are not diabetic and have a B blood type.

Your records being jumbled together with a complete stranger can cause serious problems for you, even death.

So what do you do about all this? Medical records are stored in places you generally don’t have access to.

iDefend is a great start. With iDefend, not only will they help you recover from all forms of identity theft, they will also be constantly checking records and databases for any theft in the first place.

Now that you have iDefend, what else can you be doing to prevent medical identity theft?  Here are 3 things you should do:

  • Scrutinize every “explanation of benefits” form. Health insurers send these out after every claim. Check all of yours for office visits, services or equipment deliveries you don’t recognize.
  • Ask your insurer for a complete list of benefits annually. If a thief has changed the billing address on your account, you may never see the individual EOB forms. A complete list of claims submitted and paid each year can help you spot problems.
  • Ask for copies of your records from medical providers. The World Privacy Forum recommends making this request after every visit, so you can check for fraud and reconstruct your records afterward if you’re ever victimized.
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