Medical identity theft is a serious, and growing, business. One study reports that over 2 million cases are identified each year and the number keeps rising. When thieves steal your medical identity it can endanger not only your finances but also threaten your health. They may use your name or health insurance to see a doctor, get prescription drugs, file phony claims with your insurance provider, or illegally acquire government benefits such as Medicare or Medicaid. If their health information is mixed with yours, your medical treatment, insurance and credit report may be adversely affected. Some warning signs of medical identity theft include a bill for services you didn’t receive, a debt collection company calling for money you don’t owe or your insurance company telling you you’ve reached your limit on medical benefits. Here are some steps to avoid medical identity theft: Protect your Medicare and other health insurance cards and review your medical bills regularly for suspicious charges. Beware of offers of free medical goods or services in exchange for your Medicare number. Shred all papers with your medical identity, and, destroy labels on prescription bottles before throwing them away. For more information on how to protect yourself from identity theft, please give our office a call today.
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