#16 Medical Benefits Fraud
One of the most devastating forms of identity theft is medical in nature. It is referred to as medical benefits fraud, but the term encompasses a few forms of theft that will damage the identity and potentially the health of the victimized person. A thief can use your name and health insurance number to visit the doctor, file health insurance claims, and get prescriptions. The potentially devastating nature of the medical identity theft is that when the patient records of the victimized person and the thief are mixed, the wrong treatment can be given. This variant of identity theft can literally be a matter of life and death.
Detecting medical identity theft is not an easy task, but there are some signs that of this problem for which you need to be on the lookout.
- Receiving a bill for hospital services you didn’t receive.
- Getting calls from debt collectors regarding medical debt that you don’t remember owing.
- Collection notices on your credit report for unpaid medical debt.
- You have unexpectedly hit the benefit cap on your health insurance plan.
- Rejection from your insurance company for a medical condition that you don’t have.
There is nothing you can do to truly prevent any type of identity theft, including medical identity theft, but there are methods that you can implement to detect the problem faster.
- Regularly look over your medical and insurance statements. Usually, they will come with a summary called the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) which is send after treatment is submitted to insurance.
- Does the name of the provider, service provided, and date of service match up with your records?
- Keep copies of all of your medical records for at least five years. That way, if something shows up, you can check with your own records.
Credit monitoring will not alert you to this type of fraud.
LibertyID will take the following steps for/with their members:
- Contact impacted creditor/businesses where the victim’s information was misused and have the fraudulent accounts closed and note the presence of identity theft.
- Place fraud alerts at all three credit reporting agencies.
- Place credit freezes at all three credit reporting agencies, if appropriate.
- File report with FTC.
- If their identity theft involved the use of your driver’s license number, Social Security Number, or another type of identification, will we contact the relevant agencies to notify them of the theft.
- Review credit reports with the victim to ensure there is no other types of fraud.
- Provide single bureau credit monitoring with alerts for 12 months.
- LibertyID will ensure that the restoration is completed with the victim.
- Periodically contact the member throughout the 12 months following resolution of their ID theft recovery case, if warranted.