Did you know that the medical/healthcare sector experienced a 34-percent increase in data breaches over the past year?¹
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if fraudsters get a hold of your health insurance information, they could seek medical attention, get prescription drugs, file insurance claims, and more.²
How can medical identity theft affect you?
When your personal information has been stolen, and your health information has been tampered with, the results can be dangerous, both financially and physically. If a fraudster uses your information to receive serious or numerous medical services, you could be faced with paying the bill(s), AND you now have someone else’s health information on your record, which could lead to inaccurate treatment for your own medical matters.
Recovering from medical identity theft can be just as costly. 65% of victims paid “an average of $13,500” and spent over 200 hours resolving the issue.³
How do you know if you’re a victim?
A few clues (among others) that could point to fraudulent activity would be…
For example, say you get denied for a loan because of poor credit, so you check your credit score, which is much lower than you expected. Consequently, you request your credit reports, which show collection notices for medical debt that you don’t recognize. This could mean a fraudster got a hold of your information and is using it for his or her own gain.
How can you protect yourself?
Be on the lookout for suspicious activity and get proactive with how you handle your personal information. Here’s how you can get started:
Is it enough?
The fact of the matter is that medical identity theft isn’t the only kind of threat against your personal information. Data breaches happen in all different sectors (e.g. health, business, government, education, et cetera), and fraudsters will use your personal information for more than just the benefit of medical insurance. They could establish lines of credit, empty your bank accounts, access your Social Security benefits, sell your information to other fraudsters, and more.
So, what do you do?
Consider using an identity theft protection program to guard yourself against identity theft and fraudulent activity.
Look for a plan that takes a holistic approach to identity theft protection, including prevention and restoration – a plan that can address fraud in a timely matter in order to prevent heightened stress, with features like the following:
Talk to your Money Coach about identity theft protection services available to you, like 24/7 identity monitoring and access to Fraud Resolution Specialists.
Protect your health. Protect your finances. Protect your life. Call 888-724-2326 to get started.
My Secure Advantage® does not monitor every transaction at every business. No service can stop all identity theft events. This content is for informational purposes only and does not guarantee eligibility for the program or its services. My Secure Advantage, Inc. or any of its representatives do not endorse any of the websites or company names listed here. The information presented is not to be a substitute for seeking advice specific to your situation from a legal or financial professional. If legal or financial advice is required, contact an attorney or financial advisor.
¹“ITRC Breach List Update & Highlights.” Identity Theft Resource Center. ITRC, 12 Apr. 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2016.
²“Medical Identity Theft.” consumer.ftc.gov. FTC, n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2016.
³Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft. Ponemon Institute LLC, Feb. 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2016. PDF.
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