What could be worse than being sick? One possibility: Not being sick and getting bills that say you are, which means you might be the victim of medical identity theft.
What to watch out for:
– Receiving a bill for an unknown medical treatment or a notice that a submitted claim has been denied because you’ve reached your insurance limit when you know you haven’t
– Getting a past due notification from a debt collector for health care you never received
– Finding out your hospital records show a disease you’ve never been diagnosed with
What to do to avoid getting scammed:
– Always know who you’re talking to before giving out personal information such as your date of birth and Social Security number. Add your health insurance ID number to the "do-not tell" list, too.
– When you shred your trash, include prescription labels and packaging.
– Ask your pharmacist for a copy of your file and make sure all the drugs on the list are ones that have been prescribed for you.
– If you undergo treatment at a clinic or a hospital, request itemized bills, then check the statement to verify dates and services provided.
– Obtain a copy of your most recent hospital records and look for changes that could signal a case of identity theft, such as a blood type that’s different than yours, unfamiliar test results, or allergies you don’t have.