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Tips for preventing medical identity theft

Sep 27, 2012 Dave King

Individuals can become victims of identity theft when paying bills, shopping or even at the hospital. The latter is becoming an increasingly expensive problem for many U.S. citizens. For example, a Colorado man recently received a $44,000 bill for surgery, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. However, the man had never had surgery. Instead, his Social Security number had been stolen and used by another to get the procedure. There are a number of steps individuals can take to help prevent becoming a victim of medical identity theft. First, whenever receiving a bill, individuals should read any Explanation of Benefits statement or Medicare Summary Notice to make sure the claims match the care received as well as that there are no errors in information such as the provider or date of service, the newspaper explains. Furthermore, citizens should continue to take advantage of the three free credit reports legally allocated to them per year. These reports can help individuals identify medical collection items that aren't correct. This last piece of advice is crucial to preventing any type of identity theft. College students, in particular, are vulnerable to the crime and should make every effort to keep abreast of their credit information.