Tyler Better Business Bureau
BBB is alerting consumers about a growing form of identity theft involving medical insurance.
They also include bills for medical service you did not receive and medical explanation of benefits statements showing claims for treatment you did not receive.
Debt collector could contact you about medical debt you do not owe. You may also be told you reached your limit of benefits when you try to make a legitimate insurance claim or you may be denied insurance because your medical records reflect a condition you don’t have.
BBB provides tips to help you catch medical identity theft early on.
First, read every explanation of benefits or “EOB” statement you receive from your health insurer. Follow up on any item you don’t recognize. At least once a year ask the health insurers you’ve been involved with for a list of the benefits they paid in your name.
Make it a regular practice to check your credit reports for fraudulent activity. Go to www.annualcreditreport.com to receive your free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus.
Learn more about your rights under federal law at the Department of Human Health and Services website. Many hospitals have ombudsmen or patient advocates who can assist you should your health care provider refuse to provide you with your requested records.
BBB advises consumers to verify medical sources before sharing insurance information, and do not give out personal or medical information on the phone or through the mail unless you made the initial contact.
Protect your medical information just as you would a credit card or Social Security information. Shred medical records that you are throwing away. The FTC also recommends destroying the labels on your prescription bottles and packages before you discard them.
For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to www.bbb.org. To report a fraud or scam, call the BBB Hotline at 903-581-8373.