Alert your staffThe most important advice for your staff is that they should take good care of their health insurance card. This includes:
- Making sure they get their health insurance card back every time they use it.
- Cutting up their old card whenever they receive a new one for a new policy year or other reason. The new one should be put in their wallet.
- Reporting a loss immediately to their insurance company if the card is lost or stolen. They can issue a new one and void the old one, so that nobody can use it for doctor’s visits or to purchase medication.
- Health insurance enrollment forms
- Prescription bottles
- Doctor and medical provider billing statements
- Explanation of Benefits statements from their health carrier.
How to identify fraudSafeguarding the above information can go a long way towards avoiding medical identity theft, but it can still happen. Your employees should know the warning signs. The Federal Trade Commission recommends being on the lookout for the following:
- You get a bill from your doctor for services you didn’t get.
- You notice errors in your Explanation of Benefits statement, like services you didn’t get or prescription medications you don’t take.
- You get a call from a debt collector about a medical debt you don’t owe.
- You review your credit report and see medical debt-collection notices that you don’t recognize.
- You get a notice from your health insurance company saying you reached your benefit limit.
- You are denied insurance coverage because your medical records show a pre-existing condition you don’t have.
Action stepsIf you think someone is using your personal information to see a doctor, get prescription drugs, buy medical devices, submit claims with your insurance provider, or get other medical care, taking the steps below will help you limit the damage:
- Thoroughly review your medical records.
- Contact your insurance company and each provider and pharmacy where a thief may have used your information, and ask for copies of these medical records. You may have to submit records requests and pay fees to get copies.
- Review the records and look for errors, like visits or services you didn’t receive.
- Report the errors to each provider, pharmacy and your insurance carrier, with backup documentation that shows the incorrect information and an explanation of why it’s wrong — and ask that they remove the visits and services from your records.