Not only are identities used to get jobs and credit, but also to obtain health care on the victim’s back. While a stolen identity for work and/or credit can make you life difficult, medical identity theft could threaten your life:
Metro Police have a warning about medical identity theft. They say crooks are stealing health care information and then showing up at doctor’s offices or hospitals posing as the victim of the identity theft…
You could get hit with the bill or your medical records could be tainted with wrong information, creating scary scenarios for your health and your life.
The article notes that the primary culprits in such theft include transients, illegal immigrants (“undocumented workers”), and addicts attempting to get a prescription.
This, yet again, highlights the fact of why identity verification (like E-Verify) is so important. With compromised medical records, a legitimate patient could be administered drugs they are allergic to, less effective medication or procedures, or receive the wrong blood type. Additionally, this drives up medical costs for all and could drive up costs to a patient if they are mistakenly believed to have a serious condition (ICU/quarantine costs etc) due to the compromised record. They may also be denied procedures due to a non-existent medical condition and may have their insurance revoked:
“If you get sick as a crook and go to the doctor under your name and come back with what they would deem as a preexisting condition, we’ve had actual insurance companies try to cancel the victim’s insurance for debilitating diseases,” said Lt. Sebby.
In the mean time:
Experts say you should treat your health insurance card just as you would a credit card or your social security card. When you get an explanation of benefits from your insurance company in the mail, police say read them very carefully. If you notice anything wrong, call your insurance company and file a police report.
Looking forward, continue to press you elected representatives (local, state, and national) to require identity verification measures in order to stop what includes, life-threatening consequences.