doctor holding stethoscope

It’s no secret that medical care in the United States can be costly, which makes it all the more upsetting to discover someone has used your insurance information. Not only can this impact your coverage and leave you responsible for bills you did not accumulate, but it can also affect the healthcare you receive in the future. However, a San Diego County identity theft lawyer can help you through these complex times. Keep reading to learn more about medical identity theft and what signs you should know about to help mitigate damages.

What Is Medical Identity Theft?

Generally, any time someone uses your identity to receive medical care in your name, it is considered medical identity theft. They may use this information to see a doctor, receive emergency treatment, obtain prescription drugs, or purchase medical equipment. Regardless, it can deplete your benefits and may leave you responsible for outstanding bills in your name. These bills can subsequently impact your credit score.

In addition to impacting you financially, medical identity theft can also have severe implications on your healthcare. Depending on the information the thief gives to a doctor, it can be placed on your chart, thus impacting the care and treatment you receive, as the physician may misdiagnose you because they are considering the other party’s medical information.

This theft can occur if someone obtains your insurance information and other personal details by stealing your wallet, hacking into databases, or scamming unsuspecting consumers to get their personal information.

What Signs Should Consumers Be Aware Of?

As a consumer, it’s essential to frequently check your financial information to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate. This also applies to medical information. The following are common signs you are a victim of medical identity theft:

  • Receiving bills for treatment you never obtained
  • Getting calls from debt collectors about an outstanding medical bill
  • Being denied insurance benefits because you’ve reached your limit
  • Receiving additional paperwork regarding a condition or treatment you do not have

What Should I Do if I Believe I’m a Victim?

Discovering any of the aforementioned signs of medical identity theft can be unsettling, as knowing that someone has your personal information can be upsetting. However, it’s essential to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and mitigate additional damages from occurring.

Generally, the first thing you should do is report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This allows you to receive a more personalized report about the steps you’ll need to take. Additionally, you should obtain copies of your medical records and indicate any incorrect or fraudulent information to ensure you receive the most effective care possible. Finally, you’ll want to analyze your credit report to find any incorrect information or outstanding, fraudulent charges. You can file a dispute with the reporting agency to have this information removed.

It’s also in your best interest to connect with an experienced identity theft lawyer from Barthel Legal. Our team understands how devastating the impacts of identity theft can be, especially when it affects your medical care. That’s why we’re dedicated to fighting for the best outcome for our clients. Connect with us today to discuss your circumstances.