Medical identity theft is a growing problem
Medical identity theft happens when someone steals your personal or health insurance information. They use it to get medical care, prescriptions, insurance payouts, even surgery. It’s a lot like regular identify theft. It can damage your credit rating. Cost you money and take time to clear up. Even hurt your chances to get some jobs. And it's happening more and more in the United States.
Here are a few steps to protect yourself
Be careful with your member ID card.
It could be used to get medical services or drugs. And these will be on your medical record permanently. If your card is missing, lost or stolen, notify Aetna Member Services right away.
- Wrong group or identification numbers
- Unfamiliar provider offices or hospitals
- Dates for services on which you did not receive care
- Prescriptions you did not fill
Keep personal information personal.
Don’t give out your insurance ID, Social Security or driver’s license numbers on the phone or by mail to just anyone. Make sure you initiated the contact. And make sure there is a valid reason for giving out the number.
Be on guard even if someone claims to be from Aetna.
We avoid asking for your Social Security number. However, there are times we need it. For example, if you:
Sent us a form that requested your Social Security number but you didn’t provide it or it is not readable, we might call you to ask for it.
Left a voice mail for someone at Aetna that did not include enough information to identify you, we might ask for additional information when returning your call.
If you are uneasy giving information to someone who says they are from Aetna – DON’T. Instead, call the Member Services number on you ID card. Ask to have your call directed to the department asking for the information. That way, you can be sure you are giving the information to Aetna.
Make sure “free” is free.
If you visit a free clinic, make sure it’s free. Don’t show your ID card for any reason.
Review health care information.
Take time to read mailed Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statements or online claims. Even if they are marked, “This is not a bill." Look for:
Check your credit report.
Identity thieves can run up medical costs in your name. The bills can be mailed to another address. You won’t know unless you check your report. Or you get a call from a collection agency.
You can get a credit report for free. Visit the Federal Trade Commission website to learn how.