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June 8, 2011

Medicaid and Medicare fraud in the US costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year.  With the cost of health care continuing to rise, and more and more people finding themselves out of work and therefore without medical coverage, the rate of medical identity theft is rising at an alarming rate.  Medical identity theft results from someone stealing your personal medical insurance information and using it to illegally obtain medical care.  It is among the fastest growing forms of identity theft, and most often occurs when medical records are stolen.  More than 1.4 million people have been victimized by medical identity theft. Victims pay about $20,000 each to resolve their cases, and more than half say they had to pay for medical care they didn’t receive in order to restore health coverage. Nearly half of victims also lost health coverage due to the fraud, and nearly one-third said their health premiums rose after they were victimized. Fewer than 10 percent say their incidents were completely resolved. (Ponemon Institute, 2010).

Medical identity theft can be discovered in reviewing your quarterly Medicare Summary Notice.  The AARP just posted a great article explaining the Medicare Summary Notice (MSN).  The MSN provides a list of all of the Medicare services you have received each quarter.  You should review each notice careful and see if there are any errors, or anything you suspect is fraudulent, you should report it to Medicare.  The Medicare site provides information about how to detect fraud, a list of ways to help prevent fraud, and what to do if you suspect fraud.

Protect yourself, and your personal medical information, and if you suspect you are the victim of medical identity theft, call our offices for a free consultation.

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