JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Your personal health information should be kept private for several reasons.
If the wrong person gets it, they could access your financial information or steal your “medical identity.”
The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates that health-related fraud costs the nation about $68 billion a year.
Here are some ways to protect some of your more sensitive information:
First, say no to what you DON’T need.
In some cases, scammers will call or email offering medical screenings. But you may not need it.
Remember, always talk to your doctor before agreeing to any medical test or treatment.
Second, guard your Medicare number.
Sharing it could give crooks the opportunity to bill Medicare for testing and treatment you don’t need.
Third, check your records.
Look for any expenses that you are unfamiliar with. This can help catch a scammer.
Fourth, refuse unusual payment requests.
Whether it’s for a medical device or something else, be cautious if you get a bill for something you don’t remember ordering or a procedure you didn’t have.
Fifth, reconsider sharing health updates online.
Information about your health conditions and the procedures you’ve had can help criminals impersonate you and gain access to more information.