Last year, the healthcare industry was the second most impacted industry with nearly 36% of the breaches publically reported. That’s not surprising considering major breaches like Anthem, Premiera and Excellus that totaled a combined 99.8 million records breached in 2015.
In addition to businesses, consumers are feeling the impact. Two million victims were impacted by medical identity theft in 2014, according to the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance. With cyber criminals finding increased value in medical credentials, there appears to be no slowing for this type of crime.
Consumers should consider the following best practices to help keep their information safe:
Use a monitoring service. These types of services can help keep an eye out for signs of medical identity theft, including medical bills in someone else’s name or for medical services you did not receive.
Review your EOBs. Your Explanation of Benefits, while daunting at times, lists all benefits and services paid in your name. Review to ensure the accuracies of benefits and services listed.
Keep an eye on your credit. Review your credit report for fraudulent activity, such as accounts you did not open. You are entitled to a free credit report each year from each of the three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. If you do not recognize accounts or notice an error on your credit report, file a dispute with the bureaus.
Medical identity theft is a grave issue, affecting more and more consumers each year. Following these simple, yet vital tips might help you avoid a medical identity theft event.