The Growing Problem of Medical Identity Theft


The Growing Problem of Medical Identity Theft

A vicious new type of identity theft is on the rise: medical identity. It occurs when someone steals your personal information to receive free medical care, goods, and/or prescription drugs.

Medical identities are 20 to 50 times more valuable to criminals than financial identities. That may explain why approximately 1.5 healthcare data breaches occur each week on average. In fact, more than two million Americans were victims of medical identity theft in 2014, and medical identity theft increased nearly 22% last year.

In January 2015, Anthem Inc., the country’s second-biggest health insurer servicing nearly 10% of all Americans, said hackers broke into a database containing personal information for about 80 million of its customers and employees in what is likely to be the largest data breach disclosed by a healthcare company.

What Happens If You Become a Victim

If you become a victim of medical identity theft, it can cost you thousands of dollars, ruin your credit, and result in inaccurate payment records, loss of health coverage, and even legal troubles. It can also have life-threatening consequences. If a thief’s health information is mixed with your medical records, it can lead to a misdiagnosis or mistreatment. Misinformation in your records can plague your medical and financial well-being for years. To read more about medical identity theft, read our article.

Remember, identity theft is a long-term crime. Fraudulent activity may not show up for six to 12 months or even longer. That’s why it is essential to continually monitor your personal identity.

How IdentityForce Can Help
  • Comprehensive identity monitoring of your medical accounts like your medical insurance identification number and rapid alerts of suspicious activity
  • A simple medical identity form giving you an easy way to secure a benefits payout report from your medical and health insurance companies
  • Protection under its nationwide $1 million master insurance policy with a special medical identity theft rider for victims of theft

Even by taking every precaution, no one can prevent all identity theft. But if you become a victim, IdentityForce also gives you its “concierge-style” assistance in which certified identity theft specialists will write letters, make phone calls, and do whatever it takes to act on your behalf to fix any problems.

Additional Resources from IdentityForce
  • For more information about medical identity theft, read our white paper
  • And if you suspect you may be a victim of medical identity theft, review these red flags and a complete checklist of what you can do to mitigate the potential fallout here
Get ProtectedCall us toll-free at 1-877-694-3367.

1 Mark Pribish. “Security breaches a big issue for healthcare.” Identity Theft Center. (Accessed February 20, 2015).

2 Ponemon Institute. “Fifth Annual Study on Medical Identity Theft.” (Accessed March 2, 2015).

3 Tony Bradley. “5 things all Anthem customers should do after the massive data breach,” PC World. (Accessed February 20, 2015); Herb Weisbaum. “Millions of children exposed to ID theft through Anthem breach,” NBC News. (Accessed February 20, 2015); Mark Pribish. “Security breaches a big issue for healthcare.” Identity theft Center. (Accessed February 20, 2015).