Monday, May 10, 2010

AARP: Medical id theft usually costs victims a lot out of pocket

The May 2010 AARP Bulletin Today has a frightening article by Sid Kirchheimer “Scam Alert: Not what the doctor ordered: your medical records are very appealing to identity thieves”, link here.

Because of medical identity theft, victims sometimes lose health insurance or must pay higher premiums to keep coverage. The article says that it costs an average of $20000 out of pocket to close a case of medical identity theft. This is a shocking finding.

The problem could get worse if more medical records are automated (so that various specialists can see the medical chart and prescriptions online). The article also notes that stolen medical records could facilitate passport fraud, and could prove to a tempting lure for terrorists.

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