- Guard your personal information – Provide your insurance identification only to those who provide you with medical services and don't allow anyone to borrow your insurance identification/Medicare card.
- Beware of "free" medical services – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A common fraud scheme has door-to-door or telephone sales people offering medical services or equipment for free in exchange for your insurance/Medicare identification number.
- Keep accurate medical records – Even if your doctor uses electronic medical records, you should always keep your own records. You could use a personal health information service or keep a written record of any medical services and medications you've received – just write down the doctor or doctors you saw, the services you received, and when they occurred.
- Review your medical bills -- Be sure to ask for your bill at the time of your doctor visit. Then check your bills and compare it with your insurer's description of your benefits to make sure you aren't charged for services you didn't receive or charged for the same service twice. Also check that the dates of services and charges match up. If you find a problem or have questions, contact your health care provider immediately. If your questions are not resolved, contact your health plan provider.
- Destroy medical records before discarding – Be sure to shred or rip up any medical documents to stop your information from ending up in the wrong hands, or worse yet, having your identity stolen.
- Report possible fraud - If you suspect you're a victim of fraud, contact your health plan provider or the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.
Verizon Offers Six Tips To Help Consumers Protect Their Personal Health Information And Fight Health Care Fraud
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