How can I protect my privacy and avoid identity theft so I can limit my risk?
There has been a lot of press recently regarding security breach’s of protected health information from hospitals and insurances plans. Are they after your personal blood pressure results? Or the bill for your last physical? Probably not. But one of the top motives of hackers is to sell your personal details (name, address, Social Security Number, date of birth, etc) to identity theft brokers who might open credit cards in your name and run up some bills.
There isn’t a whole lot you can personally do to protect your blood pressure results. You’ll need to trust your provider and insurance company to protect them, as they’re required to do under HIPAA.
But you can protect your identity, and it’s relatively easy. And it’s independent of anything you do regarding your healthcare. Subscribe to an identity theft protection service to limit your risk under any ID theft circumstances – healthcare related or otherwise.
Option 1 is to contact your health insurance company and see if they offer identity theft protection for free or at a discounted rate. Some – often those who have suffered a breach of protected health information in the past – offer these services to their members.
Option 2 is to subscribe to a commercial ID theft protection service. Consumersadvocate.org is a site that rates the top identity theft protection companies, and gives details on reputation, price, etc.
Remember: We coach, support, educate, and empower. We illuminate options you may not have known you had. But we don't decide what's right for you in your unique circumstances; only you can do that. And we don't provide medical, financial, or legal advice; nor do we replace the valuable counsel of those who do.