How You Can Protect Your Information

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What do thieves want even more than your credit card information? Your medical and health insurance information.

Stolen healthcare information can be sold for more money than credit card or other financial information. That’s because it often takes months or years for people to realize that their healthcare information has been taken. Over that time, thieves may have racked up tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical services.

But the issue isn’t just money. If other people are receiving healthcare services in your name, their medical information—allergies, prescription drugs, health problems—is in your medical records. And that can put your health in danger.

What can you do?
Thieves rely on the fact that people don’t guard their medical or health insurance information as carefully as their financial information. These simple tips can help you protect yourself:

  • Make sure you’ve actually received the medical services submitted to BCBSRI in your name.
    Log in to BCBSRI.com to see a list of all the medical services submitted to BCBSRI in your name and your children’s names (if they are under age 16). If you receive a Healthcare Services Summary in the mail from BCBSRI, make sure you’ve actually received the services listed.
     
  • Look for unpaid medical bills on your credit report.
    You can get a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once a year by visiting annualcreditreport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228.
     
  • Be careful about sharing your healthcare information.
    Never give your information to anyone who calls you or comes to your door. If possible, give your health insurance information only to your doctor and other healthcare providers. If you’re asked for it in other situations (such as forms for your child’s sports teams), ask if providing that information is necessary and who will have access to it.
     
  • Check privacy policies online.
    Before responding to surveys, health screenings, or sweepstakes, check their privacy policy and find out how the information will be used and who will have access to it.
     
  • Don’t respond to emails asking for your personal information.
    An email attack called phishing is designed to trick you into providing personal information or spreading malicious software (called malware). It usually appears to come from someone you know or have an online relationship with, such as a friend, bank, retail store, or health plan. Watch out for emails that:
    • Say they’re from a legitimate company, but are sent from what looks like a personal email address. 
      Tip: Check to see if the email is being sent to people you don’t know.
    • Require “immediate action” or have a strong sense of urgency, such as stating that the related account/service could be cancelled if you don’t take action.
      Tip: Legitimate companies will never ask for your personal information through email.
    • Are unexpected, such as an email about a package delivery if you aren’t expecting a package. Only click on emails, attachments, and/or links that you are expecting.
      Tip: By holding your mouse over a link, you can see the true destination of that link.

If you’ve received a suspicious email, please let us know by emailing abuse@bcbsri.org. We’ll immediately investigate and take all appropriate steps to ensure your account is secure.

If you believe that someone has stolen your health insurance information, please call the BCBSRI Anti-Fraud Hotline at 1-800-424-8700 or email SIU@bcbsri.org. Learn more about reporting healthcare fraud.