You know you need to keep your identity and financial information secure to avoid identity theft. It’s also important to keep your health coverage details secure.
Tips for Keeping Your Health Information Protected
Keep track of your member ID cards. If you misplace a card or think it was stolen, let us know right away. We will send a replacement. You may want to keep a close eye on your medical statements and credit reports for a while to be sure you don’t see anything unfamiliar pop up. There are several options available for getting free credit reports.
Consider going paperless. Not having paper Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) and claim statements mailed to you can be safer because they can be stolen from your mail.
To stop receiving paper EOBs and claims statements, log in to Blue Access for MembersSM. Go to the top of the page and select Settings and then Preferences. You can also get to your paperless preferences page from the Stop Receiving Paper Statements Quick Link on the left side of the page after you log in. When you’re on the paperless preferences page, you can select Begin Going Paperless. You can go back to the same page to change your preference back to paper statements if you change your mind later.
If you prefer to keep paper files, be sure to shred anything you throw away, and consider keeping your papers in a locked file cabinet.
Shred pharmacy information. Be sure to shred any inserts and labels or other documents that contain your name, a prescription number, the name or number of a provider, or any information about the medication or what you take the medication for.
And if you get written prescriptions from your provider, whether from a little pad or a computer printout, and you don’t need to give it to your pharmacist because they got it already by phone or computer, shred that, too. Not only is your information on the written prescription, your provider’s prescribing ID may be as well.
Ask your pharmacy if it has a pill bottle shredding capability or service. If so, return your empties to them whenever you refill your prescriptions. If your pharmacy doesn’t have a shredding service, professional shredding services may be available in your community. Check for any reputable business or not-for-profit licenses for peace of mind.
If shredding medication containers isn’t an option for you, peel or soak the labels off and shred those if any legible ink remains after they come off. Then you can recycle the containers with your other plastics or repurpose them.
What Could Fraud, Waste or Human Error Look Like?
Keep an eye on your statements. If you see something you don’t understand on any EOB, bill or claims statement, call the number on the back of your member ID card and ask about it. It may be a simple error that’s easily fixed. If not, the sooner problems are found, the sooner we can address them.
Things to look for include:
- Do the dates of service match when you had the service?
- Do the providers and locations of the service look right? If something is off, call the number on the back of your member ID card to check.
- Do the conditions or services mentioned make sense? If there’s a condition or body part named that doesn’t fit what you remember, it’s worth checking into. The same goes for medication lists.
In addition to mistakes, there can be deliberate fraud. Someone could use your health coverage account details to get health care services for themselves. You could then be stuck with bills for out-of-pocket expenses for services you didn’t receive.
Fictional claims. These may be the easiest form of fraud (or waste) to spot if you look at your statements and explanations of benefits regularly. That’s why it’s important to look at your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) regularly.
“Free” offers. Beware of offers that seem too good to be true and require you to share your personal information. If something is “free,” no personal or billing information should be needed. For health care and beyond, if anyone asks for billing details for a “free trial” you could be billed for shipping. And you may have signed up for a subscription you would need to cancel to avoid charges.
For more information about protecting your medical identity and preventing fraud, waste or abuse, see our Fighting Fraud Checklist.