Your medical and insurance information are valuable to identity thieves who will use your name to pay for their medical debts, including hospitalization, doctor’s office visits and medicine.

Be Careful Sharing Your Medical Information

Guard your information. Be wary if someone offers you “free” health services or products and then requires you to provide your health plan ID number. Medical identity thieves may pretend to work for an insurance company, doctor’s office, clinic or pharmacy to try to trick you into revealing sensitive information. Don’t share medical or insurance information by phone or email unless you initiated the contact and know who you are dealing with.

Store Your Medical Information in a Safe Place

Keep paper and electronic copies of your medical and health insurance records in a safe place. Shred outdated health insurance forms, prescription and physician statements, and the labels from prescription bottles before you throw them out.

Guard Your Medical Information and Numbers

Before you provide sensitive personal information to a website that asks for your Social Security number, insurance account numbers or details about your health, find out why it is needed, how it will be kept safe, whether it will be shared and with whom. Read the Privacy Policy on the website. If you decide to share your information online, look for the lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a URL that begins with “https:” (the “s” is for secure).