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snopes
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Comment: I heard there was a Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical card problem -
people steal your medical card and can use them for high limits and the
owner of the card/the insured is liable for the money - true?

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Huh?

It's not a credit card.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Lgreywolf
Deck the Malls


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It's not a credit card, but the health care number on the card used to be the insured person's social security number. If the card was stolen it could conceivably be used for identity theft. I made a complaint about it when I had that insurance, especially as my SSN was on my husband's and daughter's cards as well as my own. They said it was how their system worked and it couldn't be anything else (like the option for driver's licenses if you don't want your SSN used.) It has since changed to what looks like a random number (my husband had Blue Cross for two years recently) so I would guess mine wasn't the only complaint they received.

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"Most Jewish holidays can be summed up very simply: They tried to kill us. We won. Let's eat." - my in-laws' Rabbi.

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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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It's called medical identity theft. The crook uses your card to get expensive medical treatment or to pay for drugs.
quote:
Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses a personís name and sometimes other parts of their identity Ė such as insurance information -- without the personís knowledge or consent to obtain medical services or goods, or uses the personís identity information to make false claims for medical services or goods. Medical identity theft frequently
results in erroneous entries being put into existing medical records, and can involve the creation of fictitious medical records in the victimís name.

Not only might you be dunned for bogus medical bills, but bogus information might get put in your records--a potentially srious problerm. ID Theft Infects Medical Records (LA Times article; registration may be required. )
quote:
In May, Weaver suffered a heart attack at her home in Palm Coast, Fla., and was in and out of consciousness.

When she awoke in her hospital room two days later, a nurse asked Weaver what drugs she had been taking to treat her diabetes. Weaver has never had diabetes, a disease that can lead to foot problems severe enough to require amputation.

"They could have given me insulin," Weaver said. "There's a whole different heart procedure that covers people with diabetes."



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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Every new doctor or medical facility I have ever visited has asked for my DOB, SSN, etc. Seems like it would be very difficult for this medical identity theft to occur if only the medical card were stolen. How would the thief know your DOB, address and other necessary information? The several doctors and medical facilities I and my husband have been to in the past couple of years had the ability to validate current coverage on-line. This validation process would reveal discrepancies in personal information. Please note that I'm not saying it cannot happen. I just don't see how it could be very easy to accomplish. What a dangerous mess for those who have been the victims of such fraud. Maybe requiring a photo ID to receive medical treatment would help stop this. Of course, the exception would have to be in an emergency when no ID was available.

We almost had a medical mixup in our own family. Our nephew's wife went to the doctor for her first prenatal checkup. It is a clinic setting and employs about 35 doctors. The doctor, whom I had never seen, looked rather puzzled and asked how old she was, how much she weighed, and then asked if she knew a "My Husband's Name." She said, "Yes, he's my uncle." Turns out the wrong chart had been pulled. My name is Lettie, hers is Nettie, same last name. She called to tell me that "we" were pregnant and suggested that we share by my paying the bills and her keeping the baby. [lol] That was 29 years ago. Now the people who answer the telephone at the clinic always request verification of DOB and address before they will give you any information or make an appointment for you.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~IímNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent DíOnofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Lgreywolf:
It's not a credit card, but the health care number on the card used to be the insured person's social security number. If the card was stolen it could conceivably be used for identity theft. I made a complaint about it when I had that insurance, especially as my SSN was on my husband's and daughter's cards as well as my own. They said it was how their system worked and it couldn't be anything else (like the option for driver's licenses if you don't want your SSN used.) It has since changed to what looks like a random number (my husband had Blue Cross for two years recently) so I would guess mine wasn't the only complaint they received.

That very well could be; BCBS, however, has not used SSNs as identifying numbers for at least 4 years.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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medtchva
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Signora Del Drago:
Every new doctor or medical facility I have ever visited has asked for my DOB, SSN, etc. Seems like it would be very difficult for this medical identity theft to occur if only the medical card were stolen. How would the thief know your DOB, address and other necessary information? The several doctors and medical facilities I and my husband have been to in the past couple of years had the ability to validate current coverage on-line. This validation process would reveal discrepancies in personal information. Please note that I'm not saying it cannot happen. I just don't see how it could be very easy to accomplish. What a dangerous mess for those who have been the victims of such fraud. Maybe requiring a photo ID to receive medical treatment would help stop this. Of course, the exception would have to be in an emergency when no ID was available.


If there's enough information on the card, the person could go online and register as the insured and access addresses and birth dates. This is if the insured isn't already registered online. My card doesn't have my address or birth date, but my online account does.
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violetbon
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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All of my current doctors and dentist asked me for my driver's license along with my BCBS membership card on my first visit to their office as a patient. They copied it and put it in my record. My BCBS changed to a non social security ID number 2 years ago. I got a letter from them explaining that they were making the change gradually, not all accounts at one time.

And, both my thyroid surgeon and my dentist have patients with exactly the same name as me. Kind of funny when the dentist looked at me and said "You're not supposed to have any teeth there!" He always compares the chart to the mouth before he begins. Good thing he did!

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FullMetal
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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one problem with the whole Identity theft thing, and "how would they have your other info like birthdate, ssn, etc..." chances are if they somehow got your card, they got it through your mail or your wallet... either one would have your address, and your wallet would definately have your birthdate, and that's the big problem with id theft now you never just lose one card... and there's generally enough info in your wallet to get everything re-done.
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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Hey, you guys took so long to respond that I had forgotten about this thread. [lol]

The OP said only that the BCBS card had been stolen. It didn't say anything about stealing it from your mail or your wallet. Drat my literal mind! My Daddy didn't call me "Miss Technicality" fer nuttin'.

When I registered to be able to check EOBs, etc. on-line, I had to give my DOB and other personal information. I assume that information was checked against the information on file and also assume that the registration would have been denied at some point if I had kept entering incorrect DOBs. So, even with your name, address, and SSN, it would still be very difficult to steal your medical benefits.

Now I know why when you register on certain sites you have to answer a secret question in case you forget your password. I'm not devious enough to realize that another person might log on and pretend to have forgotten the password. Gaahhh! Well, that and the fact that I never forget mine. [Smile]

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~IímNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent DíOnofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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Zorro
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
That very well could be; BCBS, however, has not used SSNs as identifying numbers for at least 4 years.

I have BCBS, and my number was just changed within the last year.

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"Seize the day! Make your lives extraordinary!"
-John Keating, "Dead Poets Society"

Posts: 2861 | From: New Jersey | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Zorro:
quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
That very well could be; BCBS, however, has not used SSNs as identifying numbers for at least 4 years.

I have BCBS, and my number was just changed within the last year.
Perhaps it varied by state, but I had BCBS until a couple of months ago, and they did not use SSNs; in fact, they made quite a big deal of the fact when I originally enrolled in 2002.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Zorro
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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They made a big deal of it when they changed my number several months ago, too. It was so very LAM, the letter they sent me announcing it.

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"Seize the day! Make your lives extraordinary!"
-John Keating, "Dead Poets Society"

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annabohly
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Once, when my DS was in the hospital, there was a little boy who was in the room with him. When the boy's mother was gone the nurses kept asking him his name and he would say "John" (not really the name, just using it). when they asked the mother his name she said "Phillip" but we call him "john". but the thing is the nurses said that name wasn't on the charts as his first or middle name. I think they suspected medicaid fraud and the little boy wasn't the person on the medicaid card.

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And always remember....when life hands you Lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over !!!!!

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