Friday, March 17, 2017

Bad, But Not as Bad

A recent article cited that 1 in 3 Americans have had their medical identity stolen, meaning each one could be on the hook for thousands of dollars worth of medical device purchases, prescription drugs, office visits and other impacts. There are several websites that show you how to protect yourself from this kind of identity theft.

That number seemed astounding to me. I don't know anyone in my immediate family that's been subject to fraudulent medical claims perpetrated by someone else. Let's say that's six people in three households. That means there are 3 people in three other households suffering the consequences of identity theft. I have 3 houses around mine so chances are good that at least one has had a problem. In fact, statistically the probability that none of the six of us have had a problem is 1 in a thousand. If you had another group of 6 people, chances are 99.9% that you'd find at least one person with a medical identity theft problem...if the numbers are true.

They're not.

A little research shows that 92 million medical records have been hacked. Okay, that's about 1 in 3 Americans. But that doesn't mean that each medical record has turned into identity theft. It could, but it hasn't.

That actual rate for reported identity theft is 1.5%, in 2014, not 33% as another article had claimed. Unless you enjoy 'alternative facts'.

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