Fairfax Senior Citizens Learn How To Thwart Medical ID Theft | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Fairfax Senior Citizens Learn How To Thwart Medical ID Theft

Play associated audio

The Federal Trade Commission is teaming with local governments to spread the word about the fastest-growing type of identity theft: medical ID theft.

Vee Johnson, of the Fairfax County's Consumer Affairs Division, wants local residents, especially senior citizens, to guard their personal health information just as closely as they guard their money.

"Protect your Medicare card, protect your health insurance card just as you would a credit card," she says.

Johnson says that to a medical ID thief, a health insurance card could be even more valuable than a credit card because with most credit cards there's a spending limit.

But at Hollin Hall Senior Center today, Johnson also explained how medical ID theft is a health risk as well as a financial one: It can lead to misdiagnosis from doctors looking at the wrong personal information.

Ann Connell says she's always been careful with her Medicare card, but now she plans to spend some extra time reading through the information release forms she's never bothered to read at the doctor's office.

"I just automatically sign it because it's just tons of paragraphs of stuff -- I don't think it's...going to affect me," Connell says. "Well, now I'm going to read it."

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute -- a group dedicated to privacy and data protection -- showed that nearly 6 percent of Americans have been victims of medical identity theft.

NPR

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Awarded MacArthur Fellowship

She is one of the first cartoonists to be recognized. Besides her graphic novels and memoirs, Bechdel developed a simple three-question test for how women are represented in films.
NPR

Sweet: Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme Pump Up Pledge On Palm Oil

Two major doughnut chains have bowed to consumer pressure to better police their palm oil purchases. Environmentalists say it's a win for consumers, trees and animals.
NPR

Congress Quietly Extends The Budget — Past Election Day, Anyway

Since the GOP retook the House, the chamber once brought the country to the brink of a debt default and once shut down the government. But in election years, including this one, there's no such drama.
NPR

How NASA's New Spaceships Stack Up

Earlier this week, NASA awarded two contracts for new spaceships to commercial companies. Here's how they compare.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.