Medical Identity Theft
Medical Identity Theft terrifies me just as much as my identity being used AGAIN for criminal purposes. At least if I were detained AGAIN because of an impostor’s behavior, I’d be able to use my OB1-Kenobi Jedi Mind powers to remind the arresting authorities… I am not the human they’re looking for.
Some-time back, approximately ten or so years ago when identity theft started really becoming a reoccurring topic on the news, I came across a story of a local Orlando woman who unknowingly had her identity stolen.
The lady who impersonated the victim was a pregnant crackhead or if you prefer, actively using illegal street drugs. Regardless of your level of political correctness, this Crackhead admitted herself into the hospital using the victim’s identity and successfully delivered a crack addicted baby, then POOF – She disappeared. The baby was abandoned at the hospital where, at least it could receive proper care and hopefully have an opportunity to live a happy child’s dream.
Unfortunately, since the pregnant woman impersonated the victim, hospital admittance records pointed authorities to the victim… who was now wanted for child endangerment and several other offenses.
The victim in this instance was a mother of three, active in the community and completely innocent since she didn’t recently give birth to a crack addicted baby nor did she know the impostor. Despite the obvious, the victim was immediately arrested (justifiably so) which consequently caused her children to be taken away and placed into protective child services.
Having her children taken away may seem at first like an extreme move however, all available evidence implemented the victim as a drug addict capable of abandoning her child.
This nightmare wasn’t immediately resolved.
The victim was eventually able to prove she did not just recently give birth and was in fact, an innocent victim of identity theft. Despite the fact all criminal charges were dropped, child services still treated this poor mother like a criminal after the confusion was cleared up.
According to the article it took several months before she re-gained full and uncontested custody of her children again… I can’t even imagine the long-term anxiety someone would have after being arrested and having your kids taken for something you verifiably didn’t do.
Luckily, the matter was eventually resolved and regardless of the pain endured, the family was eventually reunited.
Medical Identity Theft has proven to be fatal in other instances. Impersonator have obtained treatments which required insulin to be administered. In those cases, the impersonators condition (which required insulin) has now unknowingly been added to the victim’s medical records.
If the victim were to receive professional treatment under circumstances which prevented them from communicating (perhaps unconscious for some reason), the emergency treatment could include insulin therapy. If, insulin is administered to an individual in dosages suitable for a diabetic impostor, the outcome could be fatal to the victim.
Identity theft can infiltrate virtually any aspect of your life, not merely personal financial matters such as those associated with credit cards and bank accounts. As insurance professionals, we’re obligated to conduct ourselves ethically and professionally, this includes protecting the personal information entrusted to our care. Do identity breaches happen, absolutely! It feels like the news outlets are constantly informing us of another major breach. We can’t do much to protect ourselves besides subscribe to an identity theft protection service and handle personal information with care.
It’s the little things which keep us safe…
Insurance continued education providers and the courses they offer must obtain proper authorization from the Department and comply with the standards set forth within the Florida Insurance Code. Regardless if the un-approved course is deemed advanced and relevant to law and ethics for the professional, if un-approved, no continued education credits will be earned.
Luckily when individuals inadvertly take an un-approved course, the only harm is typically the cost of the course and loss of time… inadvertently represent an un-authorized insurer or entity and you won’t get off so easy.
Working with or representing an un-authorized entity may result in criminal charges being filed against you. Please make it a habbit to “Verify” before you engage in insurance related activities.
Licensees are deemed, knowledgeable professionals therefore, ignorance of the law in not an acceptable defense for improper behavior. Failure to comply with any of the minimum standards outlined within this course will eventually lead to administrative penalties, fines, probation, revocation of your license or possibly even prison.
If you at any time, have questions pertaining to professional responsibility or compliance please ask someone for help. If you’re not comfortable calling the state, call us at the school and if we can help you… we’d be happy to help. The marketplace is designed around a POWER OF WE vibe so, #NeverHuntAlone – Provide support whenever possible.
I believe the Department personnel and resources are designed to help us succeed. To eliminate the stresses associated with law and compliance, simply be familiar with the professional resources available to you.