smart spending

9 ways to combat child identity theft

Monitor your child's medical history
Monitor your child's medical history © aastock/Shutterstock.com

Identity thieves don't only steal personal information for credit purposes. A growing fraud frontier involves medical identity theft, which gives impostors the ability to obtain anything from prescription drugs to pricey medical services. These transactions may not show up on a credit report.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are ways parents can detect fraud, including receiving bills, collection notices or calls from debt collectors regarding medical services in your child's name that you don't recognize. Parents should be alarmed if they see unfamiliar listings of office visits or treatments on their explanation of benefits, if they are told by their health plan that they've reached their benefit limit or if they are denied insurance because their medical records show a condition they don't have.

One way to monitor your child's medical history is to request reports from the specialty reporting agencies for health and life insurance, such as OptumInsight Inc., MIB Inc. and Milliman Intelliscript.

Because insurance companies make important financial decisions about the products and premiums they extend to their customers, the accuracy of your child's medical history is critical, says Winston.

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