Obamacare 'Jet Fuel' for Medical Identity Theft

Written By Outsider Club

Posted March 13, 2014

Medical-related identity theft accounted for 43% of all identity theft reports in the United States last year – a larger proportion than banking and finance, education, and the government and military.

These breeches cost the industry about $5.6 billion each year, according to the Ponemon Institute.

And the problem is getting worse, in large part because of Obamacare.

Indeed, medical records were already an enticing target for cyber-criminals. The data is more valuable than financial information, because banks on the lookout for fraud can freeze assets and replace credit cards rather quickly. However, your social security number and personal health records don’t change.

So with the click of just a few buttons, a criminal hacker can access thousands of patient records each worth $10 to $20 on the black market.

Where does Obamacare come in?

To begin with, the legislation has sought to digitize medical information in an attempt to cut costs and increase efficiency. It also brought millions of previously uninsured Americans into the new system, exposing more information to cunning hackers, who often take advantage of lax security and oversights by overburdened hospital workers.

Furthermore, it’s entirely possible – if not likely – that personal and medical information was lost or exposed during the programs disastrous roll-out, which was roiled by an abundance of technical glitches and a mad dash to address the breakdowns.

Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, told CNBC there’s been “a profound increase” in identity theft since the ACA was enacted.

Obamacare “was like adding jet fuel” to the medical identity theft problem, she said.

More disturbingly, 70% of those surveyed in the Ponemon study believe Obamacare has increased or significantly increased the risk of data theft, because of inadequate security. The top concerns were insecure websites for patient registration, insecure databases, and insecure exchanges between healthcare providers and the government.

And the most frustrating thing?

There’s nothing you can do about it.

Unless you intend to forgo any and all medical treatment your information is in the hands of those to operate and police the system.