With many people getting better at protecting their identities, and financial companies on the lookout for fraud, identity thieves are increasingly going after your medical information. According to the Medical Identity Theft Alliance, in 2014 medical ID theft rose 22%.
True, the actual number of people affected in 2014 was only 500,000. However, that's only a small number when compared to traditional identity theft, which averages 12 million a year. And, as I said, medical ID theft is growing fast.
It doesn't help that hackers used to high-security financial systems are finding hospital and insurance security almost laughably easy. Medical providers are still new at digital records and security, so it's understandable, though not forgivable, that they haven't got a handle on it.
Last year, for example, insurance company Anthem Inc. lost 80 million customer records in a massive breach. At the time, security experts criticized Anthem for not encrypting its records. That means hackers could just take the information and start using it right away with no hassle.
So you would hope that other health providers would have learned a valuable lesson. Unfortunately, it looks like they didn't.