Healthcare matters can involve a whole host of medical and legal complications. At best, these issues may affect you financially; at worst, they could mean the difference between life and death. Whether you go to the hospital for a routine procedure or an emergency, there are steps you can take to help avoid complications. If you have any legal questions, call your LegalShield provider law firm and speak with an attorney right away.
- Have an up-to-date Medical Power of Attorney or Advanced Medical Directive (“Living Will”). In the event you cannot make medical decisions yourself, these documents entrust decisions about your care to a person you designate. Advise your family of your designation so that person is notified when decisions must be made.
- Make sure your name, identifying information and all other information is completely accurate at each doctor’s appointment, outpatient surgery and hospitalization. Serious problems involving medical care sometimes begin as simple clerical errors. A small error can create a major treatment crisis. Reduce the chance of error by carefully reviewing all of your doctor’s office or hospital admissions paperwork. During hospitalization check your hospital wristband for errors.
- Understand your health insurance coverage before you get sick. It is important that you understand all of the limitations and exclusions in your insurance policy. Your policy may require you to obtain preauthorization for medical procedures. In addition, you may need supplemental coverage or disability coverage in the event of a long recovery. Review your health coverage now. It is too late to make critical changes after you get sick.
- Save any documents you receive regarding your care or billing. Retain all of your medical documentation in the event of a fee dispute, insurance dispute or medical malpractice claim. Documents can be easily misplaced in the confusion of care and recovery. If you are too ill to organize your own paperwork ask someone you trust to help manage your documentation.
- Ask for a second opinion if you are unsure about your diagnosis or treatment. You always have the right to speak with another doctor or caregiver if you are uncomfortable with the diagnosis or treatment recommendations being made.
- Advocate for quality care. It is important to speak up for yourself in healthcare situations. If you or a loved one have been hospitalized and have concerns about the quality of care, speak to a doctor or nursing supervisor. If you are unable to advocate for yourself due to the nature of your illness, medications or treatments, have a friend or family member stay with you. Many hospitals have a designated advocate on staff. If you feel your concerns are not addressed ask to speak with a patient advocate.
Criminal hackers recently stole confidential data of millions of persons insured by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you are insured by Anthem we urge you to CLICK HERE to go to Anthem’s website for important information about the breach and what you should do to protect yourself.
Anthem states they will individually notify those whose information was accessed. However, if you are insured by one of the Anthem plans you need to be aware of the following now:
You have the right by federal law to place fraud alerts with the three national credit reporting agencies (CRAs). This will place a statement on your credit reports to alert credit issuers that you may be vulnerable to identity theft and that they should take reasonable steps to verify that the person applying for credit is actually you.
Place an alert with all three CRAs by calling just one:
Equifax: 888-766-0008 | Experian: 888-397-3742 | TransUnion: 800-680-7289
Scammers may try to use this event to trick people into giving up personal information. If you receive an email or phone call from someone claiming to be from Anthem and asking for your personal information, do not respond to them. Call Anthem directly at 1-877-263-7995 to determine if it was their actual representative who contacted you.
Carefully review your LegalShield Identity Theft Plan Alerts.If you receive an alert from your Identity Theft Plan and do not recognize the activity as something you authorized, please call 888-494-8519 to speak to an Investigator.
If you don’t have a LegalShield Identity Theft Plan, learn more here: www.accaimconsulting.com about identity protection for you and your family.
You and your family’s identity is personal, so keep it that way!!!