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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Obamacare Health Exchanges Could Expose Consumers to ID Theft

A hot button issue over the past several months has been President Barack Obama’s new health insurance plan, commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” While the politics of the president’s plan have been widely publicized – more so for across-the-aisle squabbling than for the actual merits of the program – there has been little discussion regarding the potential threats of ID theft that come along with government sanctioned health care.

One of the major components of the president’s plan would eliminate the need for individuals to seek private health insurance from an employer but instead take advantage of federally-backed insurance should their financial situation warrant the alternative. This would mean that individuals who take advantage of the plan would need to have a lot of personal identification information, such as past medical history, stored in a major database. But can the government guarantee identity protection for consumers who take advantage of Obamacare?

Many critics, including columnists at Forbes magazine, believe the writing is on the wall in terms of the threat of ID theft and the lack of preparedness inherent in this program. The president has repeatedly delayed the start date for Obamacare, and if the program can’t be ready by the October 1 deadline to adequately provide identity protection to the thousands who will take advantage of the program, there could be major fallout.

It’s not uncommon for databases at hospitals and insurance companies to be hacked, and the government may not have any better security measures in place for this program than the private healthcare providers. Consumers should be sure to take any and all measures to guard against ID theft before handing their personal information over in any situation.