Just like an error on your credit report can affect your score, an error on your medical records can have an impact when you’re applying for insurance, according to the Wall Street Journal.
With health-care costs rising fast and insurers more closely scrutinizing potential clients, consumers need to pay closer attention to what is in their medical records.
Not only can incorrect medical information lead to ineffective or harmful treatment — the Institute of Medicine estimates that as many as 98,000 patients die each year in hospitals from medical errors — it can also affect your insurability.
“You need to make sure you know what’s in your medical records and correct any errors before you apply for insurance,” says Carolyn McClanahan, a certified financial planner in Jacksonville, Fla., and a former medical doctor.
Savvy consumers know to check their credit score before applying for a loan. What is less well known is that consumers can improve their chances of getting insured — and of paying lower premiums — by checking that medical information held by doctors, hospitals and pharmacies is accurate.
Errors in medical records aren’t uncommon. “They happen all the time,” says Joy Pritts, research associate professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute.