Report finds that China hacked Blue Cross, not for identity theft, but to learn about how to improve THEIR healthcare system! CA Health Line 11.3.2015
Anthem agreed to invest $260 million in improving its information security systems. Modern Health Care 1.6.2017
Blue Cross & Blue Shield Free Identity Theft Protection to all members Learn More⇒ Press Release 7.14.2015
Lexis Nexius White Paper for Insurance Companies on how to protect sensitive data
Data breach at Premera Blue Cross in the Pacific Northwest
On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Premera Blue Cross (Premera), an insurer based in the Pacific Northwest, announced that it was the target of a cyber attack. Premera has stated that this has affected 11 million people. This incident affected Premera Blue Cross, the Blue Plan in Washington, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, and their affiliate brands Vivacity and Connexion Insurance Solutions, Inc.
Blue Shield of California is aware of Premera’s cyber attack, and we are working with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and with Premera to gather more information and understand the scope of this issue. Premera Blue Cross is separate and independent from Blue Shield of California. However, if Blue Shield of California members traveled to Washington or Alaska and received medical care through the BlueCard® Program or reside in Washington or Alaska as part of the Blue Distinction Total Care Program, they may be affected by this breach.
Premera reported that it started mailing notification letters to the affected individuals on March 17, 2015, and is providing them with two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services. For customers seeking additional information, please encourage them to visit www.premeraupdate.com or call their dedicated toll-free phone line at 1-800-768-5817.
Blue Shield of California’s information technology systems remain unaffected by the Anthem Inc. and Premera cyber attacks. We monitor and assess our environment to prevent a data breach like this from occurring at Blue Shield of California.
Please view our Frequently Asked Questions for more information regarding the impact of Premera Blue Cross’ cyber attack on Blue Shield of California.
Anthem cyberattack California member impact
On Monday, February 23, 2015, Anthem, Inc. released its Cyberattack State Impact Report. Anthem’s initial analysis indicates that approximately 13.5 million consumers in California were affected by this cyberattack.
Blue Shield of California members affected
Preliminary figures suggest that approximately 59,000 of Blue Shield of California’s 3.4 million members were affected by the breach. There remains a small subset of affected Blue plan members who have not yet been identified. Should we find out that any of those members are current or former Blue Shield of California members, they will be notified as soon as possible.
Affected Blue Shield of California members may have had their information accessed during the breach in one of two ways:
- They are current or former Blue Shield of California members who received healthcare services over the past 10 years in any of the areas that Anthem’s Blue Cross Blue Shield companies serve.
- They are current or former Anthem or Anthem Blue Cross members.
The information accessed may have included names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, healthcare ID numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. Anthem has advised Blue Shield of California that no credit card or banking information was compromised, nor is there evidence that medical information such as claims, test results, or diagnostic codes were targeted or obtained. Anthem reports no evidence that any of this information was misused in any way.
According to Anthem, broker information was not affected by this breach.
Outreach to members
All affected Blue Shield of California members will receive mailed notifications from Anthem in the coming weeks that will provide information on free identity repair services and credit monitoring. The Anthem letter will include a cover letter from Blue Shield of California.
The Blue Shield of California Privacy Office will send a “preceding letter” to our 59,000 affected members informing them that they have been identified as being affected by the recent cyberattack on Anthem. This “preceding letter” will be mailed in advance of the Anthem letter.
Blue Shield of California members who think that they may have been affected by the cyberattack can visit www.AnthemFacts.com to learn more about Anthem’s free credit monitoring and identity theft repair services.
Please note: All information about Anthem’s offer of identity theft protection and credit monitoring is available at www.AnthemFacts.com. No proactive outreach to anyone who was potentially affected by the breach is being made by phone. If anyone has questions about the Anthem breach, please direct them to the AnthemFacts.com website for official information from Anthem.
Outreach to employer groups
The Blue Shield of California Privacy Office is working with Administrative Services Only (ASO) customers as per applicable law to inform ASO employers and members.
On March 10, 2015 Blue Shield of California will reach out to affected fully funded employer groups under the authority of Blue Shield of California’s Privacy Office. We will remind groups that protection services for members are available through Anthem.
Please view our Frequently Asked Questions for more information regarding the impact of Anthem’s cyberattack on Blue Shield of California.
If you have further questions, please talk to your Blue Shield of California representative.
On January 29, 2015, Anthem, Inc. (Anthem) discovered that cyber attackers executed a sophisticated attack to gain unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system and obtained personal information relating to consumers who were or are currently covered by Anthem or other independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans that work with Anthem. Anthem believes that this suspicious activity may have occurred over the course of several weeks beginning in early December, 2014.
As soon as we discovered the attack, we immediately began working to close the security vulnerability and contacted the FBI. We have been fully cooperating with the FBI’s investigation. Anthem has also retained Mandiant, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms, to assist us in our investigation and to strengthen the security of our systems.
Current or former members of one of Anthem’s affiliated health plans may be impacted. In addition, some members of other independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans who received healthcare services through the BlueCard program in any of the areas that Anthem serves over the last 10 years may be impacted. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s BlueCard program is a national program that enables members of one Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan to obtain healthcare services while traveling or living in another Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan’s service area. Anthem is providing identity protection services to all individuals that are impacted. For a listing of potentially impacted Anthem affiliated health plans and other Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies for which Anthem provides services under the BlueCard program, visit AnthemFacts.com to view a list. You are receiving this message from Anthem as a current or former member of one of these potentially impacted companies.
The information accessed may have included names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, health care ID numbers, home addresses, email addresses, employment information, including income data. We have no reason to believe credit card or banking information was compromised, nor is there evidence at this time that medical information such as claims, test results, or diagnostic codes, was targeted or obtained.
Identity Protection Services
Anthem has arranged to have AllClear ID protect your identity for two (2) years at no cost to you. The following identity protection services start on the date of this notice, or the date you previously enrolled in services based on information posted on AnthemFacts.com. You can use them at any time during the next two (2) years after your service begins.
AllClear SECURE: The team at AllClear ID is ready and standing by if you need identity repair assistance. This service is automatically available to you with no enrollment required. If a problem arises, simply call 1-877-263-7995 and a dedicated investigator will do the work to recover financial losses, restore your credit and make sure your identity is returned to its proper condition. AllClear ID maintains an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau.
AllClear PRO: This service offers additional layers of protection including credit monitoring and a $1 million identity theft insurance policy. For a child under 18 years old, AllClear ID ChildScan identifies acts of fraud against children by searching thousands of databases for use of your child’s information. To use the PRO service, you will need to provide your personal information to AllClear ID. To learn more about these services, or to enroll, visit our source of truth www.AnthemFacts.com and click on the AllClear ID link from there. Please note: Additional steps may be required by you in order to activate your phone alerts.
Anthem will also individually notify potentially impacted current and former members by U.S. Postal mail with this same specific information on how to enroll in free credit monitoring and identity protection services. These services will be provided to potentially impacted current and former members free of charge. Anthem has also established a dedicated website (AnthemFacts.com) where members can access additional information, including frequently asked questions and answers.
Anthem has established a dedicated toll-free number that you can call if you have questions related to this incident. That number is 877-263-7995. We have included contact information for the three nationwide credit bureaus below.
Si necesita información en español, ingrese en antheminforma.com.
Fraud Prevention Tips
We want to make you aware of steps you may take to guard against identity theft or fraud.
We recommend that potentially impacted members remain vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft, including by reviewing account statements and monitoring free credit reports. In addition, you can report suspected incidents of identity theft to local law enforcement, Federal Trade Commission, or your state attorney general. To learn more, you can go to the FTC’s Web site, at www.consumer.gov/idtheft, or call the FTC, at (877) IDTHEFT (438-4338) or write to Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.
You should be aware of scam email campaigns targeting current and former Anthem members. These scams, designed to capture personal information (known as “phishing”), are designed to appear as if they are from Anthem and the emails include a “click here” link for credit monitoring. These emails are NOT from Anthem.
DO NOT reply to the email or reach out to the senders in any way.
DO NOT supply any information on the website that may open, if you have clicked on a link in email.
DO NOT open any attachments that arrive with email.
Anthem is not calling members regarding the cyber-attack and is not asking for credit card information or Social Security numbers over the phone. For more guidance on recognizing scam email, please visit the FTC Website for their article on phishing.
Credit Bureau Information
PO BOX 740241
ATLANTA GA 30374-0241
PO BOX 9532
ALLEN TX 75013
PO BOX 6790
FULLERTON CA 92834-6790
You can obtain additional information from the FTC and the nationwide credit bureaus about fraud alerts and security freezes. You can add a fraud alert to your credit report file to help protect your credit information. A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you, but it also may delay your ability to obtain credit. You may place a fraud alert in your file by calling just one of the three nationwide credit bureaus listed above. As soon as that bureau processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two bureaus, which then must also place fraud alerts in your file. In addition, you can visit the credit bureau links below to determine if and how you may place a security freeze on your credit report to prohibit a credit bureau from releasing information from your credit report without your prior written authorization:
Equifax security freeze: https://www.freeze.equifax.com/Freeze/jsp/SFF_PersonalIDInfo.jsp
Experian security freeze: http://www.experian.com/consumer/security_freeze.html
TransUnion security freeze: http://www.transunion.com/personal-credit/credit-disputes/credit-freezes.page
For Maryland and North Carolina Residents – You can obtain information from these sources about preventing identify theft:
Visit the Federal Trade Commission website at:
www.ftc.gov, or call 1-877-ID-THEFT
or write to this address:
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20580
Visit the Maryland Office of the Attorney General at:
oag.state.md.us/idtheft/index.htm, or call 1-410-528-8662
or write to this address:
Consumer Protection Division
Maryland Office of the Attorney General
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
Visit the North Carolina Office of the Attorney General at:
http://www.ncdoj.gov/Crime.aspx or call 1-919-716-6400 or write to this address:
Attorney General’s Office
9001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
FOR MASSACHUSSETTS RESIDENTS
Under Massachusetts law, you have the right to obtain a police report in regard to this incident. If you are the victim of identity theft, you also have the right to file a police report and obtain a copy of it.
Massachusetts law also allows consumers to place a security freeze on their credit reports. A security freeze prohibits a credit reporting agency from releasing any information from a consumer’s credit report without written authorization. However, please be aware that placing a security freeze on your credit report may delay, interfere with, or prevent the timely approval of any requests you make for new loans, mortgages, employment, housing or other services.
If you have been a victim of identity theft and you provide the credit reporting agency with a valid police report, it cannot charge you to place, lift or remove a security freeze. In all other cases, a credit reporting agency may charge you up to $5.00 each to place, temporarily lift, or permanently remove a security freeze. To place a security freeze on your credit report, you must send a written request to each of the three major consumer reporting agencies listed above.
In order to request a security freeze, you will need to provide the following information:
Your full name (including middle initial as well as Jr., Sr., II, III, etc.);
Social Security number;
Date of birth;
If you have moved in the past five (5) years, the addresses where you have lived over the prior five years;
Proof of current address (e.g., a current utility bill or telephone bill);
A legible photocopy of a government issued identification card (e.g., state driver’s license or ID card or military identification);
If you are a victim of identity theft, a copy of either the police report, investigative report, or complaint to a law enforcement agency concerning identity theft;
If you are not a victim of identity theft, payment by check, money order, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover only). Do not send cash through the mail.
The credit reporting agencies have three (3) business days after receiving your request to place a security freeze on your credit report. The credit reporting agencies must also send written confirmation to you within five (5) business days and provide you with a unique personal identification number (PIN) or password, or both that can be used by you to authorize the removal or lifting of the security freeze.
To lift the security freeze in order to allow a specific entity or individual access to your credit report, you must call or send a written request to the credit reporting agencies by mail and include proper identification (name, address, and Social Security number) and the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed the security freeze, as well as the identities of those entities or individuals you would like to receive your credit report or the specific period of time you want the credit report available. The credit reporting agencies have three (3) business days after receiving your request to lift the security freeze for those identified entities or for the specified period of time To remove the security freeze, you must send a written request to each of the three credit reporting agencies by mail and include proper identification (name, address, and Social Security number) and the PIN number or password provided to you when you placed the security freeze. The credit reporting agencies have three (3) business days after receiving your request to remove the security freeze.
Worried about links?
We know you might be concerned about clicking links, so Anthem did not include any in this message. However, some email programs and smart phones automatically add links. Remember, you can always type a web address manually in your browser instead of clicking through from this email.
Check the links below for the latest information on the Blue Cross hacking:
Anthem Data Breach ♦ Blue Shield FAQ ♦ Los Angeles Times 2.5.2015 ♦ CA HealthLine 2.5.2015 ♦ CA Dept of Insurance Investigation ♦ FTC Website on Scam Emails – Phishing ♦ Blue Cross Memo – They are NOT calling customers or asking for Credit Card info ♦ Class Action Lawsuits Filed ♦ BC President could lose his job ♦ Pat O’Donnell District 70 ♦ Anthem Facts.com
Agent memo – 2.10.2015
By now you have heard that our systems have been breached by a sophisticated cyber-attack, and you are wondering what’s next.
Please note that it is our intent and goal to protect you and your clients information. Anthem takes Consumer and Producer privacy very serious, and we are doing everything we can to further protect our data in the future. When calling in, Producers and members will hear the following prompt.
‘Members who may have been impacted by the cyber-attack against Anthem, should be aware of the scam email campaign and outbound call scams [FTC Website on Scam Emails – Phishing ] targeting current and former Anthem members. These scams designed to capture personal information known as ‘phishing’, are designed to appear as if they are from Anthem, the emails include a ‘click here’ link for credit monitoring. Please be aware these emails and calls are not from Anthem. And, no notification has been sent from Anthem since the initial cyber notification on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015. All impacted members will receive notice via postal mail, which will advise them of the protection being offered as well as next steps. For more information please call 877.263.7995.’ Or visit our website at www.anthemfacts.com for up-to-date information.
Also, we will continue to make outbound calls as a normal part of business as it relates to clinical and/or care management programs. However, Anthem WILL NOT make outbound calls regarding the cyber-attack and will not ask members for their social security number, banking or credit card information with regard to the cyber-attack. As a precautionary step, members may wish to place a fraud alert on their credit file.
For now, it’s business as usual! We will keep you updated as we learn more.
As always, thank you for your partnership and look forward to an interesting yet productive 2015.
ISG Regional Sales Manager
Blue Shield CA Agent Memo 2.11.2015
We have heard from many of our customers in recent days regarding the Anthem Inc. cyber attack. Blue Shield of California is working closely with Anthem and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association to address the issue and to ensure that our members’ personal information remains secure.
Anthem Inc. and Anthem Blue Cross are separate and independent from Blue Shield of California. However, due to various collaborative agreements between Blue Shield of California and other Blue plans throughout the country, some Blue Shield of California member data is shared with Anthem. For example, if a member traveling outside of California, but within Anthem’s service area, receives medical care, Anthem would process that claim.
You also may have heard that Anthem received a letter from 10 Attorneys General requesting that they communicate with members as soon as possible and expand the identity protection and credit monitoring services they offer to members impacted by the cyber attack. In response, Anthem on Friday, February 13, will announce plans to provide two years of credit monitoring and identity repair services to all current and former Blue Cross and Blue Shield members affected by the cyber attack. This will include some current and former Blue Shield of California members who may have never had coverage with an Anthem plan.
Anthem is in the process of informing those affected about how to sign up for free credit monitoring and identity protection services. They are also communicating directly with brokers and the media, and continuing to update www.AnthemFacts.com.
Blue Shield of California IT systems remain unaffected. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to gather information about the Anthem data breach. As always, safeguarding and securing our members’ personal information remains our top priority.
For additional information and assistance about the Anthem situation, visit www.AnthemFacts.com or call Anthem’s dedicated toll-free phone line at 1-877-263-7995.