2/11/15: Anthem Health Insurance announced last week that it had been a victim of a cyber-attack, resulting in unauthorized access to Anthem plans’ IT systems. According to Anthem, while not all nation-wide Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) enrollees have been impacted, Blue Cross Blue Shield enrollees whose plans—such as Blue Card—have utilized the Anthem IT systems for back-end claims processing may also be impacted. Anthem Health Insurance, part of the BCBS system, offers health plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
Personally-identifiable information (PII), including names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, street addresses, employment information and income data, has been compromised for both current and former Anthem BCBS enrollees, as well as for some other BCBS enrollees who for example when travelling may have accessed the “local” Anthem network via Blue Card.
Anthem’s CEO has announced that they are working with the FBI’s ongoing investigation. Once it is determined which specific enrollees’ information was compromised, Anthem will be directly contacting these individuals through a mailed letter. Anthem has warned that since announcing news of the cyber-attack, scam artists are attempting to further defraud individuals by sending “phishing” emails and placing fake phone calls to individuals purporting to be Anthem representatives who need personal information to assist with post-cyber-attack recovery efforts. Anthem has established a special toll-free number (1-877-263-7995) for the purpose of handling calls related to this recent cyber breach, and is providing a dedicated web site, with Q&A, that is to be updated with developments at http://www.AnthemFacts.com. Anthem has also stated that it will provide credit monitoring and identity theft protection services free of charge once it has identified the victims.
However, until it is known which specific enrollees have been victims and given the amount of compromised PII, individuals are urged to closely monitor their financial accounts and credit lines. The Federal Trade Commission provides guidance for what to do in these types of situations, including how to contact the credit bureaus. Please visit: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft.
NTEU has been in contact with both the Office of Personnel Management and Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the unnion will forward any information that they provide.