This week, Anthem, Inc., is issuing reports to all states showing the number of their residents who were affected by the company’s recent data breach.
In Louisiana, it appears there were 277,022 state residents whose data was breached in the cyber-attack at Anthem. Of those, approximately 26,000 are current or former Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana/HMO Louisiana, Inc. members whose data was in Anthem’s system at the time it was breached.
We are still working with Anthem and the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association to verify which of our members were affected by the data breach. At this time, we have not found any evidence that any of our members had their Social Security numbers compromised. Anthem has also stated that credit card information and medical records were not accessed in the cyber-attack. For our members affected, the kinds of personal information that could be at risk are names, birthdays and email addresses.
Keep in mind that the cyber-attack targeted data in Anthem’s system that spanned a 10-year period, so not all of the 26,000 members attributed to our company are current or active Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana members. Any of our members who received medical care in one of the 14 states that Anthem covers during that time period had medical claims and other information in Anthem’s system when the cyber-attack happened.
And, this attack was not limited to only Blue Cross members. Anthem’s total list of all Louisiana residents affected also includes members of other health plans. For example, there are employees of groups who receive coverage through Anthem who live and work in Louisiana, so their data would have been in the system at the time of the attack.
Anthem is offering two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to anyone affected by the data breach. In the coming weeks, Anthem will send written notification to our members whose data was part of the breach, letting them know what kind of personal information may be at risk, and giving them instructions to sign up for these services. We will also send letters to alert our affected members, so they can be aware of the situation and be looking for the instructions from Anthem on how to sign up for the credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.
In general, people should be aware of potential phone or email scams that can happen following such a data breach. If you see anything suspicious in your banking or credit card statements, report it to your bank or credit card company right away. No one from Anthem or Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will contact you directly to ask for your personal or financial information, so be suspicious if you receive this kind of request.
Our customers’ information is as important to us as their health, and we take great care to protect their privacy. We are now taking even more steps to keep such a data breach from happening here.