Data Incident Reported at Health Insurance Provider
Anthem Blue Cross (not to be confused with Blue Shield of California) recently confirmed in a filing with California’s Attorney General that a physical break-in occurred at an Anthem vendor’s office. An unknown intruder stole an external backup drive used to scan paper claims and written correspondence which may have included patient information, compromising sensitive personal information.
Read on to learn more about what happened, what it may mean for your risk of identity theft, and smart moves you can make to protect yourself.
Date of Breach: August 3, 2021
Type of compromised data: First and last name, Healthcare Identification number, address, date of birth, Provider Name, procedure and diagnosis code and claim charges, as well as information patients may have included in written correspondence.
Number of users affected: Undisclosed as of publication time
Why This Matters
Combined with other information on the dark web, personal information like your name, Social Security Number, and health insurance account number (or Medicare number) can be used to commit medical identity theft. According to the FTC, that can include going to the doctor, getting prescription drugs, buying medical devices, submitting claims to your insurance provider, or getting other medical care. If the thief’s health information is mixed with yours, it could affect the medical care you’re able to get or the health insurance benefits you’re able to use. It could also hurt your credit.
Fraudsters often sell or trade stolen information. Timelines can vary, so don’t let your guard down if nothing out of the ordinary happens right after a breach. Compromised medical information may be used to commit medical identity fraud up to years after an incident.
How to Protect Yourself
- Review your health records and Explanation of Benefits (EoB). If you notice anything out of the ordinary and have health coverage with Anthem Blue Cross, please contact them directly by calling the Member Services phone number on your Anthem Blue Cross ID card.
- Check your credit report.1 Request a copy of your credit report (included in all Identity Champion plans)3 and pay close attention to anything you don’t recognize. Make sure you check regularly because identity theft does not necessarily happen immediately after a data breach. Identity Champion subscribers can contact Member Support if they find anything suspicious.
- Activate a monitoring service. Stolen personal information has a way of ending up on the internet. Consider signing up for a service that will monitor the internet and the dark web for your personal information and alert you if it finds this info on sites where criminals are known to sell or trade stolen information.2,3
Not a AAA Member? You can bundle an Identity Champion Protect or Complete plan with a new AAA Membership. Click here to learn more.