Thursday, February 5, 2015

Washington consumers and the Anthem data breach

Insurance giant Anthem today announced that up to 80 million consumers nationwide may be affected by a data breach of current and former customers’ names, social security numbers, contact information and birthdates. It does not appear that any health information was obtained.

Anthem has told the Insurance Commissioner that affected Washington consumers are largely enrolled in Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid program. Anthem does not have any indications at this time that Washington consumers who are enrolled in private, individual health insurance are affected by the breach.

Insurers are required to notify the Insurance Commissioner of security breaches that involve Washington consumers’ information. The Insurance Commissioner will remain in close contact with Anthem as more information is available. The Insurance Commissioner is also working with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on this increasingly common occurrence.

Anthem has created a webpage at www.anthemfacts.com for consumers to find information about the breach and set up a toll-free number for people with questions at 1-877-263-7995. Anthem will contact affected consumers and is offering free credit monitoring and identity protection to people who are affected.