Another day, another data breach at a large healthcare insurer.
This is another very serious incident. Reportedly 11 million people are affected and the breach may have included critical personal information that could facilitate identity theft:
Premera has also said that the data loss affects members of other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans who sought treatment in Washington or Alaska They say that the attack that began in May 2014 and was discovered January 29, 2015.
Premera has begun the process of notifying those affected by standard postal mail. They are offering two years of credit monitoring and identity theft protection. They’ve also set up a call center for questions by phone.
If you are a past or present customer of Premera, you should take action now. Some data has been lost for 10 months and it’s been nearly three months since the attack was discovered. This means the people behind it have a head start. And, we can expect they will try to sell or use this information as soon as possible now that the breach has been discovered. They know now that the stolen data has a limited time where it will still be useful.
You can get information directly from Premera at: http://www.premeraupdate.com/.
On the heels of the Anthem data breach this raises significant questions about the overall security of data held by all health insurers in the United States, especially those in the Blue Cross system. Even if you aren’t affected by Anthem or Premera, it would be a smart thing to go ahead and get your own credit monitoring and identity theft protection. Your insurer may also have been compromised and you (or they) don’t know it yet.
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