CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning consumers to be on guard following a massive Anthem Inc. data breach affecting 80 million customers.
Anthem said the breach resulted in unauthorized access to current and former members’ information such as names, birthdays, medical IDs, Social Security numbers, street addresses, email addresses, and employment information, including income data. While Anthem does not provide insurance in West Virginia, local consumers with Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance who received health care services in a state serviced by Anthem may have been affected. Those states are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
“This announcement by Anthem can be worrisome and frustrating for many people who may have used this company,” Morrisey said in a statement. “However, our office is encouraging consumers to follow up on the ways they can protect their information and see if their information has been compromised.”
The company reported the attack to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and retained a cybersecurity firm to evaluate their systems. Based on what the company currently knows, there is no evidence of credit card or medical information like claims, tests results, or diagnostic codes that were compromised or targeted. At this time it is unknown who is responsible for this breach.
Anthem is the second-largest health insurer in the United States. The company, which previously went by the name Wellpoint, operates plans including Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Amerigroup, and Healthlink.
Anthem has set up a website, www.AnthemFacts.com
, and a toll-free number, 1-877-263-7995
, for consumers to access information and ask questions about the data breach.
The Attorney General’s office is offering few basic tips for consumers to protect their information and identities including:
- Monitor your bank account and credit card statements to detect unauthorized charges.
- Read every statement or letter that comes from your doctor or health insurance provider, including ones that say “this is not a bill.” This is a good way to discover charges for treatments or products you didn’t receive or order. If you notice any questionable charges on the statements, contact your insurer immediately.
- Check your credit report for new accounts or creditors you do not recognize. All consumers are entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report. These free alerts last for 90 days and make it more difficult for a person to open up a line of credit in your name.