Recently Anthem announced the biggest Identity Breach yet. It affects over 80 million people- including as many as 4 in 10 Feds.
This one makes the Home Depot and Target breaches look like small potatoes.
According to Anthem’s own webpage of FAQ (https://www.Anthemfacts.com), the breach affects all current and former Anthem customers, as well as customers who have used ANY Blue Cross/Blue Shield provider (includes Feds enrolled in FEHB) in any of the states where Anthem does business:
This includes customers of Anthem, Inc. companies Amerigroup, Anthem and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, Caremore, and Unicare. Additionally customers of Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies who used their Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance in one of fourteen states where Anthem, Inc. operates may be impacted and are also eligible: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Since more than 4 in 10 Feds use one of the ‘Blues’ as their FEHB health plan, this could affect a majority of Feds (sorry, but I don’t have a breakdown of how many feds are/were enrolled in Blue Shield by state).
The breach discovered by Anthem is a doozy- It involved compromise of the member’s Name, social security number, birthday, email address, mailing address, and mailing addresses for the last few years – Basically the Keys to the City for anyone looking to steal your ID and obtain credit in your name.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that unlike Target and Home Depot, Anthem is doing much more than offering bogus Fraud Alerts (which do nothing other than make an administrative note on your credit file) to protect its members.
What should you do?
If you’re a present or former Blue Cross/Shield customer from any of the states listed above, you can log in to Anthem’s link to AllClearID and request free ID theft protection for 2 years, provided by AllClearID.
The AllClearID protection (AllClearID ‘PRO’) includes multiple layers of protection including credit monitoring and a $1 million identity theft insurance policy (I signed up using Anthem’s link for AllClearID ‘PRO’ and it was quick and straight-forward).
What else should you do?
You may want to follow Clark Howard’s advice and request a credit freeze from all three credit bureaus. Note that this can cost from as little as $0 to as much as $30 total, depending on the state you live in.
You should also contact your bank and brokerage/mutual fund account providers and do the following:
1) Request 2-factor identification for online log-in.
2) Disable the ability to conduct wire tranfers without you physically walking in to a branch (this prevents a criminal from emptying your bank and/or brokerage account).
For further reading and info:
Anthem’s webage on the Breach
Clark Howard’s report on the Anthem Breach
Clark Howard’s take on the Anthem Breach (video)
Clark Howard’s Credit Freeze guide (by state)
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