Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association to offer identity protection services to all 106M members

Cybersecurity has become an important issue for insurers. providers, and patients.. Trust has been diminished by numerous breaches of privacy by hackers searching for information about social security numbers. Identifying  data is a valuable and salable commodity.  

Saying that it wants to "lead the healthcare industry in the area of cybersecurity practices," the Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) Association announced Tuesday that it will offer identity theft protection services to all of its members starting Jan. 1, 2016.

Payers need sophisticated tools to fight off cyberattacks
Premera says data breach may affect 11 million consumers
Anthem hack compromises info for 80 million customers

Many consumers have purchased 'identity theft protection services already. The cost ranges between $8.00 and $30.00 per month  dependent on the amount of protection. Identity protection places a  monitor and tracking system on consumer accounts to detect a breach. The scope of monitoring is variable, most cover financial information, some include medical data protection for an additional fee. Some provide additional protection, antiviral programs, spam protection and other specifics as noted in these reviews

Best Identity Theft Protection of 2015 | Top Ten Reviews

The national association, which is comprised of 36 Blues companies, did not mention any specific breach in its announcement. Rather, it said that "in an increasingly digital world, cyberattacks are now a core threat to every business and government entity."  A cyberattack this spring that compromised the personal information of 80 million Anthem beneficiaries proved that health insurance companies are hardly immune from the threat of hackers. Premera Blue Cross has also suffered a breach this year.

In an age when data breaches are becoming increasingly common--and aren't usually discovered right away--offering protection ahead of time could save time, money--and even ward off lawsuits like the ones that are trickling in after the Anthem breach

The new services from the BCBS Association will include credit monitoring, fraud detection and fraud resolution report, the company's announcement states. BCBS will contact its customers directly in the coming months with instructions about how to access the services.

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