Credit and ID Fraud Protection Offer Comes After Mega Breaches.

In the wake of large hacking attacks against several of its affiliates in recent months, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association says all 36 of its affiliated health plans will begin offering free identity protection services to their members for as long as they’re enrolled in insurance coverage. The services will include credit monitoring as well as fraud detection and resolution.

The offer from the Blues plans comes in the wake of hacker attacks earlier this year at Anthem Inc., which resulted in a breach impacting more than 79 million individuals; Premera Blue Cross, which affected about 11 million; and CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, which impacted 1.1 million.

While the offer by the Blues plans is generous, it won’t solve all problems related to potential post-breach fraud, says Ann Patterson, senior vice president and program director of the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance.

“I would keep in mind that credit and financial fraud monitoring is excellent for instances where financial information was part of the data breach, however, most unfortunately, it will likely not be an early indicator of medical ID fraud in the event health plan IDs and Social Security numbers are compromised,” she says. “It is still extremely important to self-monitor and carefully review your explanation of benefits [forms] and any other medical correspondence, whether from a healthcare provider or a health plan.”

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July 14, 2015 by Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, HealthcareInfoSecurity