Anthem Security Breach Update

I have a couple of updates regarding the security breach of the Anthem Blue Cross "Application Tracker" system.

1. Anyone who submitted an application for a minor child/children only that was breached and has received ID theft protection for the minor(s) will, if there was information breach for the parent/guardian, also receive the protection. Anthem is currently sorting applications on minors-only to determine if any breach of the parent/guardian information also occurred. This may take a bit of time as the original determinations were made based on the applicants. Anthem will have to research applications in full to determine who else may have had PHI or private information compromised in regard to that application. You can contact member services at 800-333-0912 at Anthem Blue Cross for assistance.

2. It is important to bear in mind that, while Anthem Blue Cross has ultimate responsibility with regard to this hacker manipulation, the responsible party(s) is/are mainly attorneys who are looking to file a law suit against Anthem. Yes, the carrier is ultimately responsible for 100% security of your information, as are we agents.

3. I have never really understood the need for an "application tracker" program in the first place. Anthem has provided this "link" to track you own application online and, unfortunately, this is an unintended result. The application generates e-mail updates (which are secure) at any change of application status for any applicant who provides a valid e-mail address. Since you have to provide a valid e-mail address and select opt-in on e-mail notification to even receive the application tracker link, you will automatically receive the e-mail updates anyway. Unless you have a burning desire to view the PDF of your application, anything else will automatically be communicated by secure e-mail, thus rendering the application tracker program redundant.

This hack was not of an agent's database or agent log in access to the insurance company web site. This hack was on a program designed to let anyone who applies for individual coverage online with Anthem to track their own application. It is not necessary unless you have applied direct with the carrier since your independent agent will be monitoring progress and advising you (or should be!).

Comments

  1. Not always. There are quite a lot of people who apply directly with Anthem Blue Cross. A lot of times people don't even remember their agents or can't get in touch with them. Really it could have been a useful tool in that applicants would not have to call in and wait on hold 'for the next available representative' to answer their call or call the agent to get an update on the status. It could save everyone some time if it was only monitored correctly.

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  2. Yes, however the status updates are delivered via e-mail every time there is a change in status. Since the applicant receives these e-mail updates immediately upon any changes, it really renders the application tracker pointless.

    If your last e-mail status from Anthem said it was in "underwriting review", and you have not received a new e-mail changing that status, then it's still in underwriting review. Is it really necessary to log into another program just to verify what the e-mail already tells you?

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  3. We shopped for health insurance, including with Anthem, over 18 mos ago. We elected to go with a different company. Why would our information still be in Anthem's on-line application system?

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