Earlier this year, hackers broke into the database for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield – one of the nation’s largest insurers. The bad guys made off with personal information of nearly 80 million consumers.
By the start of next year, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans will offer credit monitoring and fraud detection to most of its collective 106 million members.
Doug Porter, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association‘s senior vice president of operations and chief information officer, says Blue Cross Blue Shield is making a major investment.
“We’re not doing this in lieu of other protections,” he says. “It’s one more prong to make sure we have the protections from beginning to end.”
Consumers have the choice to opt in for this service. Several information technology analysts say the measure could cost several hundred million dollars. While that may ultimately get baked into the price consumers pay, John Pescatore with the SANS Institute says it’s a wise move for the Blues.
“By offering these credit monitoring services, you are essentially working to limit your liability in the future,” he says. “$350 million may sound like a lot of money, but a class action lawsuit may cost you more than that,” he says.
We may find out soon. Some 100 lawsuits have been filed against Anthem for its data breach and are being wrapped into a class action suit in California.
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