BOSTON — March 18, 2015 — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has learned that Premera Blue Cross (Premera), a health plan in Washington and Alaska, was the target of a sophisticated external cyber-attack to gain unauthorized access to its technology systems. We are diligently working with Premera now to understand whether any of our members have been affected. We expect to have more information about this in the coming days.
This incident affected personal information in Premera's systems dating back to 2002 for 1) current and former members of Premera across the country; 2) as well as current and former members of other Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans who sought medical care in Washington and Alaska, two states served by Premera. That's because 37 independent, locally operated companies across the U.S. form the Blue Cross Blue Shield system. This affiliation enables our members to have convenient access to the health care they need wherever they are.
The protection of our members' privacy and personal information is of our highest concern. We make every effort to ensure that all personal information maintained by us is secure and safe (see more details below).
Background on Premera cyber-attack
- Premera reports attackers may have gained unauthorized access to personal information of members, brokers/consultants, providers, vendors, and other individuals and organizations with which Premera does business. Premera's investigation revealed that the data in its systems that was accessed dates back to 2002.
- The information that may have been accessed could include name, address, email address, telephone number, date of birth, Social Security number, member identification number, medical claims information, and in some cases, bank account information.
- Premera is working closely with FBI to conduct an investigation. Also, it has been taking immediate actions to strengthen the security of its technology systems by working with Mandiant, one of the world's leading cybersecurity firms.
- We do not believe any of our Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts members' bank account information is affected since it was not stored in Premera's system. Also, Premera does not store credit card information for members, so credit card information is not affected by this attack.
- At this time, Premera's investigation has not shown evidence that any information was removed from its systems or used inappropriately.
Free credit monitoring and identity protection services
Premera is providing two years of free credit monitoring and identity protection services for any affected individuals through Experian. The services include:
- Daily credit monitoring and alerts to affected individuals when key changes are found.
- An easy-to-read Experian credit report to look for signs of fraud.
- $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance Coverage.
- A Fraud Resolution Agent is assigned immediately to work closely with affected individuals to resolve any identity issues.
We encourage any member who is concerned that they may be affected to take advantage of the free services provided by Premera. For additional information and resources about the situation, please visit www.premeraupdate.com, or call their dedicated toll-free hotline at 1-800-768-5817.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are the trusted health plan for more than 30,000 Massachusetts employers and are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.