Health Information Management

BCBS to offer free ID protection to all 106 million customers

HIM-HIPAA Insider, July 20, 2015

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Anyone who has a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) health insurance plan, with a few exceptions, should have free identity protection services as of January 1, 2016.

The national Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) announced July 14 that it would offer these free services as a permanent benefit to more than 106 million customers at all Blue companies nationwide.

This is the latest step in the health insurance giant’s efforts to protect customer safety and security in a world where cyber-attacks are a constant threat to every business and government entity. BCBS companies have, consequently, taken aggressive steps to protect their customers and lead the healthcare industry in cybersecurity, according to a press statement.

In the wake of recent major data breaches at healthcare companies, such as those at Anthem, Inc., and Premera, the affected organizations have made two years’ worth of free credit monitoring and protection services a standard offer to breach victims.

“For more than 85 years, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand has meant security and stability for the members we serve, and we are dedicated to putting our customers’ privacy at the forefront of our efforts,” said BCBSA President and CEO Scott Serota in a statement.

Services will be administered by third-party identity protection companies and include credit monitoring, fraud detection, and fraud resolution support.

BCBSA said Blue’s companies are finalizing plans to offer these services and will contact customers directly with instructions in the coming months. Services should be in place before or on January 1.

Eligible plan members who have a BCBS health insurance policy in effect will be able to opt in for the service, although there may be exceptions where employers decline the service or due to contractual or regulatory issues, according to BCBSA.

This article appeared on HCPro’s HIPAA Update blog. Stay up to date on all things HIPAA by signing up for e-mail updates from this blog.

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