How Should Employers Respond to Anthem’s Breach?
As the investigation continues and officials look into the significant data breach that may have affected up to 80 Million customers, officials have found that this breach may have started as early as April 2014 according to The Wall Street Journal. In addition to ensuring that their own Privacy and Network Security policies are up to date to financially protect themselves from cases such as this, how else should employers respond to Anthem’s breach?
It’s no secret that with so many people potentially affected, employers nationwide will have victims among their staff. The breach extends to all members in Anthem-affiliated plans, and certain other individuals. Depending on what type of plan employees have, the rights and responsibilities of employers in this situation will vary, according to a recent article from Employee Benefit News.
The breach included the theft of personally identifiable information; including names, birthdays, addresses, employment information, member ID numbers and even Social Security numbers. While Anthem doesn’t believe that medical claims information has been compromised, this information could still put individuals at financial risk.
As a result of all of this, employees have questions. The investigation is expected to last at least another two weeks, but in the meantime, employers should prepare to respond to the questions that their staff has, and should be able to direct individuals to the applicable Anthem contact. The good news, for employers, is that if their staff has a fully insured plan, Anthem will be responsible for addressing breaches under HIPAA.
This breach may encourage states to take legislative action, aimed to protect individuals through the encryption of data; an effort that has already been implemented by the state of New Jersey.
At PL Risk, we understand that data breaches and cyber hacks happen, and sometimes even the best preventive measures aren’t enough. All industries and companies could face the risk of a privacy or network security breach, making it vital for these businesses to have the right insurance coverage. To learn more about our Privacy and Network Security coverages as well as our other products and the professions we serve, please contact us today at (855) 403-5982.