Anthem Hack Puts Information of 80 Million People at Risk

Anthem Inc., one of the nation’s largest providers of health insurance, was the subject of a significant security breach in early February that resulted in up to 80 million people possibly having their personal information exposed. Some experts believe that this is one of the largest data breaches in the history of the health care industry.

According to information released by Anthem about the data breach, hackers may have accessed the names, birth dates, member identification numbers, social security numbers, phone numbers, email addresses, street addresses and employment information of Anthem customers. It did not initially appear that stolen data included credit card numbers or medical information.

The data breach affected everyone that does business with Anthem, from individual insurance policy holders to large employers and companies. Privacy experts say that the data breach poses even greater risk to customers than the recent highly publicized data breaches at Target and Home Depot.

Anthem stated that the information that was accessed by hackers had not been encrypted in its database, which drew outrage from customers and security experts alike. Anthem claims that additional encryption would not have prevented the damage from being done because of the way administrator credentials were compromised.

When such data breaches occur, the privacy of patients is obviously the foremost concern. Insurance providers that have customer information exposed in these breaches could be held liable in potential litigation.

For more information on the effects of data breaches on insurance companies and health care providers, contact the experienced New York health care attorneys at Buttaci Leardi & Werner, LLC.

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Posted in: Regulation