ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Medical insurance giant Anthem, Inc. is offering identity protection services to its members. It's an unprecedented response to a data breach. At least a million people in Missouri are potential victims. And they like almost 80 million nationwide can begin to feel more secure as a result of the offer.
Letters announcing the service are being mailed out. Susan Doerge and her husband are Anthem members. She received her letter in late March. Doerge like many others assumed they were automatically enrolled for the credit monitoring service. But after reading the letter again Doerge realized she`d have to enroll with ALLClear ID. Doerge says she wants to stay ahead of the bad guys. 'I wanted to be as proactive as possible. I didn`t want to have to be calling ALLClear ID after a problem comes up. So I did enroll in that plan.'
Anthem Incorporated has arranged three services for its members. First, in the event you suffer losses because your personal information has been used by someone else Identity repair assistance guarantees investigators will work to recover financial losses, restore credit, and return identity to member.
Second, Credit monitoring alerts members if there is an attempt to use their identity to open new credit accounts. This includes a one million dollar identity theft insurance policy.
And third, child identity protection searches thousands of databases for information that could point to acts of fraud against the children of Anthem members. The alerts are available free of charge for two years. And there was other useful information contained in the letter according to Doerge. 'One thing they did point out is not to accept any emails that say they`re from Anthem because most likely that will be a scam. They were only notifying people by US Mail. '
Anthem, Inc. reports hackers got names, birthdays, medical ids, social security numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses and employee’s income data. Doerge who also suffered Income tax fraud this year can`t say for sure the Anthem breach opened the door for the fraudulent return filed in her name. She`s accepted the fact that identity theft is the new normal. 'Unfortunately it`s a problem that thousands and thousands of people if not millions have been effected by it. '
Remember, current or former members going back ten years could be impacted by the data breach. So, these services are for you. Below is a link to Anthem's website and a phone number for information about enrolling in the identity protection program. And if you have a consumer issue, call our Call for Action hotline. The number is 800-782-2222. The line is open Monday through Thursday between 11 am and 1 pm.
Those without Internet access can call 877-263-7995.