Anthem data breach more dangerous than retailer hacks

22News looked into why this breach is unique and more serious

Anthem Hack
FILE - This Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 file photo shows the Anthem logo at the company's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Health insurer Anthem said in a statement Wednesday Feb. 4, 2015 hackers infiltrated its computer network and accessed a swathe of personal information about current and former customers including their incomes and street addresses. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Names, social security numbers, addresses and dates of birth — just some of the personal information hackers stole from the country’s second largest health insurance provider, Anthem.

It’s everything a thief needs to steal an identity, only unlike other recent data breaches, there’s more than just your money on the line. Your medical identity could be stolen too.

If a person gets care using your identity, but say they have a different blood type than you. That becomes part of your medical record. That could put your health at risk

“You could be denied a claim for a surgery or procedure that another person had. Now you need it and the insurance company is saying no we already paid for this,” said Milagros Johnson, of the Springfield Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information.

Johnson said there’s too much at risk for you to just wait and see if your information has been compromised. Anthem customers should be vigilant, especially when it comes to an explanation of benefits in the mail.

“Don’t just toss them or put them in the file. Open them and review them. Make sure that medical treatment that was billed to your insurance company was a treatment you or a family member under your plan received,” Johnson said.

Anthem will provide free identify theft and credit monitoring to customers who were victimized, but that’s usually only 90 days. it’s a good idea to request a seven-year extension with the credit bureau, which must be done in writing.

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