Members, if not already aware, should know that late last week Anthem – the parent of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (EBCBS), which provides coverage for the Hospital component of the Empire Plan – announced that it had suffered a breach of customers’ personal information as a result  of a “sophisticated cyber attack,” rather than an internal business failure. 

The breach involves Anthem’s entire book of business, including EBCBS. 

Anthem has contacted law enforcement, is working with the FBI, and has retained the cybersecurity firm Mandiant to evaluate its systems and conduct forensic work.  At this time, Anthem has not yet determined which specific enrollees have been affected.  Until proven otherwise, we should anticipate that the breach could impact all Empire Plan and EBCBS HMO members.

Anthem’s Action:

  • Anthem will notify each current and former member whose information has been accessed.
  • Anthem will provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge to those who have been affected.
  • Anthem has established a website, for members to access information or see FAQs; and
  • Anthem has established a dedicated toll-free phone number (1-877-263-7995) for members to call with questions.

The Department of Civil Service has placed an alert notice on the opening page of its website with directions to the toll-free phone number and website. 

In addition, it appears that there is a scam email campaign targeting current and former Empire BCBS members asking members to click here for credit monitoring. These emails are not from Empire or Anthem.  Please see the attached Scam Alert from Empire Blue Cross.

 Empire Consumer Alert

It is suggested that Members closely monitor all personal accounts and use extra precaution replying to any emails or phone calls requesting personal information.

– Mark Robillard