Anthem Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Following Data Breach

Anthem Hit with Class Action Lawsuit Following Data Breach

Posted By Golomb & Honik || 19-Mar-2015

Colorado residents, following the lead of residents in other states, whose information may have been compromised by the Anthem data breach, have filed a class-action lawsuit against the insurance giant. In fact, less than a day after Anthem Inc. reported hackers stole data on as many as 80 million current and former customers, class action lawsuits against the company were being filed in California and Alabama.

Who Is Anthem?

Anthem, previously known as WellPoint, Inc., is the largest for-profit managed health care company in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and the second-largest health insurance company nationwide. With more individual policyholders in California than any other insurer, as well as a healthy share in other states, the Anthem data breach is considered the largest ever at a U.S. health care company.

Anthem No Stranger to Data Breaches

Anthem officials claim there was no medical information stolen, "only" names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, street and e-mail addresses. Investigators believe the cyber-attack originated through Chinese-made malware. The attack was called "very sophisticated" by Anthem.

Sadly, Anthem is no stranger to data breaches. In 2011 and 2012, Anthem settled with the California Attorney General after allegations that more than 30,000 customers' social security numbers were exposed. Then in 2013, the company suffered a data breach which involved the health information of more than 612,000 customers. That breach led to a settlement in the amount of $1.7 million between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Anthem. The Dept. of Health and Human Services received the settlement because the disclosure of health information is considered a possible violation of the federal HIPAA privacy statute.

Too Slow to Notify Customers of Breach

Some of the lawsuits against Anthem claim the company waited nine days to inform customers of the breach. At least 10 U.S. States have sent a letter to Anthem complaining that they were too slow to notify consumers that they were victims of a massive data breach. Those states were Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Now, class action lawsuits are being filed.

Was Sensitive Data Readily Available to Hackers?

By all accounts, the data Anthem claimed to be protecting, was not even encrypted. There are no current laws which dictate data similar to Anthem's must be encrypted, and, in fact, many companies do not encrypt data so it will be more accessible. Although encryption can be expensive, Anthem may find the lawsuits they are facing even more expensive. Just two days after the announcement of the data breach, Anthem was forced to warn customers of an e-mail scam campaign which targeted current and previous Anthem customers. The e-mail scam was meant to convince customers Anthem was offering free credit monitoring (which they are, but these services are only announced via mail sent through the USPS).

Getting the Help You Need

Anthem has launched a webpage for updates on the data breach and has stated they are working closely with AllClear ID-an identity protection provider. Anthem has offered all customers whose information was compromised twenty-four months of identity-theft monitoring services for free. Those who have been notified their information was compromised-as well as customers from many of Anthem's subsidiary companies-may be able to pursue legal action against Anthem.

You may be eligible to join a class action lawsuit, if you are a member of:

  • Anthem Blue Cross
  • Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield
  • CareMore
  • DeCare
  • HealthLink
  • UniCare

Contact Our National Class Action Lawyers

To learn more about your legal options and to see whether you qualify to take part in a class action lawsuit against Anthem, call Golomb & Honik today. We have extensive experience handing large class action lawsuits and our firm has the resources needed to take large insurance companies like Anthem to trial. Call us at 1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.

The class action lawyers at Golomb & Honik have successfully represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the United States.

Categories: Class Action
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