East Hawaii News

Premera Cyber-Attack May Affect HMSA Members

March 23, 2015, 12:39 PM HST
* Updated March 23, 12:41 PM
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HMSA recently released a letter to its policy holders regarding a recent database cyber-attack that happened to Premera Blue Cross.

None of HMSA’s information was stolen during the incident, the company confirmed, as the HMSA system was not involved in the incident. Premera, however, informed the insurer that some current and former HMSA members who were in the Premera database have been affected.

Policy holders who live in Hawai’i may have been affected if they received medical or hospital services in Washington state or Alaska anytime since 2002. It is also possible that a HMSA policy holder may have been affected by the cyber-attack if a member’s doctor ordered labs or medical equipment on their behalf from the mainland since 2002.

HMSA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael A. Gold told policy holders in the letter, “I’m very concerned about this situation and have told our team to work carefully but quickly to validate the number of affected current and former HMSA members and determine their names and what personal information was accessed.”

Members who have had information compromised will receive a notification letter from HMSA and Premera separately.

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Information potentially compromised includes member names, dates of birth, e-mail and mailing addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, member identification numbers, bank account information, and claims information, including clinical information. It is estimated that up to 11 million individuals, providers and businesses may have been affected.

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As part of Premera’s efforts to assist those that have been affected, the company is offering two years of free identity protection and credit monitoring to anyone who feels their information may have been compromised. A notification letter or other confirmation of being affected is not necessary to sign up for the monitoring service. Those interested can visit the Premera update website directly.

Premera has set-up a hotline with additional resources. The call-line is open Monday through Friday from 2 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hawai’i time.

HMSA has also set up a dedicated Premera phone line to assist policy holders who are concerned. The line is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hawai’i time. Big Island residents who are interested may call 1(800) 459-3963 toll-free.

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E-mails or unsolicited phone calls regarding this matter will not be conducted by Premera. Officials warn policy holders to remain alert for questionable phone calls or e-mails asking for personal information.

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