Health Care Companies Hard Hit by Data Breaches
Robert M. Ryerson serves as a Certified Financial Planner with New Century Planning in Freehold, New Jersey. He has additionally earned certification from the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education as a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist. Robert M. Ryerson book What’s the Deal with Identity Theft? appeared in 2016.
In the book, he gives numerous examples of the threat that the crime of identity theft poses to ordinary people, using examples such as recent data breaches at major health care companies.
In 2015, Premera Blue Cross announced that a cyberattack against its data the previous year may have compromised the personal information of as many as 11 million people. Information that may have been exposed to hackers included individuals’ Social Security numbers, financial institution details, addresses and phone numbers, and information on specific medical claims.
A similar attack in early 2015 targeted fellow health care company Anthem, potentially compromising the data of some 78 million consumers.
A 2017 report issued by Accenture consultants revealed that more than one-fourth of all United States consumers have been personally affected by a data breach involving a health care company. More than half of these victims later suffered medical identity theft, which involves the fraudulent use of names and health insurance information to receive medical care, file claims with an insurance provider, or obtain prescription drugs.