The short answer is “yes – it’s likely.” This was the discussion I had last week with my daughter. After the major Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance data breach among others, many people are concerned.
My daughter, who just started a new job, got a notice from her employer that she was one of the 80 million people who had their health information hacked in February of this year. She was understandably very concerned.
So what should you do when you become aware that your information is hacked?
- If you notice something suspicious, notify your healthcare provider or insurance company immediately.
- If your healthcare provider or insurance company tells you your information has been compromised, it’s likely that they will provide you with identity theft coverage. If not, ask for it.
- Monitor your financial information and immediately report any strange charges.
In the case of the Anthem BCBS breach, BCBS provided 2 years of identity theft repair assistance, credit monitoring, and identity theft insurance to all the people affected by the breach.
One of the areas to pay attention to is your tax returns. For some of the BCBS customers who were hacked, the hackers filed fraudulent tax returns using the stolen information. When the person went to file their taxes, they were informed that they had already filed and received a refund.
Tell us whether you are concerned about hacking of your health information. We’d love to hear from you!
For more information about your health insurance, see HealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Choosing Your Health Insurance.
For more information about your health privacy, see HealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Healthcare Privacy.
We hope we’re helping you “Spin Your Healthcare Your Way!
Our helpful health care links focus primarily on Obamacare and privacy news — Johnson and Johnson working with Yale to make clinical trial data available to outside researchers and the head of the California Obamacare exchange warning residents about potential penalties. We also include an article from The Wall Street Journal about a new dieting device for your stomach. All are worth your time. And, as always, if you ever come across a healthcare story that you think merits more attention, please send it our way!
Johnson & Johnson Will Make Clinical Data Available to Outside Researchers
Healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to make detailed clinical trial data on its medical devices and diagnostic tests available to outside researchers through a collaboration with Yale University.
Obamacare ‘Fine’ Not Dandy, Says California Exchange Boss
The head of California’s Obamacare exchange warns California residents about increased fines under Obamacare this year for not having health insurance.
Still Waiting For Strong Privacy Laws
President Obama this week proposed privacy laws that could give Americans greater control over their personal information.
U.S. Healthcare Executives Say Obamacare Is Not Going Anywhere
U.S. healthcare executives say Obamacare is likely here to stay, despite repeated calls from Republican lawmakers for repeal of the 2010 law aimed at providing health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans.
FDA Clears ‘Pacemaker For The Stomach’
Federal regulators approved a novel dieting device that acts like a pacemaker for the stomach by manipulating the nerve pathway that makes people feel hungry or full.
Healthcare has changed radically. Gone are the days when the only medical professional a patient saw was their trusted local doctor. HealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Healthcare Privacy walks you through the practical steps you can take to safeguard your healthcare privacy as a patient.
Available for download NOW!
Medicare announced that insurance companies can use the Amazon cloud to report their required ObamaCare information to the government.
Under ObamaCare, insurance companies must provide information to the government to determine if they owe money or will receive money from the government. This is an important aspect of ObamaCare as it forces insurance companies to have both “risk and reward.” This information is required to avoid large premium increases in the first 3 years.
Insurance companies previously had to buy expensive hardware to provide the information to the government. Medicare decided that the information could also be stored on the Amazon cloud.
Insurance companies are concerned about:
- The security of the health information;
- The redundancy of other systems insurance companies already have in place;
- The Amazon option being offered too late to get an accurate picture of the risk pool. Article
This is simply another example how health information is becoming more available in locations that the healthcare provider and patient would never know about. As a result of these rapid changes, healthcare providers and consumers must be vigilant that they monitor their health information and have the mandatory HIPAA and security measures in place. If there is a breach of health information, the healthcare provider does not want to take the liability when the information is now in so many varied locations by many different companies. As a patient, make sure you notify your healthcare provider if you find that your healthcare information has been leaked to an unauthorized source.
Healthcare has changed radically. Gone are the days when the only medical professional a patient saw was their trusted local doctor. MyHealthSpin’s Easy Healthcare: Healthcare Privacy walks you through the practical steps you can take to safeguard your healthcare privacy as a patient.
Available for download NOW!