The data breach at Anthem is a very big concern to all of us, as employers, benefits professionals and health plan members. Naturally, we have received inquiries as to how this might affect members of BCBS of Massachusetts and we wanted to offer this information.
Today, BCBS of MA released a statement about the Anthem breach. The statement does not specifically say whether or not information on BCBS of MA members was breached, but that they are actively looking for more information. However, BCBS of Massachusetts and Anthem BCBS operate separately and independently of each other. Because of this, I don’t have any reason to think that any personal information or claims information for a BCBS of MA customer would find its way into the Anthem BCBS system(s).
When a BCBS of MA member uses providers outside of Massachusetts, BCBS of Massachusetts relies on using the networks of other BCBS organizations, including Anthem. However, the local BCBS organization (e.g. Anthem BCBS) does not adjudicate claims for BCBS of MA, nor are they a “pass through” for claims information. Providers, regardless of their location, send claims directly to BCBS of MA, where all of the member and policy information is located. If a provider were to send a claim to Anthem by mistake, Anthem would reject it because they would not recognize the group number or member ID associated with a BCBS of MA plan.
Again, although this is a very concerning issue, everything I have heard so far indicates it was limited to Anthem BCBS members and not those of any other insurance company.
If anything changes or we find out that our customers are in any way affected, we will be sure to let you know.