BCBSM Announces Effort to Protect Eligible Members From Identity Theft

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network will offer all eligible members identity protection services by Jan. 1, 2016.

This initiative was announced nationally by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association on July 13. All Blue Plans will participate, with each locally-managed Blue Plan structuring their own program.

We will also be notifying groups about this announcement with an official letter. Naturally, we expect our members and employer group customers to have questions. Here are some things we want them to know.

Our step-by-step process for bringing identity protection services to our members:

Secure an identity protection partner. We are negotiating with national credit monitoring and identity protection firms now. We expect to announce our partner before Sept 30, 2015.
Connect with our customer groups. Once we announce our identity protection partner, we will begin reaching out to employer group customers to determine whether they want their Blue-covered employees to participate.
Build a list of eligible members and notify them of the program. Based on participation decisions made by employer groups, we will complete a list of all eligible members and announce our process of enrolling them in identity protection services. We will make services available to eligible members before Jan. 1, 2016. Identity protection services are to be made available to all eligible members for as long as they continue their coverage.

What are the “identity protection services” to be offered?
These services will be offered to eligible members by our identity protection partner:

Credit monitoring – members will have their credit reports professionally monitored and have around-the-clock access to their credit reports.
Fraud detection – members will receive notifications when suspicious activity shows on their credit file.
Credit/identity repair – members will receive assistance in removing any unauthorized activity from their credit file, and in repairing damage due to identity theft.

What do we mean by “eligible members?”
Member eligibility will be based on employer group participation, and on state and federal regulations that currently limit certain members from receiving this type of free service.

Currently, members may not be eligible if:
• An employer chooses not to participate
• They have Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D or Medigap (Medicare Supplemental) coverage
• They are enrolled through the Federal Employee Program
• They have an individual Multi-State Plan through the exchange as your insurance coverage
• They have a Blue coverage that is not health-related (e.g. Dental or Vision insurance)

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association continues to discuss eligibility requirements with federal government regulators, with the hope of extending this identity protection offer to members enrolled in federally-regulated health products in the near future.

Why is this identity protection being provided?
Blue Plans take the privacy, security and confidentiality of our members’ protected health information very seriously. We invest significantly in securing our information systems from unauthorized access.

But as recent news reports make clear, the sophistication of cyber attackers has grown to a point where even those information systems thought to be most secure have been compromised by sophisticated cyberattacks. Unauthorized access to data has occurred in retail, financial, healthcare and government systems.

For 76 years, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has stood for security and stability. We take that heritage of trust very seriously, and are committed to be proactive in preventing damage from emerging threats. We are pleased to join Blue Plans around the country in proactively protecting our members.

When will the program be offered?
We are in the process of securing an identity protection firm as a partner. That’s our first step. Following the announcement of that partner and the final design of our program, our customer account managers and agents will reach out to employer group customers to explain the program and determine participation.

Questions? Contact your Blue Cross sales representative or managing agent.

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