This Week Excellus, Next Week Your Insurance Company

If you haven’t been a victim of a data breach, you’re probably just biding your time. It WILL happen eventually. Even if you avoid every major retailer to be hit by a data breach (Target, Home Depot, TJ Maxx, etc., etc., etc.), you can’t avoid health insurance. So far this year, over 100 million US citizens had their information compromised due to a health insurance breach.

Anthem’s breach affected 80 million subscribers. Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield’s breach exposed 11 million people’s personal information, and just last week Excellus announced a breach that compromised the information of over 10 million customers. And there are still 3 ½ months left in 2015.

So what can you do to prevent your information from being compromised in a health care breach?

Unfortunately, not much. You need health insurance. Whether you sign up through your employer or through a health care exchange, your options are limited. And you can’t rely on an insurer’s reputation to keep you safe. Anthem is the second largest health insurer in the country, and that didn’t keep them from getting breached.

Instead, you should accept that your personal information will eventually be compromised, if it hasn’t been already. You should monitor your financial accounts and credit reports regularly. You should change your passwords frequently. You should consider some form of identity theft protection, just in case something does happen.

And if you really want to take a stand and make a difference, you should write to your representatives at the state and federal levels and demand better protection against identity theft. Don’t let business-bowing politicians like Bruce Rauner maintain the status quo, when the status quo isn’t working. Demand harsher penalties for corporations who fail to protect our private data. Demand faster reporting for data breaches. Demand that our security be placed above that of corporations!

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