Anthem Blue Cross in California, a unit of WellPoint Inc., during the week of June 21 began notifying about 230,000 members and insurance applicants that a Web site used to apply for individual health policies was breached. Now, Indianapolis-based WellPoint, which operates Blues plans in 14 states, is notifying many more across the nation, with at least 470,000 potentially affected individuals identified.

The Anthem Web site was upgraded last October and a third-party vendor validated all security measures were reinstated. The company learned in March that personal health and financial information, as well as some Social Security numbers, remained accessible when an applicant filed a lawsuit after discovering the breach.

Anthem contends the vast majority of access to data resulted from attorneys involved in the litigation. The company says it has requested and received all information the attorneys obtained. WellPoint is offering free credit and identity theft protection services for one year to affected individuals.

This article was reprinted with permission from Health Data Management.

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