On Wednesday, March 18th, Premera Blue Cross, the parent company of Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP) provider LifeWise Assurance, announced that it has been the target of a cyberattack in which the personal information of customers was potentially compromised. However, to date, Premera has said that there is no evidence that customer information has been used “inappropriately.” You can find more information from Premera here and here. Both the FBI and the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner are conducting investigations.
The union is currently working on addressing the issue with UW. If you believe your personal information may have been compromised by this attack or if you need help, please contact the union.
After learning of the cyberattack some concerned members have offered the following suggestions:
- Consider using the free financial credit monitoring and identity protection service Premera is offering through Experian.
- Pay careful attention to email and postal correspondence from UW Benefits, LifeWise or UAW 4121 regarding this. Note: Premera itself will NOT be sending emails regarding this incident; they will be mailing actual letters to all members affected.
- Consider putting a fraud alert on your credit report through Experian (Note: Initial security alert is for only 90 days)
- Inspect your Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) from Lifewise for claims that you do not recognize. To do this: go to https://student.lifewiseac.com/uw/gaip/ and login. Under the “Member Services” drop-down menu click on “Claims.” You can click on any specific claim for more information about exactly what services you were billed for.
- Keep in mind that financial information is different from health information. More information from NPR can be found here and here.
- Consult the Seattle Police Department’s webpage on identity theft
- Look into placing a security freeze on your ChexSystem account – similar to credit bureaus in that it creates a report about your financial activity for financial institutions, however this report involves checking accounts (e.g., how many times a check has bounced, if a fraudulent check has ever been used in your name)
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact your department steward or email email@example.com.