Credit monitoring offered to Pennsylvanians after major medical data breach

The data breach is estimated to have impacted many Pennsylvania residents.

The UnitedHealthcare headquarters sign in Minnesota. Credit: Google Maps

Following a data breach at Change Healthcare, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry said Wednesday that all affected residents can now access free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services for two years.

The breach, which occurred in February, has not yet prompted Change Healthcare to individually notify affected consumers or publicize available protection services, according to the attorney general’s office.

According to Henry, the data breach involved sensitive personal information and could impact millions of Americans.

“This data breach has impacted an estimated millions of Americans, and the company’s continued silence and downplaying of the widespread impact on consumers is completely unacceptable,” Henry said.

Change Healthcare, a major electronic data clearinghouse, plays a central role in the health care system and handles administrative tasks for thousands of health care providers, pharmacies and insurers. The cyberattack significantly disrupted operations, impacting hospitals, medical offices and pharmacies across the country and leading to Americans’ sensitive medical and personal data being leaked onto the dark web, officials said.

Although it did not provide individual notifications, Change Healthcare acknowledged that the breach could affect up to a third of all Americans.

The company has a dedicated website and call center, but it does not provide information about a specific individual’s data breach. It is, however, equipped to help people sign up for free services.

In early April, Henry and other state attorneys general wrote a letter to UnitedHealth Group, urging Change Healthcare’s parent company to take more steps to protect the information of providers, pharmacies and patients affected by the breach.

Given the magnitude of the incident and the lack of direct communication from Change Healthcare, Henry advised all Pennsylvanians to assume their information may have been compromised and take advantage of the protections available.

Below you will find more information on how to participate in monitoring:

  • For more information, visit changecybersupport.com.
  • To sign up for credit monitoring through IDX, use the link on changecybersupport.com or call 1-888-846-4705.
  • For additional assistance from Change Healthcare, call 1-866-262-5342.

Consumers should be aware of potential warning signs that someone is using their medical information. These signs include:

  • A bill from their doctor for services they did not receive;
  • Mistakes in their explanation of benefits statement, such as services they never received or prescription medications they are not taking;
  • A call from a debt collector about a medical debt he doesn’t owe;
  • Medical debt collection notices on their credit report that they don’t recognize;
  • A notice from their health insurance company that they have reached their benefit limit; or
  • They are denied insurance coverage because their medical records reveal a pre-existing condition they do not have.

If consumers are concerned that their data has been affected but would prefer not to use the free resources provided by Change Healthcare, they may also consider freezing their credit.