disability-insurance_image The trustees of the SMART Voluntary Short-Term Disability program are pleased to announce that they have reached a tentative agreement with Anthem Life Insurance Co. on a group long-term disability plan for our bus and rail members.

The plan is intended to provide a seamless transition to long-term coverage for members when disability exceeds the short-term policy limits. Participation is voluntary.

The plans will offer various options for coverage and premium rates. Implementation will include an open-enrollment period that will allow members to enroll in a combination of short- and long-term disability coverage without any pre-existing condition exclusion.

Details regarding the implementation timeline, an explanation of the new benefit options and enrollment instructions for the long-term disability plan will be forthcoming shortly.

Print Last week, Anthem informed us that their company was the target of a sophisticated cyber attack. This resulted in unauthorized access to its members’ personal information. The investigation into the security breach is ongoing. We know many of you want information and have questions about this attack. To review what Anthem knows and share with you what they are doing at this point, please join them for a town hall meeting Feb. 17.

Anthem speakers
Ken Goulet, president of Anthem’s Commercial and Specialty Business, will address member concerns and discuss the risks to its customers. Members will  then hear from Anthem’s IT leadership, who will go over details of the incident and explain how they’re working with federal agencies, what they’re are doing internally, and who was impacted.

Mark your calendar
Anthem invites its small and large group employers to attend at the times below for their time zone:

DATE: Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015

TIMES:
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time
2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Central time
1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Mountain time
12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific time

Register today
While Anthem’s town hall webcast will accommodate thousands of participants, registration will be first-come, first-served. They anticipate large participation, so they encourage you to register in advance to make sure you have a spot at the conference. When you register, you’ll get event details, including a password, dial-in number and a link for the meeting. You will simply click on that link with a web-enabled device (such as a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, iPad or smartphone) to participate.

When you register, you’ll also have an opportunity to submit questions that have not been covered in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or the communications you have received so far. They will answer as many of your questions as time permits during the hour-and-a-half timeframe.

Read our FAQ now
Before attending the conference, take a moment to read Anthem’s updated FAQ. These may help answer many of your questions beforehand. While the conference isn’t set up to allow verbal questions during the call, as mentioned, you may submit questions not covered in the FAQ when you register.

If you’re not able to attend
We will continue sending updated communications about the breach as information becomes available.

Print Anthem President and CEO Joseph R. Swedish has issued the following statement regarding the data breach of the company’s information systems last week:

Last week, we made you aware that Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external, cyber-attack. Since that time, we have been working around the clock continuing our assistance in the FBI investigation; analyzing the data to understand the impact to our members; responding to questions from our clients, members and partners; and securing a best-in-class vendor to provide identity protection services to our members as quickly as possible.

To that end, we understand that you and your employees – our members – are eager to receive more information about how to enroll in the credit protections we are providing. Starting this Friday, Feb. 13, current and former Anthem members whose information was included in the database that was compromised, can visit AnthemFacts.com to learn how to enroll in two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft repair services provided by our vendor – a leading and trusted identity protection provider. Members can access these services starting Friday, Feb. 13, prior to receiving a mailed notification from Anthem, which will be sent in the coming weeks.

The free identity protection services provided by Anthem include two years of:

  • Identity Repair Assistance: Should a member experience fraud, an investigator will do the work to recover financial losses, restore the member’s credit, and ensure the member’s identity is returned to its proper condition. This assistance will cover any fraud that has occurred since the incident first began.
  • Credit Monitoring: At no cost, members may also enroll in additional protections, including credit monitoring. Credit monitoring alerts consumers when banks and creditors use their identity to open new credit accounts.
  • Child Identity Protection: Child-specific identity protection services will also be offered to any members with children insured through their Anthem plan.
  • Identity theft insurance: For individuals who enroll, the company has arranged for $1,000,000 in identity theft insurance, where allowed by law.
  • Identity theft monitoring/fraud detection: For members who enroll, data such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and emails will be scanned against aggregated data sources maintained by top security researchers that contain stolen and compromised individual data, in order to look for any indication that the members’ data has been compromised.
  • Phone Alerts: Individuals who register for this service and provide their contact information will receive an alert when there is a notification from a credit bureau, or when it appears from identity theft monitoring activities that the individual’s identity may be compromised.

Industry standards under similar circumstances are to provide credit monitoring services for one year; however, we are exceeding these standards and providing these identity protection and credit monitoring services to all impacted members for two years, in response to your concerns. This has been our priority from day one, to be transparent, protect your data and to give our members peace of mind.

We have been working to arrange for these credit monitoring and identity theft protection services since the attack on our systems was discovered. Doing so has required enormous efforts and commitment of resources to ensure that our vendor can accommodate what we anticipate will be very high demand for these services. It was essential that we work with the vendor to develop the infrastructure to handle a high volume of calls and web traffic, and to train representatives to accurately answer questions from our members. Our goal is to provide peace of mind, while minimizing frustration for our members. We are able to provide these services 11 business days after discovery of the attack.

We will distribute press releases in our markets on Friday announcing the identity protection services are available. We will also send letters in the mail to our members in the coming weeks with information on how to sign up for services. We will share a copy of these communications with you before they are distributed.

We will continue to provide updates as we learn more about the attack, and we are here to answer your questions to the best of our ability.

Print As you may have heard, Anthem, Inc., the parent company of SMART’s voluntary short-term disability insurance provider Anthem Life Insurance Co., was the victim of a cyber-attack. Anthem has informed us that its member data was accessed, and that such access could possibly have included VSTD member data as well.

We are working with Anthem to better understand the impact on VSTD members. To date, Anthem has informed us of the following:

  • Once Anthem determined it was the victim of the cyber-attack, it immediately notified federal law enforcement officials and shared the indicators of compromise with the HITRUST C3 (Cyber Threat Intelligence and Incident Coordination Center).
  • Anthem’s Information Security is working to eliminate any further vulnerability and continues to secure all of its data.
  • Anthem immediately began a forensic IT investigation to determine the number of impacted consumers and to identify the type of information accessed. The investigation is ongoing.
  • The information accessed included member names, member health identification numbers/Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, Email addresses and employment information, including income data. Social Security numbers were included in only a subset of the universe of consumers that were impacted.
  • Anthem is still working to determine which members’ Social Security numbers were accessed.
  • Anthem’s investigation to date shows that no credit card or confidential health information was accessed.
  • Anthem has advised us there is no indication at this time that any of our members’ personal information has been misused.
  • All impacted Anthem members will be enrolled in identity repair services. In addition, impacted members will be provided information on how to enroll in free credit monitoring.

Anthem has created a website – www.anthemfacts.com – and a hotline, 1-877-263-7995, for its members to call for more information.

We will continue to keep you updated on Anthem’s ongoing investigation and any further developments as they are made known to us.

SMART Transportation Division
Voluntary Short-Term Disability Program Trustees

Print Anthem, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, said Feb. 4 that the personal information of tens of millions of its customers and employees, including its chief executive, was the subject of a “very sophisticated external cyberattack.”

The company, which is continuing its investigation into the exact scope of the attack, said hackers were able to breach a database that contained as many as 80 million records of current and former customers, as well as employees. The information accessed included names, Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses, email and employment information, including income data.

President and CEO Joseph R. Swedish has issued the following statement:

“Safeguarding your personal, financial and medical information is one of our top priorities, and because of that, we have state-of-the-art information security systems to protect your data. However, despite our efforts, Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack. These attackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system and have obtained personal information from our current and former members such as their names, birthdays, medical IDs/social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data. Based on what we know now, there is no evidence that credit card or medical information, such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes were targeted or compromised.

“Once the attack was discovered, Anthem immediately made every effort to close the security vulnerability, contacted the FBI and began fully cooperating with their investigation. Anthem has also retained Mandiant, one of the world’s leading cybersecurity firms, to evaluate our systems and identify solutions based on the evolving landscape.

“Anthem’s own associates’ personal information – including my own – was accessed during this security breach. We join you in your concern and frustration, and I assure you that we are working around the clock to do everything we can to further secure your data.

“Anthem will individually notify current and former members whose information has been accessed. We will provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge so that those who have been affected can have peace of mind. We have created a dedicated website – www.AnthemFacts.com – where members can access information such as frequent questions and answers. We have also established a dedicated toll-free number that both current and former members can call if they have questions related to this incident. That number is: 1-877-263-7995. As we learn more, we will continually update this website and share that information you.

“I want to personally apologize to each of you for what has happened, as I know you expect us to protect your information. We will continue to do everything in our power to make our systems and security processes better and more secure, and hope that we can earn back your trust and confidence in Anthem.”

 

 

Members who received disability-claim payments from Anthem or Lincoln in 2010 will be receiving IRS W-2 forms from those insurers.

This does not mean that the benefits are taxable. It is merely a reporting requirement of the IRS.

The payments will be listed in Box 12 with a “J” and the amount received. This notifies the IRS that the disability income is non-taxable.