Anthem Inc. said on Wednesday its millions of customers can sign up for free credit monitoring and identity-theft protection services this week following a massive cyber attack involving stolen U.S. Social Security numbers, birth dates and sensitive health information.
“Consumers will be able to sign up for these services, which will be offered free of charge for two years, beginning Friday. Information on how to enroll will be posted at anthemfacts.com,” Anthem spokeswoman Kristin Binns said in an emailed statement.
The No. 2 U.S. health insurer disclosed last week that hackers breached its computer system containing data on up to 80 million people.
Anthem is expecting very high demand for these services, Binns said. “Our goal is to provide peace of mind to consumers, while minimizing frustration.”
The insurer had received a letter from 10 state attorneys general on Tuesday asking that information about free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services be made available immediately for those affected by the data breach.
Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said he was pleased with Anthem’s quick response and commitment to offer the free protective services for two years.
“I commend the company for doing so, as I did for its relatively swift disclosure of this breach,” Jepsen said in a statement, adding that his investigation into the data breach “is active and ongoing.”
Anthem’s Binns said the free two-year monitoring and protection services exceed what has been customary in similar circumstances.
Anthem shares closed 2 percent higher at $141.49 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot and Karen Freifield in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)
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