Montana is one of 30 states to settle with Primera Blue Cross over its failure to secure sensitive consumer data.

Attorney General Tim Fox described the case.

“Primera will have to pay a total of $10 million to be split between the 30 states, and of that amount, a little over $122,000 will go to Montana,” said Fox. “This action was brought under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, otherwise known as HIPAA.”

Fox said Primera Blue Cross essentially lied to its clients about the data breach.

“What Primera did essentially was that they were negligent in allowing their practices for securing data to be breached, This is particularly egregious because it could have been prevented, and when it became public that the data breach had occurred, Primera continued to have its consumer phone operators to tell the public there was no reason to believe that any sensitive information was obtained in the breach, when in fact, personal information such as telephone numbers and Social Security numbers, names and addresses were obtained by the hacker.”

Fox said that according to records provided by the company, 111,222 Montanans were affected.  That means over one-tenth of the state’s population had personal information compromised in this breach, which could have been prevented.

Anyone who believes they have been the victim of identity theft resulting from this breach, they can contact the Attorney General Fox’s Office of Consumer Protection for help with getting an identity theft passport or implementing a credit freeze.


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