Anthem corporate headquarters in Newbury Park, Calif. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Indianapolis-based health insurance giant Anthem Inc., which is California’s largest for-profit health insurer, says hackers have breached its computer system, placing the personal information of tens of millions of customers and employees at risk.

The attack on the nation’s second-largest health insurer beginning Dec. 10 could be one of the largest data breaches in the healthcare industry, the Los Angeles Times reported.

An Anthem statement said that: “Cyber attackers executed a very sophisticated attack to gain unauthorized access” to one of the company’s computer systems. The hackers broke into a database containing information about some 80 million people and “obtained personal information relating to consumers and Anthem Blue Cross employees who are currently covered, or who have received coverage in the past.”

Anthem has more than 37 million members in California and 13 other states. The company said it also had information in its database on Blue Cross Blue Shield patients from all 50 states who had sought care in the Anthem coverage area.

Formerly known as WellPoint, Anthem is California’s largest for-profit health insurer and the top company by enrollment on the Covered California insurance exchange.

Anthem has established a website — www.anthemfacts.com — where members can access information about the situation. Current and former members also can call (877) 263-7995 with questions relating to the hacking.

— City News Service

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