566,217 Customers of Chicago-Based Health Insurer Impacted by Data Breach

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The Chicago-based health insurer Bankers Life, a division of CNO Financial Group Inc., has discovered hackers gained access to its systems and potentially stole the personal information of more than half a million individuals.

Bankers Life provides a range of insurance services to customers, including life insurance, long term care insurance, health insurance, and Medicare supplemental insurance and is the largest division of CNO Financial Group.

Hackers gained access to its systems between May 30 and September 13, 2018. Bankers Life said it discovered the breach on August 7, 2018.

The hackers gained access to a range of sensitive personal information of a ‘limited number’ of its employees. A ‘limited group’ of customers had names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, state identification numbers, medication information, diagnoses, and treatment information exposed. The protected health information of a much larger group of customers was also potentially accessed by the hackers. For that group, names, addresses, dates of birth, insurance policy numbers, insurance type, premium amounts, dates of service, claim amounts, and the last four digits of Social Security numbers were potentially stolen.

Bankers Life hired a third-party computer forensics investigator to conduct an investigation into the breach to determine how access was gained to its systems and the extent of the breach. The details of how the hackers gained access to its systems has not been publicly disclosed.

Bankers Life has now taken steps to restrict access to its systems, monitoring has been enhanced, and additional security procedures have now been implemented to prevent further breaches.

The disclosure of the breach was delayed at the request of federal investigators. Affected customers are now being notified and have been offered free identity theft repair and credit monitoring services.

The breach report submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights indicates 566,217 customers have been affected by the breach.

The Bankers Life data breach is the fifth largest healthcare data breach to be reported in 2018.

Author: Steve Alder has many years of experience as a journalist, and comes from a background in market research. He is a specialist on legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA. Steve holds a B.Sc. from the University of Liverpool.

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