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Aetna News Alerts

Illinois Department of Insurance Emergency Declaration

For Members in Cook, Kane, Lane and McHenry Counties

In accordance with Company Bulletin 2017-03 issued by the Illinois Department of Insurance, the following safeguards have been implemented for Aetna and Coventry members that reside in the affected counties: 

  • Members may be able obtain services from non-contracted providers for non-emergency services if they were displaced from their home.
  • Members will have an additional 60 days to submit claims, file complaints/appeals or pay bills, or longer, if reasonable, given the members’ specific circumstances.
  • No additional charges for cancellations, interest, late fees, non-renewals or other penalties will be imposed during the emergency period. 
  • No policies will be terminated, cancelled or non-renewed until  09/30/17 or later, if needed, based on the members’ specific circumstances.

The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) is available for filing complaints about disaster-related disputes or issues. 

Archived Alerts

“Wannacry” ransomware information and Aetna’s response

May 2017

Several media outlets published May 12 reports on an aggressive form of ransomware that has affected organizations in many countries.

We understand from these media reports that the attacks have had particular effects on health care organizations, including 16 National Health Service (NHS) facilities in the United Kingdom. These reports also indicated that some of the affected facilities canceled outpatient appointments and informed people to avoid emergency departments if possible.

According to media reports, this ransomware, called "WannaCry" or “Wanna Decryptor,” encrypts the files on an infected computer and then demands the payment of $300 in the form of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin in order to obtain the decryption key and regain control of the files.  After three days, the amount of Bitcoin demanded by the ransomware increases to $600.  Ultimately, the ransomware threatens to delete the files if payment is not made within seven days.

Our response

  • In light of media reports describing the widespread impact of this malware, particularly in the health care sector, Aetna activated its cybersecurity incident response team.  This team has engaged in a number of active measures to reduce the potential risk associated with this malware.
  • As of 12 pm ET on May 15, 2017, we had not identified evidence or received reports from employees that this malware has impacted any systems owned or managed by Aetna. Previous preventive steps in preparation for this specific event have resulted in additional protection against ransomware attacks.
  • This information was also shared with the National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (NH-ISAC) to benefit the health care industry.
  • We are contacting other constituents (including health care providers and vendors) to determine what impact, if any, this malware has had on their businesses.
  • Because of the reported acute impact that this malware has had outside the United States, we are actively assessing groups associated with our international business.
  • We continue to monitor the potential impact on health care providers in order to be responsive to the needs of our members and employees, including their access to medical providers.

For more information

News updates on the ransomware attack  

Protecting your networks from ransomware

FBI Wannacry “Flash” bulletin  

Avoid scams that use the Aetna name

November 2015

Aetna has become aware of impostors who are calling people – often multiple times a day – and fraudulently claiming to be from Aetna. The calls may be from an automated service that repeatedly dials a number, or from a live person.  Aetna is not placing these calls, or directing others to place them.

By falsely claiming to represent Aetna, one of our companies or any other reputable company, these scam artists want to trick you into

  • Sharing personal information that they will use to later steal from you
  • Giving them money for promised goods or services that you will never receive.

This form of fraud is called "phishing" and it is illegal.

Often, the people making these fake calls will talk about a new service that Aetna is providing. The service requires a health assessment. The person offers to send someone to your home to complete the assessment and send the results to your doctor.

The imposters have called cell phones as well as land lines. We cannot warn you about certain phone numbers to look for on caller ID. The phone numbers are always different. But they often have local area codes. 

What to do with a suspicious call 

If you have any suspicions about a call or caller –

  • Do not pick up the call. 
  • If you answer, hang up immediately. Do not give out personal details.
  • Do not try to remove your number from the caller’s list. This will confirm that your number is an active phone number.
  • Report the number to the local fraud unit of your telephone company.
  • Report the number to the Federal Trade Commission.

Suspicious numbers

Two suspicious telephone numbers that have come to our attention are 571-441-0062 and 970-999-7057.  These numbers are not from Aetna or any vendor working for Aetna.

Spoofing Your Number 

Aetna also has received reports that legitimate business owners have received calls from scam artists who say they represent Aetna. After that, the telephone number of that legitimate business starts cropping up on the caller IDs of other people who receive calls from these same scam artists. The technology to fake a caller ID is called "spoofing," and it is a way to disguise the source of the incoming call.

Aetna does not "spoof" the numbers of our customers or potential customers. If your number has been spoofed, report it to the local fraud unit of your telephone company and the Federal Trade Commission.

If You Think You've Been Scammed

If you believe you are a victim of a phishing scam, act quickly. Contact your bank or credit-card company immediately to report your suspicions. In many instances, you can ask them to impose password protection on your accounts. This prevents the unauthorized release of funds. If necessary, report any loss of funds to your bank, the police, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Legitimate Aetna Calls

Aetna complies with the law when making calls to our members and business associates. We may need more information about a claim, for example, or we may be reaching out as part of our care management programs. If you are suspicious of giving information to someone who says they are from Aetna, hang up and call the Member Services number on your ID card. Ask to have your call directed to the department that was asking for the information. That way, you can be sure you are giving the information to Aetna.  

Aetna addresses Linux security flaw

No Aetna impact found from Microsoft Windows security flaw

November 2014

Microsoft recently announced the MS14-066 Schannel security flaw. Schannel is used by Windows client and server operating systems. Aetna has thoroughly assessed our systems.  We do not believe that any of our systems or customer data has been compromised as a result.

We have patched all internal and external systems. We’ll continue to monitor our systems to protect our member, plan sponsor and provider data. We also have remediation plans in place, so we can quickly address any issues we find. Finally, we worked with all suppliers and vendors to assure that their systems are protected.

Aetna has protected its systems against “ShellShock” software bug

Laptop Security is a High Priority

Heartbleed Alert

April 2014

The recently announced “Heartbleed” vulnerability impacts a piece of software known as OpenSSL – a common software package used to assure the secure communication of data across the internet.

Like many organizations, Aetna has been working diligently to assess the impact of Heartbleed on our customers and information systems. To date we have determined that our core customer-serving and external facing systems are not impacted.

We have also instituted remediation plans to assure that we quickly address any vulnerable systems, should they be identified. We will take other precautions as necessary to protect customer data. In addition to assessing our own infrastructure, we are diligently evaluating third-party vendor appliances and applications that may be impacted. We will work closely with any impacted vendors to monitor remediation of the vulnerability.

We initiated these proactive steps following the announcement of this vulnerability on April 7.

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