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Posted On April 1, 2022 Consumer Privacy & Data Breaches

Data Breach Alert: Partnership HealthPlan of California

NOTICE: If you received a NOTICE OF DATA BREACH letter from Partnership HealthPlan of California, contact the attorneys at Console & Associates at (866) 778-5500 to discuss your legal options, or submit a confidential Case Evaluation form here.

Data Breach AlertApril 1, 2022 – Recently, Partnership HealthPlan of California (“PHC”) announced it experienced a data security incident stemming from “anomalous activity on certain computer systems within its network.” While PHC has yet to determine if any member data was compromised as a result of the incident, the group claiming responsibility for the attack says they obtained the personally identifying information of 850,000 PHC members.

It is essential those who receive a data breach notification from Partnership HealthPlan of California understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating the Partnership HealthPlan of California data breach. As a part of our investigation, we are providing free consultations to anyone affected by the breach who is interested in learning more about the risks of identity theft, what they can do to protect themselves, and what their legal options may be to obtain compensation from Partnership HealthPlan of California.

In 2021, there were 1,862 data breaches affecting more than 189,000,000 individuals. Victims of identity theft spend, on average, 200 hours and more than $1,300 recovering their identity. Many of these victims also suffer credit damage, emotional distress, and may even end up with a criminal record. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the worst consequences of a data breach.

What We Know So Far About the Partnership HealthPlan of California Breach

According to news sources, PCP first noticed issues relating to its computer systems on March 21, 2022, when it reported its systems were down. More recently, PHC posted a notice on its website—which remains down—stating that the organization recently “became aware of anomalous activity on certain computer systems within its network.” Partnership HealthPlan of California also reports that it is looking into the incident; however, the organization has not yet confirmed whether any consumer data was compromised.

However, Hive, a group of cybercriminals that regularly orchestrate ransomware attacks, has claimed responsibility for the incident. In a recent post, Hive claims to have obtained “850k unique records” containing individuals’ first and last names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and contact information. Hive did not mention obtaining any protected health information.

Partnership HealthPlan of California explained that once its review of the affected files is complete, it will begin sending out data breach notification letters as required by state and federal law.

Partnership HealthPlan of California is a public/private organization that is certified by the State of California to provide health care services for Medi-Cal managed care beneficiaries in 14 California counties, including Del Norte County, Humboldt County, Lake County, Lassen County, Marin County, Mendocino County, Modoc County, Napa County, Shasta County, Siskiyou County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Trinity County, and Yolo County.

Can Consumers Whose Data Was Leaked Pursue Legal Action Against an Organization?

When you allowed PHC access to your personal data, you trusted the organization to keep your sensitive information safe. However, news of the PHC data breach raises some very serious questions about the organization’s data security measures and whether it could have done more to prevent this type of cyber-attack.

Regardless of the industry, all organizations have a legal obligation to protect consumer information in their possession. Although creating and maintaining a data security system is costly, this is a necessary expense given the frequency with which cyberattacks occur.

Consumers whose personal, identifying, financial or healthcare-related data was compromised in a data breach can pursue legal action against an organization that misused or mishandled their information. However, the investigation into the Partnership HealthPlan of California breach is only in its beginning phases. For that reason, it is too early to tell if PHC was legally responsible for the breach. However, our data breach attorneys are investigating the Partnership HealthPlan of California security breach to determine the potential legal remedies of those affected.

If you have questions about your ability to pursue a data breach class action lawsuit against PHC, contact a data breach attorney as soon as possible.

What to Do If You Receive a Data Breach Notification from PHC in the Future

If you receive a data breach notification from PHC in the coming weeks, it means your personal data was compromised in the recent cyberattack. It also means a cybercriminal may have had access to—and may have stolen—your personal data. Given the risks involved, it is important you remain vigilant by taking the following steps:

  1. Figure Out What Information Was Stolen: Carefully review the data breach letter sent by PHC, keeping in mind the information you provided to the organization as well as the type of data that was compromised in the breach. You should also take a copy of the data breach letter and keep it for your records. Of course, data breach letters are not always easy to understand. A consumer privacy lawyer can help victims of a data breach understand what was compromised and how to protect themselves.
  2. Prevent the Hacker from Accessing Your Accounts: Once you determine the scope of the breach and how it affected you, you should take all steps to prevent cybercriminals from accessing your credit or financial accounts. For example, you should change all passwords and security questions for your online accounts. You should also consider setting up multi-factor authentication where it is available.
  3. Protect Your Credit and Your Financial Accounts: In the wake of a data breach, organizations usually provide free credit monitoring services for a specified period of time. This is not a gimmick, and you do not give up any rights by taking an organization up on their offer. Additionally, you should contact one of the three main credit bureaus to request a copy of your credit report. Even if you do not notice any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity, it is a good idea to request a fraud alert. Fraud alerts are free and serve as a red flag to potential lenders and creditors that your information was compromised.
  4. Consider a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents access to your credit report unless you specifically authorize it. Credit freezes are free and last until you remove them. While placing a credit freeze on your accounts may initially seem like a drastic measure, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), doing so is the “single most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, ITRC reports that just 3% of consumers whose information is leaked place a freeze on their accounts. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for any type of credit.
  5. Regularly Monitor Your Credit Report and Financial Accounts: Protecting yourself in the wake of a data breach is not a one-time task. You should continually monitor your credit report and all financial accounts, keeping an eye out for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You may also consider calling your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach.

If You Have Questions About Your Rights Following the Partnership HealthPlan of California Data Breach, Console & Associates, P.C. Can Help

At Console & Associates, P.C., our consumer privacy lawyers monitor all security and data breaches to help affected consumers pursue their legal remedies. We offer free consultations to victims of data breaches and can explain your rights in clear, understandable terms so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case. If you’ve been affected by the PHC data breach or any other data security incident, Console & Associates, P.C., will investigate your case at no charge and offer you thorough advice about how to most effectively proceed with your case. If you decide to bring a case, we only get paid if you do. If your claim is successful, any legal fees are either paid by the defendant or come out of the funds recovered from the defendant. If your claim doesn’t result in a recovery, you will pay nothing.

To schedule your free consultation, just call (866) 778-5500 today or fill out our secure contact form.


NOTICE: If you received a NOTICE OF DATA BREACH letter from Partnership HealthPlan of California, contact the attorneys at Console & Associates at (866) 778-5500 to discuss your legal options, or submit a confidential Case Evaluation form here.