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BlueCross customers eligible for free ID protection

BlueCross BlueShield customers here and across the country will have free access to identity protection services in a program set to take effect by Jan. 1, the national BlueCross BlueShield Association announced.

The services include credit monitoring, fraud detection and fraud resolution support. They will be available to all eligible members, as long as their insurance policy remains in effect, and will be administered by identity protection companies.

The 36 companies that make up the national association insure 106 million Americans. HealthNow New York has about 800,000 members in this area, where it operates as BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, and in the Albany area, where it operates as BlueShield of Northeastern New York.

HealthNow said Wednesday that it is working with regulators and companies that provide credit protection services on the details of the plan and that it intends to share more information with its members in the coming months.

The announcement by the national association comes five months after Anthem, the largest BlueCross BlueShield insurer, pledged to offer two years of free ID theft protection to current and former customers after hackers broke into a database storing personal information for 79 million people.

To learn more about the new program, visit bcbs.com/identityprotection.