Some Federal Employees Must Re-Enroll in Identity Protection Program

The theft of personal data of current and retired federal employees continues to impact those who were affected. A number of people will be required to re-enroll in the program to receive monitoring services. Here is an explanation.

The data breach leading to personal information being stolen on current and former federal employees was announced in 2015. OPM discovered that the background investigation records of many current, former, and prospective federal employees and contractors had been stolen.

Earlier in 2015, OPM discovered personnel data of about 4.2 million current and former federal employees had been stolen. Information such as names, birth dates, home addresses and Social Security Numbers were at risk as a result of this theft.

If you were in these groups, you should have received notification you were impacted by this incident.

Many Will Have to Re-Enroll in Identity Protection Program

OPM arranged for free identify protection services for people impacted by this theft of information. Here is kicker though: Some people who were impacted and enrolled in identity protection services will have to re-enroll in order to keep the same identity protection in place.

A contract for providing these services expires on December 1st. That contract will be replaced but with a different company according to OPM.

OPM has been using two companies to provide free credit monitoring and identity protection services. Winvale/CSID covers the 4.2 million individuals impacted by the personnel records cyber incident. ID Experts (MyIDCare) covers the 21.5 million individuals impacted by the background investigations incident.

The contract that is now expiring was with Winvale/CSID. That contract offered services to the 4.2 million current and former federal employees with compromised personal information. The contract provided for automatic free access to identity restoration services and insurance to cover costs of restoring a stolen identity. A separate enrollment was required for some free services including credit and identity monitoring.

A similar contract was also issued to ID Experts. It was for a longer period of time. It was for those impacted by the much larger data breach of background investigation records. The larger data theft impacted about 21.5 million people.

What You Will Need to Do

According to OPM, about 1.1 million people have signed up for additional monitoring services related to the personnel files breach, and about 2.6 million enrolled for such services related to the data theft from background investigation files.

As of December 2, 2016, those impacted by either incident will be eligible for coverage through ID Experts (MyIDCare).

Those who were previously using services from the Winvale/CSID company will be offered services through IDExperts (MyIDCare). People who were affected will still be automatically covered by identity restoration and identity theft insurance.

But, if you were covered by the Winvale/CSID company, you will need to re-enroll with ID Experts (MyIDCare) to continue to have monitoring services protecting against identity theft.

What If You Do Not Know Which Group You Are In?

What if you do not know which group of people you are in? Were you in the smaller group of 4.2 million people or the larger group of 21.5 million people?

Winvale/CSID covers the 4.2 million individuals impacted by the personnel records cyber incident. ID Experts (MyIDCare) covers the 21.5 million individuals impacted by the background investigations data theft incident.

If you are not sure which group you are in, you can go to the Verification Center for help. You will have to enter your personal information at the Verification Center website. OPM will be mailing you a letter through the Postal Service providing you with enrollment information and a 25-digit PIN code if you were impacted.

OPM says that most people covered by Winvale/CSID were also impacted by the background investigation theft. Approximately 3.6 million of the 4.2 million current and former federal employees potentially impacted in the personnel data breach were also among those in the background records breach. If you are part of this group of 3.6 million people, you should have already have received a letter from OPM inviting you to enroll in services with ID Experts (MyIDCare). This OPM letter also provides a 25-digit PIN code.

Who Must Re-Enroll and What To You Need to Do?

There are about 600,000 people whose information was not included in the personnel data breach. These are the people impacted with changing the contracts from Winvale/CSID to ID Experts. Those who are not among the 600,000 will continue their coverage under the background records-related contract with ID Experts.

If you are in the group not impacted by the background investigations incident, you will be receiving a new notification letter from OPM through the Postal Service. It will include a 25-digit PIN that you can use to enroll with ID Experts (MyIDCare). ID Experts cannot enroll anyone without the 25-digit PIN code. The company cannot provide the required PIN code over the phone.

OPM expects to mail the majority of these notifications in November 2016.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47