This was published 22 March 2011.
Health Net Loses Sensitive Customer Information - Again! - Insurance - Families.com
Insurance company loses personal information | KATU.com - Portland News, Sports, Traffic Weather and Breaking News - Portland, Oregon - Portland, Oregon | Local & Regional
The personal information of nearly two million former and current Health Net customers across the country could end up in the wrong hands after the company lost the data.
In a notice on their website, Health Net said several network servers containing names, addresses, health information, Social Security numbers and financial information have gone missing. Information from employees and health care providers was also on the drives.
160,000 of the affected customers live in Oregon and Washington. Health Net is one of the largest insurance providers in the region.
A Health Net spokesman said the company lost the hard drives while moving its data center from California to Colorado.
The Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, or OSPIRG, is one of the groups whose data was lost. The consumer watchdog group wants to know why Health Net kept the public in the dark for almost two months after realizing their mistake.
A letter from Health Net to customers said the company found out about the lost data on January 21, but didn't alert customers until March 14.
“That’s outrageous,” said OSPIRG Executive Director Dave Rosenfeld. “Consumers should know immediately, or almost immediately, when their personal information has been compromised. Consumers here are trusting Health Net that their information is secure.”
Health Net spokesman Brad Kieffer would not comment extensively on the delay and only said, "Health Net has made the decision out of an abundance of caution to notify the individuals whose information is on the drives."
Rosenfeld got the March 14 letter from Health Net, just like other customers. The letter he received said in bold letters, “neither your Social Security number nor financial information was included in the information on the drives.”
But as of Tuesday, Health Net wrote on their website that some Social Security numbers and financial data might have indeed been compromised.
Kieffer said some customers received letters that said the financial information was not at risk, and some got letters that said financial information may have been lost.
To protect customers, Health Net offered to provide two years of identity protection monitoring for free.
If you are a Health Net customer and have any questions, you can call ID monitoring service Debix at (855) 434-8081.