800,000 Affected after Horizon BCBS Laptops Stolen

Register now

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is offering 839,711 members a year of paid credit and identity protection services from Experian after two password-protected but unencrypted laptop computers were stolen.

The theft of the laptops, cable-locked to employee workstations, occurred on the weekend of Nov. 1. “A detailed review led by outside computer forensic experts has confirmed that the laptops may have contained files with differing amounts of member information,” according to a statement from the insurer. This includes name, address, date of birth, member number, Social Security number and limited clinical information.

“Horizon BCBSNJ has no reason to believe these laptops were stolen for the information on them or that any member information has been accessed,” a spokesperson tells Health Data Management. “Additionally, due to the way the laptops were configured, we do not believe that much of the member information is easily accessible.” However, the insurer in the abundance of caution is offering the protective services as nearly all affected members had their Social Security number on a laptop.

The Blues plan now is reviewing its inventory of computers and its security and encryption protocols, and will enhance employee security training.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.