Stolen Laptop Includes Health Net Workers' Data

January 4, 2008

By Diane Levick, Courant Staff Writer,0,6454765.story

Thousands of Health Net employees in Connecticut and other states have been notified that their names and Social Security numbers were on a laptop computer that was stolen more than a month ago from a company vendor.

There have been no reports of identity theft as a result of the incident, said David Olson, a Health Net spokesman. He wouldn't name the vendor or say where the laptop was stolen, other than it wasn't in the Northeast.

The laptop had information on about 5,000 employees companywide and an undisclosed number of health-care providers outside the Northeast. There was no medical information about them on the computer, Olson said.

He said the laptop files didn't contain information on Health Net employees hired Jan. 1, 2005, or later. Health Net members aren't affected either.

Health Net is headquartered in California but its Northeast operations are based in Shelton. The company has about 1,600 employees in Connecticut.

Health Net retained Kroll Inc. to provide free credit monitoring for one year, and help in restoring good credit in case of identity theft, to employees and providers who sign up for it. About a month ago, Health Net started telling employees in a letter that police were investigating the laptop theft and had "not found any evidence that the data has been accessed or misused."

Health Net "works to ensure the safety of our constituents' information and expects the same diligence from our vendors and contract partners," company chief executive Jay Gellert said in the letter. "We are vigorously pursuing this matter to ensure that no further damage has or can be done."

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