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Regulators investigate Health Net security lapse involving personal information of 1.9 million people

March 14, 2011 |  5:56 pm

State regulators have opened an investigation into the security practices of insurer Health Net Inc. after the Woodland Hills company revealed the loss of computerized records containing personal information related to about 1.9 million people.

The California Department of Managed Health Care launched the probe after Health Net disclosed that several of its computer drives were missing. The company said the records included addresses, social security numbers and other information of customers, employees and health-care providers.

“Health Net has agreed to provide two years of free credit monitoring services to its California enrollees, in addition to identity theft insurance, fraud resolution and restoration of credit files, if needed,” department spokeswoman Lynne Randolph said in a statement.

Health Net said it is conducting its own investigation of the security breach at its data center in Rancho Cordova near Sacramento.

The company said it was notified by IBM, which manages Health Net’s technology infrastructure, that it could not locate the computer drives. Health Net has determined that personal information is on the drives.

Health Net would not say how many computer drives or people were affected. The managed health care department, citing Health Net as its source, said nine drives were missing, with information on 1.9 million current and former members.

“While the [internal] investigation continues, Health Net has made the decision out of an abundance of caution to notify the individuals whose information is on the drives,” the company said in a statement.

The company said customers with questions should visit Health Net’s website at www.healthnet.com or call (855) 434-8081.

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