Health Net reports missing data two months later

Health Net, which provides health insurance to about 6 million people nationwide, came under fire this week for reporting the loss of nine server drives, which included patient and provider information, at its data center in Rancho Cordova, Calif.--nearly two months after the incident was first reported.

About 2 million Health Net members, employees and healthcare providers may be affected by this data breach. The insurer found out about the security lapse on Jan. 21, when IBM--the company that manages the company's IT infrastructure--informed Health Net that it was unable to locate several server drives.

The California Department of Managed Health Care said this week that the missing server drives contained personal information for 1.9 million current and past enrollees nationwide. Health Net said that it was contacting those affected by the breach, and that it was offering two years of free credit monitoring services, the restoration of credit files, and insurance for identity theft, according to PC Magazine.

The Health Net breach could be one of the most serious healthcare data breaches since 2008, when separate incidents affected 2.2 million people at the University of Utah and 2.1 million people at the University of Miami, according to eWeek.

In May 2009, Health Net incurred a security breach in which a portable disk drive holding the medical and financial data on 1.5 million members disappeared from its Connecticut headquarters.

For more details:
- here's the eWeek article
- read the article in PC Magazine