Health Net data theft: what do I need to worry about?
December 10, 2009 8:28 AM   Subscribe

I just got a letter from Health Net saying there was a security breach for my personal information. What do I need to worry about, especially given this is a health insurance company? Should I sign up for their free identity protection, or do that on my own?

The letter says my data "may be at risk" but does not specify what data was stolen. According to this article, the data stolen included my name, address, ssn, and medical records. Do I need to worry more, given that this is health insurance, than I would if it was a credit card or bank information stolen? Am I safer, relatively, since 1.5 million records were stolen, or does that not matter? Fwiw, I have not had Health Net insurance in awhile--I can't remember when it was, but it was at least a year and half ago, and maybe more like three years ago, but I'm not sure if that matters. (Oddly, I've moved at least twice but they still managed to get the letter to my current address.)

They are offering two years of free id protection through Debix. Should I take that or just use the annual free credit reports? I searched the archives and found this question, which indicates I shouldn't go through Debix, but it seems like less data was stolen in that case.
posted by min to Law & Government (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
the fact that anyone has your SNN, name, and birthday (assuming that's on your medical records), it doesn't matter if that came from health insurance or a credit chard statement.

I would take them up on their free id protection. It's not costing you anything, and it might just save you thouands of dollars in identify theft.
posted by royalsong at 8:48 AM on December 10, 2009

Best answer: If Debix is like the other services I've seen offered for incidents of this nature, it's not so much the credit monitoring that makes it worth signing up for (because, yes, you could monitor your credit for free, no problem), it's the loss reimbursment insurance and the use of their fraud prevention specialists and investigators. Those are things worth having on somebody else's dime.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:18 AM on December 10, 2009

Best answer: Step 1, confirm this is a legit offer from HealthNet, and not something the people who stole the information are sending out.
posted by mikepop at 10:19 AM on December 10, 2009

I got the same letter from Healthnet, but none of my co-workers seemed to get it. Haven't read into it to find out if it is legit or not.
posted by tommccabe at 10:59 AM on December 10, 2009

Something similar happened to me. I took advantage of the free credit monitoring for two years. So far, nothing negative has happened.
posted by FergieBelle at 12:38 PM on December 10, 2009

Response by poster: oh my god, Mikepop, good idea. THANK YOU. It hadn't even occurred me, even though I'm not usually so gullible--I googled and saw the data theft had happened and just assumed the letter was legit, but what an excellent scam that would be. I'll call Health Net and ask tonight.

Debix does offer insurance and fraud resolution services, so it sounds like that could be useful if something happens.

Thanks for the answers so far, and if anyone else has more info, especially about Debix, or about the implications of my medical records being stolen, I'd appreciate it.
posted by min at 1:38 PM on December 10, 2009

« Older What is LinkedIn good for?   |   Best ideas for computer training at a non-profit? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.