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Laptop Stolen With Personal Data On 300,000 Health Insurance Clients

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is offering its members free credit monitoring for one year as a result of the security breach.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey has notified its members that an employee laptop computer containing personal information -- including Social Security numbers -- for about 300,000 individuals was stolen in early January.

The health care insurer has sent letters to thousands of its members alerting them about the theft, which occurred in Newark, N.J., on Jan. 5. On its Web site, the company says a "security feature was initiated" on Jan. 28 that "destroys all the data on the stolen computer."

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey says the personal information contained on the computer also included names and addresses of members, but no medical data.

The company says it "believes" it is "highly unlikely" that any personal data stored on the stolen computer has been accessed and that the computer was "password protected."

Nonetheless, the insurer is offering affected members free credit monitoring for one year.

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