Insights & Analyses

New Jersey health insurance printing error privacy breach affects up to 170K

November 18, 2016

The accounts of as many as 170,000 health insurance customers in New Jersey are being monitored for fraudulent activity after their provider accidentally mailed out personal information — including names, policy numbers and descriptions of services.

Benefit letters sent out by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey over a three-day period mistakenly included information about the wrong policy holders, the provider revealed in a statement to Horizon said it plans to monitor the accounts of affected policy holders to protect customer privacy and security.

horizon-blue-cross-blue-shield-of-nj-squarelogoThe printing error affected both explanations of benefits sent to customers, and explanations of payments mailed to medical providers. The issue persisted for three days — Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 — before the error was caught.

As a result, information that may have been provided to the wrong parties includes member names, ID numbers, claim numbers, dates of service, limited descriptions of services, service codes, or provider/facility names.

Not included among the paperwork were social security numbers, financial information, addresses or dates of birth.

Customers and providers are expected to receive corrected explanations of benefits and payments in the coming days. Notifications of the error will also be provided through the mail to Horizon members.