Ohio Nationwide Insurance Members’ Data Taken in Theft from Vendor

January 25, 2007

Computer records containing medical claim information, health data and Social Security numbers of 28,279 Nationwide insurance customers were stolen from the office of a vendor in Massachusetts, the company said.

A lockbox that contained computer backup tapes was taken during a break-in Oct. 26 at Concentra Preferred Systems in Weymouth, Mass., Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. said Tuesday.

A break-in of Concentra’s office in Dayton happened the same day, with someone stealing a lockbox with backup tapes of medical claim data of about 130,000 Aetna Inc. health insurance members, Aetna said. Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna reported that break-in last month.

A message seeking comment on the thefts was left Wednesday at Naperville, Ill.-based Concentra.

When Aetna reported the break-in at Concentra, the vendor said accessing information from the backup tapes would require commercial equipment and special software packages. The company said the backup tapes could not be used on a standard personal computer.

Cash, DVD players and other items also were stolen in Dayton, making it unlikely the culprits were trying to obtain information needed to commit identity theft, authorities said.

Columbus-based Nationwide, informed of the theft two weeks after it happened, mailed letters last week to customers, most of whom live in central Ohio. The company delayed customer notification while it determined the risk of identity theft, which it believes is low, spokesman Mike Switzer said.

Nationwide said it would offer affected customers a free year of credit monitoring and identity theft insurance. Aetna said last month that it would make a similar offer.

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