Kaiser Permanente Employee Data Breached

February 6, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The personal information of 29,500 Kaiser Permanente employees may have been exposed in a data breach at the health provider.

In fact, a “handful” of workers have reported identity fraud as a result, the company said on Friday. One person, who is not a Kaiser employee, was arrested after law enforcement authorities seized a computer file with Kaiser human relations-type of data in that person’s possession, the statement said.

The breach did not involve Kaiser member information and no personal health details have been jeopardized, according to a written statement issued by Gay Westfall, senior vice president of human resources for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. The stolen information included names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers for Kaiser employees.

Kaiser will provide one year of free credit monitoring to help affected employees protect their accounts. It also set up a toll-free phone line to answer employee questions.

According to The San Jose Mercury News, the theft came to light after the arrest of Mia Garza, 28, on December 23 on suspicion of possession of stolen property and forgery. In a confiscated computer, San Ramon police later found a file with Kaiser employee data, according to the report.