Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey provides administrative and network services for the I.U.O.E. Local 825 Welfare Plan (“Plan”). The Blue Cross Blue Shield system is made up of 37 independent, locally operated companies across the U.S.  Through this system, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is able to offer members with “in network” health insurance benefits while living or traveling in the coverage areas of any other Blue Cross Blue Shield company.  One the companies included in the Blue Cross Blue Shield system is Excellus BCBS. Excellus BCBS is a service provider in 31 upstate New York counties to BCBS plans across the country.

Excellus BCBS recently discovered a cyber-attack on one of its databases.  The breach of security resulting from this cyber-attack may have impacted participants of the Plan because they received health care services in an area that Excellus BCBS services.   After conducting an extensive review, Excellus BCBS advised the Plan that it is aware of 149 of the Plan’s participants directly impacted by this breach in that their information may have been accessed.  These participants have been notified directly by Excellus BCBS of the breach, and they have been enrolled in an identity theft repair and credit monitoring program at Excellus BCBS’ expense.

We have no information suggesting that the Plan’s other participants have been affected by this incident.  However, we wanted to make all of our participants aware that Excellus BCBS has agreed to provide identity protection and credit monitoring services free of charge to all persons who have been covered in plans administered by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.  This includes participants of the Plan.