BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee continues to investigate the Oct. 2 hard drive theft that occurred in a data closet at its remote training facility in Chattanooga. We are working closely with local, state and federal authorities in their investigation of this crime.

We want to thank our group customers and our members for their patience as we tirelessly analyze the backup tapes of the stolen data. This is a very cumbersome and complex process that we have committed our full resources to. We have over 800 staff from BlueCross, a temporary staffing service and our data security contractor working six days a week retrieving and reviewing back up files. This team is combing through 300,000 screen image files and reviewing 50,000 hours of audio recordings stored on the stolen drives to determine the exact data at risk.

On Nov. 20, letters to group administrators were mailed out informing our employer groups precisely how we are handling the notification to our impacted members. We anticipate that we will begin notifying affected members by mail beginning Nov. 30, with notifications occurring progressively over several weeks. Any members who are found to have had their Social Security number included in the data will be provided free Equifax credit monitoring for a year.

We realize that this issue has caused much concern for our brokers, groups and members, and we want to provide assurance that the protection of personal health information is a top priority for us.

Questions regarding this data security issue or other privacy matters may be directed to the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Privacy Office Hotlines at 1-888-422-2786 or 1-888-455-3824 or via email at Privacy_Office@bcbst.com.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee does not make unsolicited phone calls asking for personal information such as bank account or drivers license information.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.