A potential data breach was caused because of information mishandling by a health insurance subcontractor. According to the reports, WellCare Health Plans notified 47 Medicare subscribers at the end of November that their protected health information (PHI) was breached. Around 500 people were affected by this incident.
Social security numbers and other financial information were not exposed. Also, information regarding specific diagnosis was not revealed. A total of 47 people were notified in Monroe County along with more than 500 people in New York.
“When the error was discovered, WellCare sent postage-paid envelopes to the members who were believed to have received the inadvertent mailings,” the Democrat & Chronicle stated.
According to the reports,
The insurer said it was not aware of misuse of anyone’s information. Nevertheless, it urged the 47 individuals to review their credit card bills and other financial statements. The insurer is providing one-year credit protection.
The breach was a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Crystal Walker, director of public relations, said WellCare learned on Nov. 3 that a vendor had a computer coding error, which caused denial letters to be sent to the wrong members. The information included the person’s name, address, member ID number and general descriptions of the procedure, such as evaluation, radiology or administrative. No specific diagnoses were revealed.
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