Aetna sues mail handling firm for $20M over clear envelopes showing customers' HIV statuses

Aetna filed a lawsuit against an administrative support company blaming the company for potentially revealing members' HIV status through mail using clear envelope windows, the Hartford Courant reports.

Here are five things to know about the lawsuit.

1. On Monday, Aetna sued Kurtzman Carson Consultants for $20 million over ''errors, omissions and gross negligence'' that led to the potential privacy breach.

2. Aetna inadvertently exposed members' HIV statuses through a window on envelopes containing information about filling prescriptions for HIV medications and pre-exposure prophylaxis, a pill that helps prevent a person from contracting HIV. The letters were mailed July 28 to about 12,000 customers in multiple states.

3. In its lawsuit against KCC, Aetna claimed KCC should have known ''HIV Medications'' were noted below its members' names and addresses in the clear envelope windows. Aetna also said KCC didn't tell Aetna about using envelopes with see-through address windows.

4. KCC general counsel Drake Foster told the Hartford Courant Tuesday it denies the allegations, calling them ''demonstrably false.''

5. Aetna's lawsuit against KCC seeks $3 million more than a $17 million settlement Aetna reached last month to resolve a federal class-action lawsuit filed in August after the potential privacy breach.

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