Blue Shield of California notifying members to PHI compromise

The Blue Shield of California Privacy Office confirmed March 23 some of its members protected health information was shared with an insurance broker who was not authorized to access it.

The disclosure, which stemmed from an employee emailing a document to the broker in violation of Blue Shield policy, occurred in November 2017 during the 2018 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. The document contained members' names, home addresses, mailing

addresses, Blue Shield subscriber identification numbers, telephone numbers and the names of the Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans they were enrolled in at the time.

The payer began its investigation into the incident in January and believes the broker may have used the PHI to contact Blue Shield members to sell them Medicare Advantage Plans offered by another health insurance company. Disciplinary action has been taken against the employees responsible, and Medicare staff is being re-trained, the health plan wrote in its notification letter.

Affected individuals were offered free identity repair and credit monitoring services via ALlClear ID.  

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