Health plan's mailing error exposes 20K Missouri kids' Medicaid data

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WellCare Health Plans, a contractor that administers Missouri Medicaid plans, accidentally exposed the personal health information of 19,570 children in a mailing error, The Kansas City Star reports.

WellCare discovered July 25 that a mailing error inadvertently send reminders about well-child visits for its Missouri Care members to the wrong addresses. Information such as the names, ages and providers' names were exposed, according to an Aug. 23 notification letter sent to members.

"As we continue to investigate the scope of the incident, we are taking steps to prevent something like this from happening again," Ted Webster, WellCare's vice president and chief security and privacy officer, wrote in the letter. "Missouri Care is deeply committed to protecting our members' privacy, and we apologize for any inconvenience this incident may have caused."

There is no evidence any of the compromised information has been misused, but WellCare said it is offering members one year of free credit monitoring from Experian. The payer also advised members to review credit card bills, monitor bank accounts for unauthorized activity and not answer "emails asking for personal details or other information."

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