Obamacare Enrollment Firm Fumbles Client Data

The private broker mistakenly released about 300 client email addresses.

This December 2, 2013 photo shows a woman reading the HealthCare.gov insurance marketplace internet site in Washington, D.C.
National Journal
Sophie Novack
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Sophie Novack
Feb. 4, 2014, 7:56 a.m.

In a slipup to stoke Re­pub­lic­ans’ Obama­care se­cur­ity con­cerns, En­roll Alaska ac­ci­dent­ally re­leased email ad­dresses of about 300 cli­ents Monday af­ter­noon.

An em­ploy­ee for­got to hide the re­cip­i­ent list when send­ing out a mass email re­gard­ing a glitch with the Health­Care.gov, ac­cord­ing to the An­chor­age Daily News.

En­roll Alaska is a private Alaska-based com­pany es­tab­lished to as­sist res­id­ents in en­rolling in cov­er­age through the health care law. The state is un­der the fed­er­al in­sur­ance mar­ket­place.

The “gen­er­ic email” was sent to a se­lec­tion of cli­ents who had and had not en­rolled in in­sur­ance, con­grat­u­lat­ing them on their new policy. It was im­me­di­ately re­called and de­leted, but some dis­gruntled re­cip­i­ents already sent com­plaints.

Se­cur­ity con­cerns with the health care law have been a main line of at­tack for Re­pub­lic­ans in Con­gress, al­though they are primar­ily fo­cused on the po­ten­tial for data breaches dir­ectly through the fed­er­al web­site.

En­roll Alaska COO Tyann Bol­ing down­played con­cerns re­gard­ing the leak.

“People make mis­takes,” she told the An­chor­age Daily News. “One of our em­ploy­ees did, they felt hor­rible about it, we re­called it.” She said the com­pany did not vi­ol­ate HIPAA, the health pri­vacy act, be­cause the email did not in­clude oth­er per­son­al in­form­a­tion be­sides email ad­dresses.

Bol­ing says the com­pany has signed up about 1,050 res­id­ents for in­sur­ance thus far.

Ac­cord­ing to the latest re­lease from HHS, 3,356 Alaskans had en­rolled in cov­er­age through Health­Care.gov as of the end of Decem­ber.

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