WellPoint data breach put sensitive medical information on 5,600 CT residents at risk; Reinforces need for privacy protections

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The Hartford Courant is reporting that between October and March, sensitive financial and health information about 470,000 Americans who applied to WellPoint for individual insurance was at risk of public disclosure, including 5,600 Connecticut residents. WellPoint is the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Connecticut. The breach only affected people who applied online for individual coverage; people covered by an employer or other groups were not at risk. The flaw in the online system was discovered by someone applying for insurance online, not by the company. WellPoint reports that during those five months, less than ten unauthorized computers accessed the information.
This latest breach highlights the critical need for an informed privacy policy for health information exchange in CT.
Ellen Andrews