The individual health insurance market can be a scary place for Americans who turn to it for health coverage. If they’re accepted to a plan at all, patients often find that their coverage isn’t quite what they were promised, and limits and restrictions lead to high medical bills for covered services that aren’t really covered.
A few days ago we linked to a Baltimore Sun article that investigated the recent accidental release of private patient data online by The Dental Network. Now the reporter who broke the story, Liz F. Kay, has contacted us with news that “this was the largest of nearly 40 breaches affecting Maryland residents” since a disclosure law went into effect in January:
Thirty-nine businesses or groups have reported losses of sensitive information involving about 87,500 Maryland residents in the three months since a state law took effect requiring that people be informed of such incidents, records show.
Last month, The Dental Network—a dental HMO owned by CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield—discovered it had accidentally revealed personal data and Social Security numbers online for about 75,000 of its customers. It told the members about the screw-up three weeks later. “The company says that to its knowledge, no one has misused the information. But it says ‘the risk … should be taken seriously,’” and it’s offering affected members one year of credit monitoring. After that, as you know, the thread of identity theft plummets. Wait, what?