Many of us involved with preventing identity theft were skeptical about the provisions within the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare, in regard to the protection of enrollees’ personal information, however, to date, no significant breaches of security had been discovered. That is until now. This past weekend Access Health Connecticut which operates the Affordable Care Act in Connecticut announced that a backpack belonging to an employee of Maximus, the company providing call center services for Access Health containing handwritten personal information on 400 Obamacare enrollees was found left on a a Hartford street. This information included names, Social Security numbers and birth dates of enrollees in the Connecticut health exchange which is a part of the Affordable Care Act. Access Health Connecticut is contacting those people affected and offering credit monitoring, identity theft insurance and other services.
Unfortunately, this will most likely, not be the last time that you hear of security breaches involved with the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act does not require that the Navigators, people who will be working to enroll people needing health insurance through Obamacare and who will have access to sensitive personal information undergo criminal background checks. This is a significant flaw and one that ultimately could well lead to much identity theft as criminals obtain jobs in the various health care exchanges operating Obamacare. Although some individual states have their own rules requiring criminal background checks of potential Navigators, many do not. Those people enrolling through the health care exchanges should make an extra effort to monitor their credit report for indications of identity theft.