- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Klamath Falls woman who applied for health coverage through Cover Oregon says the insurance exchange mailed her the personal information of other applicants.

Ann Migliaccio (mil-YAH’-choh) told The Associated Press that she received documents last week containing the names and birth dates of two applicants from Hillsboro. She says the documents did not include Social Security numbers.

This is the 18th security breach in the past six months, Cover Oregon officials said. They say the information inadvertently shared in these breaches included addresses, names, dates of birth and internal Cover Oregon IDs, but no Social Security numbers.

The exchange is investigating the cause of the newest breach, Cover Oregon spokeswoman Ariane Holm said. When officials became aware of the incident last Thursday, she said, the exchange’s security team immediately sent Migliaccio a return envelope to retrieve the information.

“We take the security and privacy or our customers very seriously and have policies and trainings in place to protect personally identifiable information of our consumers,” Holm said, adding Cover Oregon regularly improves procedures.

Migliaccio, 64, had enrolled in Cover Oregon last year, but she recently made some changes on her application, because in two weeks she will become eligible for Medicare. She says she has since mailed the other people’s information back to the exchange, but is concerned about her own information and that of her husband.

“It was pretty shocking,” Migliaccio said. “But with Cover Oregon nothing is shocking anymore. They should be very thankful I’m an honest person and I will not try to use this information.”

Last year, after Cover Oregon’s failed launch, officials reported three security breaches involving Social Security information.

Since then, when applicants need to update their applications, Cover Oregon no longer mails the completed documents that include Social Security numbers and other information, officials said. Instead, the exchange sends the person a letter outlining the problem and a blank application as needed.

Oregon abandoned its plans for an independent online exchange after it failed to launch, and in April officials decided to switch to the federal portal.

The state last year hired 400 workers to help Oregonians enroll via a hybrid paper-online process that was costly and glitch-filled. In addition to security breaches, Cover Oregon lost applications, erroneously calculated tax credits, and even mistakenly enrolled a U.S. senator in Medicaid.

Officials said the security breaches should disappear when open enrollment resumes on Nov. 15. That’s when customers will be enrolling through HealthCare.gov, so Oregon’s manual application processing will be phased out.


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