Audit finds safety breaches for Conn. Well being Insurance coverage Alternate

HARTFORD, Conn. — The Connecticut Well being Insurance coverage Alternate didn’t report back to state regulators not less than 44 incidents by which purchasers’ personally identifiable data was breached together with one incident that impacted greater than 1,000 folks, the state’s auditors revealed in a brand new report.

The Auditors of Public Accounts recurrently audits state businesses. The report, issued Tuesday, discovered 44 breaches of consumer information from July 2017 by March 2021. A kind of incidents concerned one phishing rip-off which affected 1,100 purchasers.

The report stated one of many Alternate’s contractors accounted for 34 of the breaches. 5 different entities had been liable for the remaining ten breaches.

State regulation requires that every one quasi-public businesses promptly notify the Auditors of Public Accounts and the State Comptroller of any breach of safety. The Alternate, which operates Entry Well being CT, didn’t do this in these circumstances, auditors stated.

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Along with growing the prospect of id theft for the people who had their information compromised, the auditors stated the state was pressured to pay for two-year safety monitoring for purchasers who skilled a breach.

Within the report, the Alternate stated they monitor “vendor compliance with safety necessities and is implementing further protocols to observe compliance and enhance vendor safety practices. The Alternate requires any vendor inflicting a breach to cowl the price of two years of safety monitoring for purchasers who skilled a breach.”

In a press release to FOX61, Entry Well being CT stated it’s dedicated to “defending the safety of the patron data utilized in its operations.”

“In a latest audit, it was recognized that 44 breaches that had been reported to HHS and the Connecticut AG weren’t filed with the Auditors and Comptroller,” the assertion stated. “Entry Well being CT (AHCT) instantly filed copies of the reviews beforehand filed with the AG and HHS with the Auditors and Comptroller to appropriate the error.”

The assertion continued: “Moreover, AHCT has regularly labored with its distributors, together with its name middle vendor, in addition to scanning and doc processing distributors and mailing distributors to create insurance policies and procedures to take care of the safety of PII and Protected Well being Data (PHI). AHCT additionally has insurance policies and procedures in place for its personal workers, conducts annual privateness and safety coaching for workers and contractors and requires distributors to coach their workers and adjust to all AHCT necessities.”

RELATED: Former well being alternate CEO pays $5,000 state ethics penalty

Different objects within the report took the company to job for the way it awarded some contracts to a sole supply. Auditors additionally stated the Alternate didn’t adjust to different state buying insurance policies that require buy orders to be authorized earlier than companies are obtained.

“The Alternate has refined its buying processes to make sure compliance with buying insurance policies and procedures, and has applied the usage of a brand new requisition system to stop irregularities or noncompliance,” stated the company’s response within the report. 

RELATED: State audit crucial of payroll practices at UConn Well being, finds inconsistencies

Auditors additionally stated the Alternate additionally didn’t submit annual and quarterly reviews to the governor’s workplace. The company blamed staffing points and stated the reviews have been correctly submitted since December 2020. 

Doug Stewart is a digital content material producer at FOX61 Information. He could be reached at [email protected].

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