Health care provider EmblemHealth has agreed to pay $575,000 to the state of New York to settle allegations that it inadvertently disclosed the Social Security numbers of more than 81,000 people.
According to the New York Attorney General’s Office, 81,122 EmblemHealth policyholders, including 55,664 New York residents, were sent a paper mailing with a label that included their Social Security number on it in October 2016. Normally, all mailings include a unique mailing identifier that is printed on the envelope, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a press release announcing the settlement.
An EmblemHealth spokesperson said in an e-mail, “upon discovery of this issue, we immediately took action to identify affected members and put precautionary protective measures in place. We are committed to providing the best service to our customers and have worked closely with the attorney general to enhance our procedures and to give our members peace of mind.”
In addition to the monetary penalty, the agreement requires EmblemHealth to implement a corrective action plan and conduct a comprehensive risk assessment.