An Obamacare call center worker is responsible for abandoning a backpack filled with the personal information of 400 Obamacare customers on a Hartford street Friday, according to the Connecticut health-care exchange.
The backpack was found Friday afternoon on the same street where the Obamacare exchange and call center are located. It contained paperwork from the exchange, Access Health CT, and four handwritten notepads with private, personal information for close to 400 Obamacare customers, including names, Social Security numbers and birth dates. An exchange official said Sunday that fewer than 200 Social Security numbers were included in the notes, however. (RELATED: Backpack With 400 Obamacare Sign-ups’ Personal Info Found In Connecticut)
“While we are still working to understand exactly why this person took the information out of the building, based on what we have learned so far it does not appear there was malfeasance on the part of this person,” said Jason Madrak, the exchange’s chief marketing officer.
The call center employee came forward after seeing news reports on the found backpack, according to the exchange, and has been put on administrative leave while exchange and Maximus officials investigate the matter. While employees may take notes when helping clients navigate the health-care exchange, they are not allowed to take any personal information out of the call center office.
The Connecticut exchange, Access Health CT, is calling customers whose names were found on notepads in the employee’s backpack and offering free credit monitoring, fraud resolution, identify theft insurance and security freezes of credit reports.
“We are sorry this happened, and we are working to rectify it as quickly as possible, as well as doing whatever is necessary to try to prevent it from happening again,” Madrak said in a statement.
The CT Mirror notes that Connecticut state House Republicans proposed a bill requiring enhanced background checks for exchange employees and any workers who would have access to customers’ personal information, but the bill died in committee.