Users Warn of Compromised Personal Information

by Sterling Beard

A South Carolina man has had his personal information compromised through, the federal health-care exchange.

Last Friday, Tom Dougall, an attorney in Elgin, S.C., received a voicemail from a man named Justin Hadley in North Carolina who said that he could access information on pertaining to Dougall and his wife. “I believe somehow the ACA, the health-care website has sent me your information, is what it looks like,” Hadley said in the message. “I think there’s a problem with the wrong information getting to the wrong people.”

Dougall told WIS News that he thought he was being scammed at first, but Hadley was able to provide documentation of the Dougall family’s information. (Hadley shared the below screen shot, with personal information redacted, with the Heritage Foundation.) “We’re told constantly that it’s a secure system and it’s not, obviously,” Dougall said. 

Hadley, who was notified in September by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina that his policy had been cancelled, told Heritage that he made multiple attemps to get through the login process and finally succeeded last Thursday. However, the website presented him with letters about eligibility meant for Dougall and his wife. Dougall had been looking at his options on the site but ultimately decided against signing up for insurance; until Hadley contacted him, he had never seen the letters. 

Dougall tried to contact the exchange via phone and online chat, but he says they have “no procedure whatsoever to handle security breaches,” and asserted that “all they can do is try to sell you a policy.” Dougall has written to South Carolina Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham as well as Representative Joe Wilson, all Republicans. He said he would call the Department of Health and Human Services directly on Monday.

“They’re so concerned with trying to fix the problems they currently have that they refuse to acknowledge or won’t acknowledge that there’s been a major breach,” he said.

WIS contacted Health and Human Services late Sunday, and an official said a security team was working to fix the issue “in the very near future,” adding that consumers may call a 1-800 number or access the 24/7 chat feature on the website for help.

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