State confirms health website security breach


MONTPELIER — Officials overseeing the Vermont Health Connect website confirmed Friday there was a security breach on the system last month in which one user got improper access to another user’s Social Security number and other data.

A report from state to federal officials overseeing the health insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act said a consumer reported the incident with the Vermont Health Connect website on Oct. 17.

The consumer, whom officials would not identify, reported that he received in the mail — from an unnamed sender — a copy of his own application for insurance under the state exchange.

“On the back of the envelope was hand-written ‘VERMONT HEALTH CONNECT IS NOT A SECURE WEBSITE!’ This was also (written) on the back of the last page of the printed out application,” said the incident report.

The report was prepared by Greg Needle, privacy administrator with Vermont Health Connect, and filed with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The Associated Press obtained it after a request under the state public records law to the Department of Vermont Health Access.

The report did not identify the individual consumers involved in the breach.

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