Vt. health official reports second online marketplace security breach


MONTPELIER (AP) -- There has been a second "privacy incident" involving the Vermont online insurance marketplace after a worker confused two people with the same first and last names, the top state official overseeing Vermont’s new online insurance marketplace reported Tuesday.

Vermont Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson told the Legislature’s Health Care Oversight Committee the incident, which was reported Friday, has also been reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"This matter did not include any breach in security or reveal any technology issues that require mitigation," he said in a memo to the committee.

A Vermont Health Connect user called the customer support center and a call center representative inadvertently connected the user account of a different user with the same first and last name to the request to update the initial caller’s account information, Larson said.

After the request was processed the initial caller had access to the other user’s account information for a limited period of time, The Burlington Free Press reported. The initial user realized the account information was wrong when he signed on and alerted the customer support center.

"VHC is also making every effort to ensure that the Customer Support Center procedures are sufficiently detailed and VHC workers are adequately trained to avoid any such incidents in the future," Larson said.

There was a previous security breach in October when two people were inadvertently given the same username, giving one customer access to the other’s personal information.

Larson was criticized after that incident because he failed to mention it to lawmakers during a November hearing when he was asked about security breaches in the system, which started operating on Oct. 1.


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