June 6 2014
Jillian Kay Melchior
The personal information of around 400 health-exchange enrollees may be compromised, according to a statement issued today by Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan.
The statement notes that a backpack was recovered in Hartford that held “four notepads with personal information for approximately 400 individuals. The backpack also contained Access Health CT paperwork and it appears as though some of that personal information may be associated with Access Health CT accounts. It is still unclear where the backpack came from, and we are working [with] the Hartford Police Department to investigate, and contact the individuals whose information may be compromised. … Let me be clear: we are sorry this happened. This is a very serious situation and we will hold the person or persons who are responsible to account.”
Kathleen Tallarita, the government and public affairs outreach manager for Access Health CT, told National Review Online by phone that the health exchange does not know yet whether identity theft has occurred, but “we’re diligently looking into what’s happened.”
The Connecticut health exchange conducts a background check on all navigators. While prior arrests or convictions do not necessarily disqualify an applicant from becoming a navigator, the health exchange has a policy against approving anyone who has falsified their criminal-history information or has committed a serious felony like fraud or larceny.
According to records obtained by NRO in January, 21 prospective navigators were flagged after their background check. Though most were dropped from the program, one was approved despite a class-B felony conviction 19 years earlier, and three were approved despite misdemeanors within the last decade. None of these four flagged navigators had convictions since, according to the records.
— Jillian Kay Melchior is a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. She is also a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.