Reporting Reg Chapman
Filed underBusiness, Consumer, Health, Local, News, Politics, Seen On WCCO-TV, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — MNsure is under fire, again.
This time it’s because of an employee accidentally sent out an email containing the personal information of thousands of Minnesotans. Specifically, the email contained personal information, including social security numbers, of 2,400 insurance agents.
MNsure caught the mistake, but it’s now under attack for failing to protect the private data.
Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) says the breach in security is no surprise to her.
She says she’s expressed concern to MNsure months ago about how they were going to keep the massive amounts of personal data it has access to safe.
“MNsure is not ready for prime time,” Scott said.
While the state representative says she doesn’t take pleasure in saying I told you so, she does say she warned MNsure that this day would come.
“We warned them time and time again, asked them questions time and time again about how are you going to secure people’s private information, and we’ve never really got adequate answers,” Scott said.
Scott says MNsure has a vast amount of information to be responsible for.
“People’s IRS tax information, their health information, social security numbers, names,” Scott said.
MNsure admits that one of its employees accidentally sent the personal information of 2,400 people to an insurance broker in Apple Valley.
“The broker was contacted immediately, and the files were deleted by him and this assistant, and the files were not transmitted anywhere else,” said Gov. Mark Dayton.
Dayton says MNsure takes the breach of their protocol seriously and is doing what it can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. He also lamented that an “instance of human error” is eclipsing what MNsure is as a service, and all the “good work” that’s been done.
“The rates are lower than any other state in the system,” the governor said, “and it’s going to be one of the [best] — if not the best — health care exchanges in the country.”
With only weeks to go before MNsure is implemented, Scott said we need to make sure information that is coming into MNsure is protected.
“MNsure has been rushed, and I think it’s time for the governor to take this into his hands and probably postpone the enactment of it until we have adequate assurances,” she said.
MNsure has contacted all the insurance agents whose confidential information was released.It will launch an investigation to fully understand how this happened.
However, there’s no word on how the governor will respond to the call to delay the Oct. 1 start date of MNsure.