Health Team

Blue Cross' latest bungle: Woman given access to another family's personal info

Posted February 23

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— Kat Moncol has never met the McAllister family, but she knows a lot about them.

The Raleigh woman knows that Jack and Kiyo McAllister live in Waxhaw, near Charlotte, and have four daughters. She also knows all of their birth dates and Social Security numbers, including their medical histories, such as when they last visited a doctor.

Moncol learned all of the information several weeks ago when she went online to check her family's health savings account and found data on the McAllister family instead. After a few more clicks, she found she could access the investment accounts tied to the HSA.

"At the time, I could've manipulated that particular family's investment portfolio when I got into it," Moncol said. "It's amazing how that one little breach could've devastated him financially had we not been the type of people we are."

She said her family's HSA is under her husband's name, but she was listed as Jack McAllister's spouse. Her daughter, Kaitlin, was listed as McAllister's daughter with her.

"When I called Blue Cross Blue Shield about it, they were unconcerned and said they had nothing to do with it," Moncol said.

Blue Cross said the HSA is handled by a Utah-based company called Health Equity. But Moncol said Health Equity told her it was a Blue Cross error when she called to complain.

She then reached out to Jack McAllister.

"I was horrified that someone had all my kids' Social Security numbers and birth dates, not to mention (details of) all the health scares they had over the past few months," he said.

McAllister tried to call Blue Cross, but he wound up on hold for hours.

"I pay my bills, and this is the response we get for paying high insurance rates? We can't even get customer service," he said. "Extremely disappointing."

Blue Cross has been swamped by customer service calls since early January after mistakenly enrolling thousands of customers in the wrong plans or deducting the incorrect premium amounts from their bank accounts.

"We take the confidentiality and privacy of our members seriously," Blue Cross spokesman Lew Borman said, adding that the company is working with Health Equity to resolve the situation.

Moncol said neither company has offered an explanation for the mix-up, which has continued with an Explanation of Benefits statement for Kaitlin's recent doctor visit being sent to the McAllister home in Waxhaw.


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  • Charles Edwards Feb 24, 2016
    user avatar

    All of the problems of late at BCBS are IT-related issues. I do believe the CIO needs to be given his/her walking papers. The ultimate responsibility rests with that person - or their boss, the CEO.

  • Tom Haywood Feb 24, 2016
    user avatar

    I'm not typically a big fan of gov't regulation, but in this case, I would like to see the gov't step in and hold BCBS's feet to the fire. BCBS, don't tell us what's important to you and then show us exactly the opposite. Fix it or clean house and fire the incompetents.

  • Catherine Edwards Feb 24, 2016
    user avatar

    Unbelievable. How many more people is this happening to? Good thing I don't have BCBS. They are falling apart.

  • Sam Adams Feb 24, 2016
    user avatar

    I am getting really tired of BCBS. My monthly premiums are now higher than my mortgage. Their service now just really sucks. Its almost near impossible to speak to a real person when you call them. Plus, I keep receiving bills from them that are completely inaccurate. Just yesterday I received a bill in the mail that said I owed more than twice what my normal monthly premium is. Then when I log on it shows the correct amount. I have has BCBS for years, but I can honestly say this will be the last year my family will use them. Hopefully next year we have more insurance providers to choose from.

  • Charles Boyer Feb 24, 2016
    user avatar

    Anyone want to take a bet on whether BCBS's senior management will receive generous bonuses this year?

  • Janet Ghumri Feb 23, 2016
    user avatar

    What a nightmare for these families. BCBS should be much more concerned with an error like this!
    I guess they'll show more interest once the law suits start rolling in, then we'll all be stuck with higher rates to recoup the settlements. With the information that the insurance companies require, this can snowball into a massive problem quickly. I can't even get my own families info a lot of times, due to the Hippa laws!