Health Team

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

Posted February 23, 2016 5:37 p.m. EST
Updated February 23, 2016 7:09 p.m. EST

— 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.