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EmblemHealth faces $575K penalty for exposing social security numbers on envelopes — 6 insights

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman penalized EmblemHealth with a $575,000 fine after thousands of social security numbers were disclosed in a mailing, the Cheektowaga Chronicle reports. Here are six insights.

1. On Oct. 13, 2016, EmblemHealth mailed paper copies of its Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Evidence of Coverage with policyholders' social security numbers printed on the envelopes instead of the unique identifiers it typically includes on mailings.

2. The error exposed the social security numbers of 81,122 Medicare recipients. About 55,000 were New York residents.

3. Along with the financial penalty, the settlement requires EmblemHealth to conduct an analysis of security risks associated with mailing policy documents and revise its policies and procedures based on the findings.

4. For three years, EmblemHealth must submit reports to the attorney general's office otherwise not required by New York state law, regarding security incidents involving the loss or compromise of New York residents' data.

5. EmblemHealth provides health plans for 3.1 million people in the New York metropolitan area.

6. Mr. Schneiderman made an effort to combat data breaches and close gaps in New York's data security laws by introducing the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act in November 2017.

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