What are an insured’s rights if their personal and medical information was misplaced?

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What are an insured’s rights if their personal and medical information was misplaced?

I have received a letter from a health insurance company which covers me under a Medicare plan. In this letter I was notified that personal information such as my name, address, and personal medical history was misplaced; it was stored on a hard disk drive that was being handled by a computer information company which handles all of this insurers data center operations. The letter stated that my info was on the hard disk drives that came up missing. There is an ongoing investigation between the computer company and my insurer. Would I be entitled to start a case?

Asked on March 26, 2011 under Insurance Law, Missouri

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Well, certainly missing health data is definitely annoying and disturbing but you must first figure out for what you would sue. Simply put, if you don't have injuries (economic or otherwise) from the result of missing data from your medical insurance provider, you really don't have a case per se. While HIPAA (medical privacy laws) may come into play, it really involves purposeful disclosure.  Here, you might (if you haven't already been given) get free credit report tracking for all four credit reporting agencies for a year or two. Further, if you can track that someone actually stole your identity, you might be able to successfully sue the health insurance provider for damages but again you would have to prove causation and the actual damage. 


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