Local victims of Aetna HIV status breach can get assistance

4:05 p.m Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 Community News
FILE

Ohio patients who had their HIV status exposed by a health insurer can get money and counseling assistance from the insurer.

Aetna said in a statement that it launched a program to help people who were affected by the inadvertent status exposure. The insurer is accused of exposing people’s status when it mailed information on buying HIV prescriptions in envelopes with large, clear windows that showed the contents.

Besides Ohio, patients were also in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

Two legal organizations, Legal Action Center and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, sent Aetna a cease-and-desist letter at the time to have the insurer show that corrective action is being taken, according to the Associated Press.

Aetna said determinations of requests for financial reimbursement, payments or counseling services will be made at its “sole and complete discretion.”

Aetna also stated it is offering this program as a service to individuals who claim they have been impacted by the potential inadvertent disclosure of their personal health information and, by doing so, is not admitting any wrongdoing.

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