The largest health insurer in Georgia has sent letters containing personal information to the wrong addresses, exposing more than 200,000 Georgians to possible identity theft.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that letters were sent last week by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. They include the patient's name and ID number, the name of the medical service provider and the amounts charged and owed.
A company spokeswoman said "a small percentage" of the letters also contained Social Security numbers.
State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine said the matter is "very, very serious." He has ordered the company to give written notice to policyholders whose names were on the explanation of benefits letters and compile a list of names of those who mistakenly received the forms.
Company officials said the problem was caused by a change in the computer system. The problem has been fixed, officials said.
The Georgia Blues, a WellPoint subsidiary that has about 3 million policyholders in the state, is removing all Social Security numbers from mailings, Sanders said.