New Details Emerge On Backpack With Access Health Data

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Leaders for Access Health Connecticut and Maximus, the exchange’s contracted call center vendor, revealed new information Monday related to the data breach affecting hundreds of people.

The State Health Care Exchange’s chief marketing officer, Jason Madrak, told reporters that a Maximus employee mistakenly left the Access Health building last Thursday with a backpack containing handwritten notes with the personal information of Access Health clients. That information included names, birthdays, and 151 Social Security numbers.

According to Ilene Baylinson, the president of the Eastern Region for Maximus, the employee forgot the backpack outside a Hartford deli.

“He picked up what he thought was his backpack and his coat and got into the car. And unfortunately, it was just his coat,” Baylinson said.

Madrak said that the employee could have had written notes due to taking down enrollment information quickly.

“In order to be fast and facile about it, it’s not uncommon to make a quick note,” Madrak said.

What happened next is still unclear. Around 11 a.m. on Friday, a staffer for Republican state Rep. Jay Case received a call regarding the backpack. An unknown person brought the backpack to the staffer, who contacted Access Health, state Rep. Larry Cafero said.

The Maximus employee revealed his mistake after hearing news reports that a backpack had been located, Baylinson said. He is now on administrative leave.

Baylinson said that Maximus will also move toward a paperless workplace by using small dry erase boards to write down notes.

Access Health CT is in the process of contacting affected clients with certified letters. Then, those affected will be offered free credit monitoring, fraud resolution services, and identity theft insurance.

Hartford police are investigating the incident.


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