Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Provides Notice of Data Privacy Incident

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (“Harvard Pilgrim”) is providing notice of a software issue discovered on September 21, 2020 that may affect the privacy of certain individuals’ protected health information.

Harvard Pilgrim recently became aware of a software issue within its enrollment data management system that may have caused an individual’s mailing addresses to be changed to a different address associated with the individual’s health plan. Prior to the issue being discovered, some mailings may have been sent to the address of the subscriber of an individual’s health plan or to an individual’s former address. While the dates on which this may have occurred vary for each potentially impacted individual, we determined that the issue potentially affects certain mailings sent since 2013.

It is important to note that this issue affected significantly less than 1% of individuals insured by Harvard Pilgrim and only individuals who were dependents on another person’s health plan. 

Upon discovering this issue, Harvard Pilgrim immediately launched an investigation into the incident. Through its investigation, Harvard Pilgrim determined that the following types of information may have been included in an individual’s mailing as a result of this incident: member name, member ID number, telephone number, date of birth, dates of service, provider names, treatment information, charges for services, and deductible, co-payment and co-insurance information related to healthcare coverage. As with the dates of mailing described above, the types of information included in mailings potentially sent to an incorrect address varied by individual. However, this incident does not involve a disclosure of Social Security numbers, financial account numbers, or credit card numbers for any individual.

In response to this incident, Harvard Pilgrim has taken the following actions to mitigate any risk of compromise to protected health information and to better prevent this error from recurring: (i) immediately began working to correct the affected addresses; (ii) reviewed and enhanced its process for system updates; and (iii) provided notification to potentially impacted individuals as quickly as possible. We believe these steps will be effective in mitigating any potential harm to individuals. As always, we encourage individuals to review their Activity Summaries carefully and report any questionable activity to Harvard Pilgrim immediately.

We sincerely apologize that this incident occurred and remain committed to safeguarding the privacy and security of information in our possession. We have established a dedicated call center for individuals to contact with questions or concerns. If you have any questions regarding this incident that are not addressed in this notice, please contact our dedicated assistance line, which can be reached at 833-905-3229 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EST, excluding U.S. holidays.