Social Security numbers mistakenly released by CoverTN


Erik Schelzig

A computer error at the state's new Cover Tennessee health insurance program caused some applicants' Social Security numbers to become visible to others, officials said Friday.

About 279 applicants from mid-February to early March may have been affected, she said.

Spokeswoman Emily Richard said if employers applying to the CoverTN program for small businesses chose not to print out their forms from the Web site, their information could have been added to the next user's printout request.

Richard said Cover Tennessee was alerted to the glitch by one applicant and quickly fixed the problem. The agency was working to contact the applicants whose information may have been compromised, she said.

The error did not affect information submitted to BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which administers the plan, and no personal health information was disclosed, Richard said.

CoverTN was launched in March. The program is limited to workers employed by participating small businesses. To be eligible, companies can employ no more than 25 workers, at least half of whom earn less than $41,000 per year. The plan calls for the state, workers and employers to each pay one-third of the average monthly premium of $150.

CoverTN is one element of the Cover Tennessee plan that includes programs to cover children and people with pre-existing medical conditions. It also offers CoverRx, a prescription-drug plan for the uninsured or people who have insurance that doesn't cover drugs.

Also Friday, Cover Tennessee and the state Division of Consumer Affairs issued a release to warn about Web sites and correspondence falsely claiming to be associated with the plan.

Officials stressed that the Web site for the program is, and BlueCross BlueShield is the only administrator for the health insurance plans. CoverRx is administered by Express Scripts.

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