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HealthCare.gov system hack exposes data of 75,000 individuals

Posted: 3:38 PM, Oct 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-20 20:39:02Z

A hack was detected earlier this month in a government computer system that works alongside HealthCare.gov, exposing the personal information of approximately 75,000 people, according to the agency in charge of the portal.

In a statement to CNN, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said the system that was exposed through the hack was the Direct Enrollment pathway, which allows agents and brokers to assist consumers with applications for coverage in the Federally Facilitated Exchanges, or FFE. The statement detailed that the agent and broker accounts that were associated with the hack were "deactivated, and -- out of an abundance of caution -- the Direct Enrollment pathway for agents and brokers was disabled."

"We are working to get this functionality that exchanges agents and brokers use back up within seven days," a representative for CMS told CNN. When asked if the source of the hacking had been identified and if the system was in a good place ahead of the sign-up season beginning in November for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the representative could not answer due to it being an active federal law enforcement investigation.

CMS began the initial investigation of "anomalous system activity in the Direct Enrollment pathway" on October 13, they said, and a breach was declared on October 16. CMS notified the public on Friday.

"I want to make clear to the public that HealthCare.gov and the Marketplace Call Center are still available, and open enrollment will not be negatively impacted," CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in the statement. "We are working to identify the individuals potentially impacted as quickly as possible so that we can notify them and provide resources such as credit protection."