- St. Louis-based health insurer Centene said it can’t account for the whereabouts of six hard drives containing health information on roughly 950,000 enrollees.
- The firm said it doesn’t believe the information has been used inappropriately.
- The lost data comes as Centene is seeking to buy HealthNet for $6.8 billion.
The drives were part of project using laboratory results to improve members’ health outcomes and contained information related to tests conducted between 2009 and 2015, including names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers, member ID numbers, and health information.
“Out of an abundance of caution and in transparency, we are disclosing an ongoing search for the drives,” CEO Michael Neidorff said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Centene said it has begun to notify affected members and plans to give them free healthcare and credit monitoring.
The company faced pushback over its planned merger with HealthNet during a California Department of Insurance hearing last week, California Healthline reported. Officials are concerned the merger will drive up consumer prices for health insurance, while the companies say it will improve efficiencies and benefits. Both firms offer Medicaid managed care plans to low-income individuals.