Local victims of Aetna HIV status breach can get assistance

Ohio patients who had their HIV status exposed by a health insurer can get money and counseling assistance from the insurer.

Aetna said in a statement that it launched a program to help people who were affected by the inadvertent status exposure. The insurer is accused of exposing people's status when it mailed information on buying HIV prescriptions in envelopes with large, clear windows that showed the contents.

RELATED: Get a bird’s eye view of this hospital’s $60 million expansion

Besides Ohio, patients were also in Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

RELATED: Hospital program aims to reduce opioid use

Two legal organizations, Legal Action Center and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, sent Aetna a cease-and-desist letter at the time to have the insurer show that corrective action is being taken, according to the Associated Press.

Aetna said determinations of requests for financial reimbursement, payments or counseling services will be made at its “sole and complete discretion.”

LOCAL: Area executive lends corporate jet for Puerto Rico relief 

Aetna also stated it is offering this program as a service to individuals who claim they have been impacted by the potential inadvertent disclosure of their personal health information and, by doing so, is not admitting any wrongdoing.

RELATED: Another local community bans medical marijuana businesses

About the Author