The South Carolina Medicaid agency apologized this month to a man whose identity was compromised when a staff member misplaced his health insurance application.

Jim Connor tried to apply for low-income Medicaid coverage in December after he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. At the time, he had no insurance.

Instead of processing the application, a Medicaid employee in Dorchester County told him he wouldn’t qualify for the program. She advised him to drink some green tea and research his cancer diagnosis online.

“I was so upset,” Connor said. “I couldn’t believe someone in that position would say something like that.”

Later, a Medicaid employee at the Dorchester County office gave Connor’s paperwork, including his Social Security number, address and employment history, to another applicant.

Connor only learned of the breach when a woman named Gale Deckard, who was given Connor’s application by mistake, called him.

“Thank goodness it was someone like Gale,” Connor said. “She’s a really nice person and understands the concept of privacy.”

Janet Bell, a Medicaid civil rights official, told Connor in a letter dated May 5 that the agency regrets the “events,” which

Article source: