Mar 13, 2023 - News

D.C. health breach exposes customers' personal information

Illustration of a cursor hovering over a health plus icon, about to click "Open" from a drop down menu.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

D.C. residents who buy insurance coverage through the city's marketplace — along with staffers and members of Congress — were among those whose personal data was breached in a hack of the marketplace.

Why it matters: Thousands of locals buy insurance through the exchange called DC Health Link set up under the Affordable Care Act.

Driving the news: The FBI and the Capitol Police are both investigating the hack, NBC News reports.

What we know: There are 56,415 customers impacted, a spokesperson for the exchange tells Axios.

  • The stolen information included Social Security numbers, birthdates, specific health plan information, and additional personal information (address, phone number, race).
  • The hack only came to light when House leaders released a letter to the exchange's director about the breach.

Zoom in: The letter, a copy of which was obtained by Axios' Tina Reed and Andrew Solender, says the breach involved the personally identifiable information of House members, employees, and the names of spouses and children.

  • "The [FBI] also informed us that they were able to purchase this PII, along with other enrollee information, on the 'dark web,' breached from your system," the congressional leaders wrote.

House Democrats are holding a members-only briefing tomorrow on the situation, per an invite shared with Axios.

Between the lines: House chief administrative officer Catherine Szpindor told staffers it didn’t appear that lawmakers were specifically targeted in the attack.

What they're saying: DC Health Link officials said in an emailed statement that they have launched "a comprehensive investigation and are working with forensic investigators and law enforcement."

  • The exchange has reached out to those who are impacted and is providing identity and credit monitoring services for all customers.

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