49,000 N.C. Medicaid cards mailed to wrong addresses

The Associated Press

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RALEIGH — North Carolina health officials say they inadvertently disclosed the personal information of almost 49,000 children receiving Medicaid coverage.

The state Department of Health and Human Services issued notice Friday evening that nearly 49,000 Medicaid cards showing the children’s names, Medicaid identification numbers, dates of birth and primary care physicians were mailed Dec. 30 to the wrong people.

Agency spokesman Ricky Diaz said officials were informed of the problem Thursday and provided public notice as quickly as possible. Diaz said an investigation is underway to determine how the massive privacy breach occurred. He would provide no details about what had been determined so far or when that review might be complete.

New eligibility rules starting Jan. 1 switched more than 70,000 children’s medical coverage from NC Health Choice to Medicaid.