They voted for the idiot.
The California health exchange has admitted it has been divulging contact information for tens of thousands of consumers to insurance agents without their permission or knowledge in an effort to hit deadlines for coverage.
Covered California said it was handing out consumer information as part of a pilot program to help people enroll ahead of a Dec. 23 deadline to have health insurance in place by the new year, according to the Los Angeles Times. The consumers in question had gone online to research insurance options, but didn’t ask to be contacted.
Social Security numbers, income and other information were not provided to the agents, but names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses were made available, exchange officials said.
The names provided by Covered California include people who started an insurance application on the website but didn’t complete the process.
State officials say they do not know exactly how many people are affected by the information sharing.
Some insurance brokers and consumers were unhappy with the initiative, despite assurances that it met privacy laws.
“I’m shocked and dumbfounded,” said Sam Smith, an Encino insurance broker and president of the California Association of Health Underwriters, an industry group.
“These people would have a legitimate complaint,” said Smith, who added he had been given two consumer names.
A local agent emailed Robert Blatt on Thursday asking him about the application he’d started.
“You can’t do this,” Blatt, a technology consultant in Ventura County, told the newspaper. “For a government agency to release this information to an outside person is a major issue.”