303 Hours and Counting: N.C. Man Still Can’t Delete Personal Information from HealthCare.gov
Kelsey Lucas /
Justin Hadley, the North Carolina man who could access a stranger’s private information on HealthCare.gov, is counting down the hours until his account is removed from HealthCare.gov — literally.
Time since he first contacted the Department of Health and Human Services and received no help: about 303 hours.
His countdown began October 31 when he logged on to HealthCare.gov to search for cheaper health insurance. His policy had been canceled and the new options that were compliant with Obamacare were too expensive. But before he could even access his insurance options on the exchange, Hadley discovered a massive security breach; he could access a stranger in South Carolina’s eligibility information.
After Hadley contacted Heritage and The Foundry exposed the problem, HHS released a statement promising it would fix the minor “software code” problem. But, HHS only removed the downloadable files of the South Carolina man — and left Hadley’s account active.
Hadley never actually received any direct support from an HHS official or HealthCare.gov representative. In fact, when he reached out to each, he was redirected to other numbers, and even Experian, the credit score hotline.
He said this lack of support is “completely unacceptable” and explained if this were a private company, he would switched to a “more competent insurance provider that is able to provide me with excellent customer service.” But thanks to Obamacare, he cannot without facing huge cost increases.
On November 7, an HHS representative emailed Hadley several times, promising the account had been removed from HealthCare.gov. But when Hadley went to HealthCare.gov himself, the account was still active.
It wasn’t until November 14 that Hadley learned what the help technician did was only a “logical deletion,” which allows users to still access their account from the website. The technician told Hadley anyone who wishes to have their account deleted must request a “physical deletion” in order to delete all account information.
Hadley is now warning other HealthCare.gov users to make sure they are aware of the terminology or else they are likely to assume something is fixed when it’s not.
Hadley noted he is still also waiting for a response from his Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), who he contacted November 2. He also contacted Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and just heard from a staff member in Burr’s office yesterday.
Hadley said he will continue to document every hour that goes by without action. He doesn’t understand why it is so hard to remove his account completely from HealthCare.gov.
“My primary concern now is if it takes two weeks to delete one person’s account,” Hadley said, “what if 10,000 people chose not to sign up and wanted their information deleted as well?”