News & Resources

California sends out Medi-Cal ID cards to wrong people

Jan 03, 2013 Dave King

Sometimes it's not thieves that leave individuals vulnerable to identity theft, but mistakes by government agencies or financial institutions.

In this case, California's Department of Health Care Services (DCHS) has admitted to sending out more than 2,600 Medi-Cal benefit ID cards to the wrong families, the Associated Press reports.

The cards includes the names and birthdates of children who are members of its Healthy Families insurance program and are set to be transferred to Medi-Cal in January. However, health officials claim the mistake is unlikely to place individuals in danger of fraud or identity theft.

The error occurred as a result of a computer programming error that caused the cards to be placed in the wrong envelopes, according to the news source. However, the agency is taking immediate action to alert program participants of the mistake.

"We take any breach of personal health information very seriously, and we sincerely regret that this information was released," DCHS director Toby Douglas stated in a news release. "We have increased our efforts to ensure that all information is appropriately protected."