State agency mails 2,600 Medi-Cal cards to wrong families


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The state Department of Health Care Services mailed more than 2,600 Medi-Cal cards – which include the recipient’s name, date of birth and gender – to the wrong families, officials said Saturday.

Officials blamed the mix-up on a computer error that resulted in the cards being put into the wrong envelopes, the department said in a statement.


‘There is a low likelihood that this incident could result in identity theft or fraud,’ the statement said.

The cards were intended for children who are being shifted from the Healthy Families insurance program for low-income children to HMOs that participate in Medi-Cal, California’s version of the federal Medicaid program. The state is shutting down Healthy Families as a cost-saving measure.

The state has sent letters to everyone affected by the mailing error and set up a call center, which is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to answer questions, the statement said. The number is (855) 297-5064. The department also sent stamped envelopes to people who received the wrong cards so they can return them.

Officials said they are reviewing how other data are handled as well, and bringing in a firm that can assess the department’s security policies.


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