Aetna will pay more than $17 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed after it sent letters which disclosed customers’ HIV status through a window on the envelope.
Approximately 12,000 customers in 23 states were affected by the privacy breach.
Under the terms of the proposed settlement, which is now subject to court approval, Aetna has agreed to pay $17,161,200 to resolve the privacy breach claims.
That money will be used to send an automatic base payment of at least $500 to those whose privacy was breached by the large-windowed envelopes.
An automatic base payment of $75 will be provided to about 1,600 additional customers whose health information was allegedly disclosed to Aetna’s legal counsel and mail vendor.
It will also provide customers an opportunity to seek additional payments for out-of-pocket expenses or emotional distress damages, said Ronda Goldfein, executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, which filed the lawsuit along with the Legal Action Center and Berger & Montague P.C.
Read the settlement agreement here.