Personal information of hundreds of House members and staff was stolen due to a data breach at the District of Columbia’s online health insurance marketplace, DC Health Link, according to a memo from a top House official.
Chief Administrative Officer Catherine L. Szpindor sent a memo on Wednesday to colleagues, stating a “significant data breach yesterday” at DC Health Link potentially exposed the personal information of “thousands of enrollees.” The news was first reported by Punchbowl.
—Max Cohen (@maxpcohen) March 8, 2023
The FBI notified Szpindor that the “account information and (Personal Identifiable Information) of hundreds of Member and House staff were stolen” during that breach.
The full scope of the incident remains unclear, but the attack does not appear to be specifically targeted toward House members, Szpindor wrote.
DC Health Link’s spokesperson Adam Hudson confirmed the reports of exposed data to Insider.
“We have initiated a comprehensive investigation and are working with forensic investigators and law enforcement,” Hudson said in an email. “Concurrently, we are taking action to ensure the security and privacy of our users’ personal information. We are in the process of notifying impacted customers and will provide identity and credit monitoring services. In addition, and out of an abundance of caution, we will also provide credit monitoring services for all of our customers.”
Congress members and staff are provided health insurance under the Affordable Care Act which passed in 2010. To enroll, lawmakers and their staff rely on DC Health Link to choose their specific plans.
About 100,000 people are enrolled through DC Health Link, according to its website, including “more than 5,000 District small businesses, approximately 11,000 designated Congressional staff and Members of Congress, and thousands of District residents.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries have formally requested more information from DC Health Link on what data was stolen, who was impacted, and measures are being taken, Szpindor said in the memo.