AIDS Law Project forces Aetna to make a $17 Million Payout for Privacy Breach


Aetna is in hot water and our nonprofit partner, AIDS Law Project, was ready to address their carelessness. The insurance company breached the privacy of thousands via snail mail by showcasing the recipient was taking HIV drugs through the clear window of the envelope.

Apparently, this isn’t the first time Aetna has made their customers feel vulnerable. The letters being sent are in response to the insurer changing a policy that would force patients to use mail-order pharmacies as opposed to interacting with physicians in-person. That policy was deemed discriminatory as a result of lawsuits filed in 2014 and 2015.

For this case, AIDS Law Project immediately took action along with partner, Legal Action Center, and issued a demand letter to the insurer after hundreds of calls flooded their office lines. Their clients received threats, lost their jobs, and moved from their homes as a result of Aetna’s detrimental error. The AIDS Law Project executive director, Ronda Goldfein, sat down with NPR to describe the ordeal and the lawsuit that cost Aetna $17 million.

For the full story, details about the settlement, and the role of , our nonprofit partner in this battle, visit