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aetna The Aetna world headquarters in downtown Hartford, Connecticut, on September 22, 2011. Aetna is the third-largest health insurance provider in the United States. Photo credit: shutterstock

Thousands of HIV patients whose names and conditions were visible through glassine envelopes sent through the mail will share $17 million that Aetna Insurance Co. has agreed to pay in settlement of claims that the insurer failed to protect the individuals’ privacy.

The settlement, upon judicial approval, would resolve a nationwide class action breach of privacy lawsuit filed in federal court in Philadelphia in August over, ironically, notices mailed as part of a settlement of a previous class action claiming  the health insurer’s mail order requirement for medications violated HIV patients’ privacy.

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Kristen Rasmussen

Kristen Rasmussen is an Atlanta-based reporter who covers corporate law departments and in-house attorneys.

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