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"That's....too....much....KNOWLEDGE!" - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...

If you're wondering what that title has to do with a Shatner icon, go here.  If you're wondering what it has to do with me, read on:

I got The Letter today. It was expected- but not for me. It was the formal confirmation that I was part of the massive medical data hack of one of Upstate New York's largest health insurers, known corporately as Excellus.  In much of the region, they run the health care branded with the Blue names. Buffalo has always had separate Blue ownership from the rest of upstate; in fact, for a while in the 90s, Blue Cross and Blue Shield here were separately licensed and competed against each other locally (which is why, when greenquotebook watches the hideous video of Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk having big need for medical care on the ice, there's a "Blue Shield"-only ad on the boards). But Excellus is in the market here; it owns a separate non-Blue HMO called Univera, and some local employers, including Wegmans, cover their employees with Blue-branded cards and coverages provided by Excellus.

Eleanor falls into that last category; Emily, into the Rochester-area's first group.  Both have had Excellus BC/BS plans for awhile.  Both, we've known, had their subscriber information at risk since word of this hack came out a few weeks ago. Eleanor has yet to get the official mea culpa notification of it; I doubt if Emily has, either, since she likely would've called.  But I got mine today- which is weird, because I don't think I've had medical coverage with any of Excellus's tentacles in over 20 years.  I did have dental with them for a time, most recently that I can remember back around 2007. But I was first to get notified.  First-in-first-out, it would seem.

They're offering free credit monitoring, and are asking that I monitor any EOBs and bank/credit card statements that I receive to be sure that nobody's out there pretending to be me.  I'm thinking of taking them up on all of these offers, and, to the extent they're asking me to do monitoring work for them, offering to do it for a reasonable co-pay.


Then there are the notifications we want to get and don't.

Gross simplifications for 200, Alex: US bankruptcy law is mostly a creature of federal statute, but there is a limited range of state-law contributions to it.  One concerns exemptions- what people filing BK get to keep. Biggest among these is the "homestead exemption," which protects a portion of home equity from unsecured creditors.  Some states have unlimited ones (Texas and Florida, most famously), while New York's has crept up in occasional blips in my 30 years of doing this- from $10,000 to $50,000 to, in 2009, a Chinese menu of choices but never less than $75,000; married couples can double that if they're both on the deed and both live in the house.

We use software to make the persnickities of these filings easier to manage.  I use the most-often used program, and have done so for all ten years of the current Code. I paid to get it, and pay almost as much annually for "maintenance" on it, to enable program updates and access to expedited filing services. At least once a month, I check for updates.  Today, I started a new case, and saw that the $75,000 minimum exemption had jumped to almost $83,000.  Huh? I'd heard nothing about new legislation- and it turns out there was none. Rather, the last change provided for indexing on a periodic basis, and April 1, 2015 was the applicable date. Sure enough, there's an Obscure State Agency proclamation setting the new amount as of April 1st,...

and for at least two months, possibly longer, nobody at the software company bothered to tell us. 

An almost $8,000 increase in the What You Can Keep figure is hardly chump change; it could make, or have made, the difference in deciding whether to file, what to file or when to file. It's directly relevant in a case I filed in May which was on for hearing last week, and in which, fortunately, I have other things still to do that preserve my client's right to amend and claim the higher amount. But as of this morning, at least one friend and filing regular, who uses the same program, didn't know about it. I'm suspecting that court officials, possibly including the judges themselves, don't know. 

Clearly we need some script kiddies to hack into this software and fix it before they miss something else.

1 comment or Leave a comment
ellettra From: ellettra Date: September 22nd, 2015 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
That is completely outrageous! Oh man, that just grinds my gears. Are you going to get in touch with the software company?
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