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Posted: 2/10/2006 10:03:13 AM EDT
The wife and I had appointments for eye examinations this morning but was refused service when I refused to give them my Social Security number for identification. The snotty receptionist told me that she would shred the paper while I watched after she put the number into her computer. When I explained that what she was describing as a secure method of using my number was flawed, she went into full on asshole mode. It turns out that the insurance company that handles my vision plan uses my SS# as my account number. It wasn't the eyecare companies fault after all. It is the bonehead insurance company that wont assign a safe account number to their customers.

I'm going to try to fight the big bad insurance company over their policy, but it probably wont do me any good. The vision insurance is part of my benefits package from my employer. I feel cheated.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:06:11 AM EDT
I am almost certain that is a violation of Federal Law. I believe that there is a law in effect stating that you cannot be required to provide anyone with your social security number as a means of identification.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:07:28 AM EDT
My Insurance used the SSN also until this year.

Bomber
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:08:54 AM EDT
It's pretty common, especially in smaller insurance companies.
Talk to your insurance company.
Maybe they can change it for you.
They should either be moving away from SS# as ID or are planning on it.
My company switched from SS#s at the beginning of this year.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:12:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebomber:
My Insurance used the SSN also until this year.

Bomber



yup same here

BCBS
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:13:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thebomber:
My Insurance used the SSN also until this year.

Bomber



Mine did the same until late 2005.

I feel better about that, but my # is still out there with doctors/dentists that went out of business.

What happens to that info??

Fingers crossed.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:15:39 AM EDT
Just do what I do.
555-55-5555
Works every time.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:16:40 AM EDT
While you are not required to give them you SSN for ID reasons, they also have the right to deny you service for not telling them your SSN..

I try to never use mine for ID reasons. But sometimes you have to to get what you need...
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:17:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:
Just do what I do.
555-55-5555
Works every time.



Thats my number man
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 10:17:57 AM EDT

Mr. Burns: Its 000-00-0002... Damn you Roosevelt!


-Foxxz
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 11:05:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NwG:
While you are not required to give them you SSN for ID reasons, they also have the right to deny you service for not telling them your SSN..

I try to never use mine for ID reasons. But sometimes you have to to get what you need...



some people dont have medical insurance, they only need your SS# if your trying to use medical insurance to pay for the services
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 11:40:18 AM EDT
But it will NEVER be used to identify you...
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 11:47:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 11:49:35 AM EDT
My wife recently got a letter from a dentist that she only visited once. They were informing her that their office had been broken into and their computers had been stolen. On their computers was all of their patient's info including SSNs
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 11:50:48 AM EDT
The Mark of the Beast.

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 11:52:53 AM EDT
My mortgage company lost a computer tape with mine and other mortagees with information including SSN. They were up front about it and offered to enroll us in a credit monitoring thing with TransUnion or Experian free for a year which is cool, but since I already opened a free account for the once a year federally mandated credit report check the gift code wouldn't take. Going have to follow up on that.
My state just passed a law where I can freeze my credit bureau information, going to follow up on that too.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 11:53:32 AM EDT
I had a related issue last week, and started a thread about it. I did a little research about SSN, and sent this e-mail. The important parts are highlighted. But, alas, they can legally refuse service.

As a side note, insurers are compelled to provide non-SSN ID #s if you request it, and all insurers are currently switching over to meet the new federal guidelines.



Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxx:


This letter is in regards to my attempt to donate blood last night (2/1/06) at a NY Blood Center site set up in Long Island at my sons’ elementary school. I am a first time donor with your organization. I refused to note my Social Security number on your multi-part form, and was told that I could not donate without disclosing it. The site supervisor told me that it was an FDA requirement (false), and told me if I changed my mind to come back next time. Proper state issued photo ID (driver license) was not adequate in and of itself, and I do not have a NY Blood Center Donor Card.

As I am sure you know, if your organization is a government agency, including tax authorities, welfare offices and state Departments of Motor Vehicles, you can require my Social Security number as mandated by federal law (42 USC 405 (c)(2)(C)(v) and (i)).

The Privacy Act of 1974 requires all government agencies -- federal, state and local -- that request SSNs to provide a "disclosure" statement on the form. The statement explains if you are required to provide your Social Security number or if it is optional, how the SSN will be used, and under what statutory or other authority the number is requested (5 USC 552a, note). The U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) provides guidance and oversight regarding the Privacy Act of 1974. The text of the Privacy Act can be found at the website www.usdoj.gov/foia/privstat.htm.

The Privacy Act states that I cannot be denied a government benefit or service if I refuse to disclose my SSN unless the disclosure is required by federal law. There are other exceptions as well. The U.S. Department of Justice's explanation is at this website, www.usdoj.gov/04foia/1974ssnu.htm.

No such disclosure exists on your form, likely because you are not a government agency.

If your organization is a private agency, I am not legally compelled to provide my Social Security number to any private businesses -- including private health care providers and insurers -- unless I am involved in a transaction in which the Internal Revenue Service requires notification. This exception clearly does not apply as a non-compensated volunteer donor.

Needless to say, I am disappointed. Certainly you are within your rights to refuse my donation; however, I strongly believe that this policy should be revisited by your organization. Identity theft a huge concern in today’s society, and the presence of SSN along with name, address, and date of birth on a multi-part form, let alone entered into a potentially insecure database, is asking for trouble. While I am sure you make some attempt to safeguard this information, any system is only as strong as its weakest link. Please contact me at any time that SSN is no longer required as a prerequisite for donation, or if you have any questions regarding this letter.

Sincerely,


Fish223
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 11:56:30 AM EDT
It is against FED law to require SSN for ID purposes. Your social security card has no picture on it. It is no different than asking to see your credit card as ID.

Federal HIPPAA laws required this change to take effect in 2005 with regard to healthcare and insurance.

Aimless, you are correct. If your personal info is leaked or compromised from the ins. co or the doc's office, they are liable civilally and can be criminally liable as well.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 11:59:38 AM EDT
I hate when I go shopping and at the register before they ring me up they want my telephone number for "survey" pourposes. I ussually just say 555-9595 but when I tried it the last time(the cashiers new it wasnt real but typed it in) the computer told her it was invalid so i just made one up with a local prefex and it took it...
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 12:04:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:
Just do what I do.
555-55-5555
Works every time.



lol, my SSN really does start with 555.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 12:08:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tallbill:

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:
Just do what I do.
555-55-5555
Works every time.



lol, my SSN really does start with 555.




really? what are the last 4 digits?
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 12:22:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 12:24:40 PM EDT by gunman0]
They need your SSN in case you and/or your insurance company doesn't pay the bill!

Unless you are paying the full amount at time of service, they are extending you credit.

Some people are freaks about SSN numbers. Anyone extending you credit needs the number in case you default. If you chose not to give the number, they can refuse you service or require a large deposit(phone and cable companies do this often).

They will need this number up front because they are performing a service which can't be repossessed. The dentist isn't going to unclean your teeth and remove the filling if you don't pay before you leave. Unlike the tire store which will yank your tires right back off if you don't pay before your leave.

I've met several people with the same first and last name and middle initial as me. But, thanks to SSN collection I don't have a bunch of other people's crap on my credit report.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 12:35:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gunman0:
They need your SSN in case you and/or your insurance company doesn't pay the bill!

Unless you are paying the full amount at time of service, they are extending you credit.

Some people are freaks about SSN numbers. Anyone extending you credit needs the number in case you default. If you chose not to give the number, they can refuse you service or require a large deposit(phone and cable companies do this often).

They will need this number up front because they are performing a service which can't be repossessed. The dentist isn't going to unclean your teeth and remove the filling if you don't pay before you leave. Unlike the tire store which will yank your tires right back off if you don't pay before your leave.

I've met several people with the same first and last name and middle initial as me. But, thanks to SSN collection I don't have a bunch of other people's crap on my credit report.



What can a SSN possibly be used for in a default of payment?

I send deadbeats into collections when they stiff me, and my collection agency has never asked for the persons SSN, just their name and last known address, phone # etc.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 12:37:24 PM EDT
Until you work things out with your insurance company, pay cash for your vision needs then submit the receipts to the insurance company for reimbursment.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 1:27:47 PM EDT
Gunman0,

You are 100% completely and totally wrong. It is complacent people like you that has made this crap what it is today. My identity is not my social security number. I am not a fucking number.

Unless you are providing into my retirement account, you don't need it -PERIOD, end of discussion.


I refuse to allow people to use the SSN as an identifier.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 2:13:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rtech:
Gunman0,

You are 100% completely and totally wrong. It is complacent people like you that has made this crap what it is today. My identity is not my social security number. I am not a fucking number.

Unless you are providing into my retirement account, you don't need it -PERIOD, end of discussion.


I refuse to allow people to use the SSN as an identifier.



What is the deal with you people that go crazy over using an SSN number to keep from having credit mixups.

I have dealt with many people with issues on their credit reports from people with the same or similar name who are unrelated and live in other states even. Using a SSN helps keep that from happening. If you are worryed about identity theft, then not requiring a SSN would just make it easier. They could just get your name and address out of the phone book.

I think some people take the old "not to be used for identification" of the old social security cards in reference to the number. It was only meant for the card, not the number. Since anyone could act like they were you by just sending in stolen mail and receive another card, sign it and act like you. The old card couldn't be used as ID, neither can the current cards.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 2:24:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fish223:
I had a related issue last week, and started a thread about it. I did a little research about SSN, and sent this e-mail. The important parts are highlighted. But, alas, they can legally refuse service.

As a side note, insurers are compelled to provide non-SSN ID #s if you request it, and all insurers are currently switching over to meet the new federal guidelines.



Dear Mr. xxxxxxxxx:


This letter is in regards to my attempt to donate blood last night (2/1/06) at a NY Blood Center site set up in Long Island at my sons’ elementary school. I am a first time donor with your organization. I refused to note my Social Security number on your multi-part form, and was told that I could not donate without disclosing it. The site supervisor told me that it was an FDA requirement (false), and told me if I changed my mind to come back next time. Proper state issued photo ID (driver license) was not adequate in and of itself, and I do not have a NY Blood Center Donor Card.

As I am sure you know, if your organization is a government agency, including tax authorities, welfare offices and state Departments of Motor Vehicles, you can require my Social Security number as mandated by federal law (42 USC 405 (c)(2)(C)(v) and (i)).

The Privacy Act of 1974 requires all government agencies -- federal, state and local -- that request SSNs to provide a "disclosure" statement on the form. The statement explains if you are required to provide your Social Security number or if it is optional, how the SSN will be used, and under what statutory or other authority the number is requested (5 USC 552a, note). The U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) provides guidance and oversight regarding the Privacy Act of 1974. The text of the Privacy Act can be found at the website www.usdoj.gov/foia/privstat.htm.

The Privacy Act states that I cannot be denied a government benefit or service if I refuse to disclose my SSN unless the disclosure is required by federal law. There are other exceptions as well. The U.S. Department of Justice's explanation is at this website, www.usdoj.gov/04foia/1974ssnu.htm.

No such disclosure exists on your form, likely because you are not a government agency.

If your organization is a private agency, I am not legally compelled to provide my Social Security number to any private businesses -- including private health care providers and insurers -- unless I am involved in a transaction in which the Internal Revenue Service requires notification. This exception clearly does not apply as a non-compensated volunteer donor.

Needless to say, I am disappointed. Certainly you are within your rights to refuse my donation; however, I strongly believe that this policy should be revisited by your organization. Identity theft a huge concern in today’s society, and the presence of SSN along with name, address, and date of birth on a multi-part form, let alone entered into a potentially insecure database, is asking for trouble. While I am sure you make some attempt to safeguard this information, any system is only as strong as its weakest link. Please contact me at any time that SSN is no longer required as a prerequisite for donation, or if you have any questions regarding this letter.

Sincerely,


Fish223



I thought this issue was addressed. The CDC receives positive HIV test results using a code. The code is systematically made from your name and social security number in order to prevent duplicate positives being received by the CDC from labs throughout the country. This is used for statistical data for tracking the disease.

They test all donated blood for HIV and report positives to both the donor and the CDC.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 2:36:30 PM EDT
Violation of the privacy act of 1974
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 2:53:09 PM EDT
When someone asks for my SSN that I do not want to divulge it to, or not required by law to, my standard response is:

"Why do you need it...are you planning on investing in my retirement? "

They usually will find another identifying no# if they still want my business.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 2:56:59 PM EDT
Anyone who wants a fake SSN to give out IM me. Unless the illegals up here are really citizens they must know where to get them. I'll be glad to ask and pass on the info.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 3:04:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cruze5:

Originally Posted By thebomber:
My Insurance used the SSN also until this year.

Bomber



yup same here

BCBS


yep me too BCBS
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 3:20:28 PM EDT
Gunman,

I guess you are just too young and really don't care. I care.

If someone has your ssn, how can the vendor or company prove it's NOT you? It cuts both ways.

You have never had to deal with years of removing and combating erronious information where someone has stolen your identity. I have and it took years and years. Seven to be exact because I never got some cleared up.

And, as I stated before:

I AM NOT A NUMBER!!!!!!
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 3:24:46 PM EDT
My insurance sometimes uses SSN for ID CONFIRMATION. But only the last 4 digits.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 3:30:36 PM EDT
The point is that only YOU know YOUR SSN. This makes discerning a fraud from the real person much easier. Though because of the constant use of SSN's, they have become much easier to obtain, but still hold the same value when dealing with identification.

Not to mention they are not supposed to be used for anything other than tax purposes.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:02:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gunman0:

Originally Posted By fish223:
I had a related issue last week...............snip.


Sincerely,


Fish223



I thought this issue was addressed. The CDC receives positive HIV test results using a code. The code is systematically made from your name and social security number in order to prevent duplicate positives being received by the CDC from labs throughout the country. This is used for statistical data for tracking the disease.

They test all donated blood for HIV and report positives to both the donor and the CDC.



Sorry, Gunman, once again, you are wrong. First of all, its the FDA that regulates blood donation. CDC has no involvement. The FDA regs require a UNIQUE identifier, there is no requirement that it be SSN. The identifier can be DL #, passport #, or blood bank generated donor #, among others. The problem is that SSN has been so universally used, and it costs money to fix the software, so unless they are forced, they don't do it.

Just for the hell of it, you should visit the Social Security website and read for yourself what THEY recommend with regards to the issues raised in this thread. I think you will find that you are being naive, and might even be surprised.

Good luck when someone uses your number to establish credit in your name, with another address.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:11:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 6:11:21 PM EDT by PeteCO]
Simple solution: give a fake number. I do this ALL the time. I don't make up numbers to defraud gov't agencies or anything, but the local library has no clue that my number really isn't xxx-xx-xxxx.

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:12:41 PM EDT
When am I legally required to provide my Social Security number?

Question

Must I provide a Social Security number (SSN) to any business or government agency that asks?



Answer

The Social Security number (SSN) was originally devised to keep an accurate record of each individual?s earnings, and to subsequently monitor benefits paid under the Social Security program. However, use of the SSN as a general identifier has grown to the point where it is the most commonly used and convenient identifier for all types of record-keeping systems in the United States.

Specific laws require a person to provide his/her SSN for certain purposes. While we cannot give you a comprehensive list of all situations where an SSN might be required or requested, an SSN is required/requested by:

* Internal Revenue Service for tax returns and federal loans
* Employers for wage and tax reporting purposes
* States for the school lunch program
* Banks for monetary transactions
* Veterans Administration as a hospital admission number
* Department of Labor for workers? compensation
* Department of Education for Student Loans
* States to administer any tax, general public assistance, motor vehicle or drivers license law within its jurisdiction
* States for child support enforcement
* States for commercial driver?s licenses
* States for Food Stamps
* States for Medicaid
* States for Unemployment Compensation
* States for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
* U.S. Treasury for U.S. Savings Bonds

The Privacy Act regulates the use of SSNs by government agencies. When a Federal, State, or local government agency asks an individual to disclose his or her Social Security number, the Privacy Act requires the agency to inform the person of the following: the statutory or other authority for requesting the information; whether disclosure is mandatory or voluntary; what uses will be made of the information; and the consequences, if any, of failure to provide the information.

If a business or other enterprise asks you for your SSN, you can refuse to give it. However, that may mean doing without the purchase or service for which your number was requested. For example, utility companies and other services ask for a Social Security number, but do not need it; they can do a credit check or identify the person in their records by alternative means.

Giving your number is voluntary, even when you are asked for the number directly. If requested, you should ask why your number is needed, how your number will be used, what law requires you to give your number and what the consequences are if you refuse. The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours.

For more detailed information, we recommend the publication at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10002.html.


Link Posted: 2/10/2006 7:16:55 PM EDT
Maybe someone who has dealt with HIPAA more recently than I can clarify, but I thought it(or something else) made using SSN's as identifiers a no-no?
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