How can I get around giving out my social security number in the doctor's office and pharmacy?
I think I have the Right (Privacy act 1974?)of not giving my Social Security Number when I the Doctor, Pharmacy, Hospital. Of course I am legal, decent and retired. My Health Insurance gave me a Card with my name and an ID number. I'm a retired physician myself and I used to "bill" the insurances / governement. I know the SSN number is not needed to file the claims. I call recently those "billing departments of Insurances, medical billing schools, to see if today the SSN is required: It is NOT. My main concern is: IDENTITY THEFT. I was already victim of fraudulent use of my Discover card. I already was denied to fill a prescrption in one Pharmacy. In another instance at the Doctor's office the EKG machine need the SSN to make it work (when I did refuse, they made me wait 1 hour in the room) finally they did it. Now I am under the threat of not having my procedure done if I do not provide my SSN. My appointment is June 8. What many people do, is giving a "fake" SSN to avoid confrontation. Easy...but I don't feel right with a lie for no good reason. Should I have a written statement? What can I do to avoid this situation?05/24/2007 | Category: Healthcare » Privacy Rights | State: Florida | #5848
You are justified in wanting to protect your Social Security number, but you should definitely not give out a false one, or you could be guilty of fraud.
The following information is from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse website at http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs10-ssn.htm
The Privacy Act of 1974 regulates government agencies, not private businesses, including private health care providers and insurers. You are usually not legally required to provide your Social Security number to private businesses, unless you are involved in a transaction in which the Internal Revenue Service requires notification. (MediCal and Medicare are government health plans and can require a Social Security number.)
There is no law, however, that prevents businesses from requesting your Social Security number, and there are few restrictions on what businesses can do with it. Even though you are not required to disclose your Social Security number, the business does not have to provide you with service if you refuse to release it. If a business insists on knowing your Social Security number when you cannot see a reason for it, speak to an administrator who may be authorized to make an exception or who may know that company policy does not require it. If the company will not allow you to use an alternate number, you may want to take your business elsewhere.