Why is my Social Security Number provided to the medical, dental, and vision insurance carriers and providers?

Your SSN is shared with the carriers and providers for treatment, payment, and health care operations. The US Department of Health and Human Services clearly identifies that PHI may be disclosed for treatment, payment, and health care operations.  “Ready access to treatment and efficient payment for health care, both of which require use and disclosure of protected health information, are essential to the effective operation of the health care system. In addition, certain health care operations—such as administrative, financial, legal, and quality improvement activities—conducted by or for health care providers and health plans, are essential to support treatment and payment. Many individuals expect that their health information will be used and disclosed as necessary to treat them, bill for treatment, and, to some extent, operate the covered entity’s health care business. To avoid interfering with an individual’s access to quality health care or the efficient payment for such health care, the Privacy Rule permits a covered entity to use and disclose protected health information, with certain limits and protections, for treatment, payment, and health care operations activities.”   

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