Monday, November 02, 2009

"We'd Like to Know a Little About You for Our Files..."

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I pay $588/month for medical through United Health Services, and there is a mental health coverage. Mom died, and I thought it would be good to get some counseling. Made arrangements, followed procedures, and then got this form in the mail. Basically it is a suicide and drug and drinking questionnaire, with the results to be FAXXED to a number where a minimum wage worker will see the last four of my social, my full name, and my accurate birthdate. Do they even bother to shred? I never give out the birthdate accurately, except in absolute need to know situations. Suffice it to say, I'll pay for any therapy out of pocket, and cross this "benefit" off as one that puts you on all kinds of lists, and exposes you to a risk of identity theft, and porbably even asking to exercise this benefit will affect my ability to get other coverages, including life insurance. One good thing, maybe fewer mailers from life insurance companies...

1 comment:

Don Pelton said...

I totally -- TOTALLY -- agree with you and support you in this.

We always refuse to give out our SSNs, unless the reason is compelling, and even then only under duress. I usually make up some plausible birthdate, then keep it stored in an encrypted vault program, etc.

For online purchases, we use ONLY virtual (ad hoc) credit card numbers. Most companies -- AMEX, Mastercard, BofA -- have some form of virtual number.

We can create an ad hoc number for a specified amount for a specified duration, thus minimizing our risk (feel free to steal our number after it's used up ... who cares?).

We're totally with you.