I’m beginning to feel like Obamacare is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only have my health insurance premiums more than doubled since its passage, but now I’m required to give my child’s social security number to our insurance company. Starting this tax year, the Affordable Care Act requires that insurance companies provide a social security number for all plan members to the IRS, even children. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t trust Anthem to keep our information secure. What happens if I refuse?
The Internal Revenue Service requires Form 1095-B to be submitted by insurance companies to let the government know who has minimum essential health coverage to avoid an Obamacare penalty.
If your plan was purchased on the exchange, a social security number was required, so this rule does not apply. For the rest of us, we have to provide secure information to a not so secure entity. In fact, Anthem had a major security breach earlier this year where health information from 80 million people was stolen. Who knows where or when that information might show up. Insurance fraud is a huge and growing business. I’m just waiting to get a statement showing that I’ve been fitted for two artificial legs.
What is the Big Deal?
For me, I don’t like giving my social security number to anyone, but I do know it’s a fact of life. If I want to have a bank account, car insurance, or a credit card, there’s no way around it. Heck, when I was in college, our grades were posted in public by social security number. I figure my number is out there, and if it gets hacked, I’ll deal with it. That’s why I check my credit report twice a year and have fraud alerts set up on all my credit accounts; a sad but true necessity in today’s society.
My daughter is different. She has never applied for any sort of credit, and the thought of her social security number out there and vulnerable does not make me happy. I am very judicial on where I allow her number to be used. There will come a time and place when she will need to use her social security number, but at 8 years of age, we aren’t there yet. I’d like to protect it as much as possible.
What if We Refuse to Give her Social Security Number?
If we refuse to give her social security number to Anthem, I’m not sure what the consequences are. From what I can tell, if we refuse, we may get a notice from the IRS. Since this is a new law, I couldn’t find much information.
For tax payers with work sponsored plans, employers are required to ask for minor dependents’ social security numbers three times and use a birthday if one can’t be obtained. There is also an exclusion for children who do not have a social security number. The rules for self employed persons weren’t very clear. Perhaps if I hold out, there will be an alternative.
If her insurance coverage can’t be verified, then we will be subject to a penalty of $162.50 (Obamacare penalty in 2015 for uninsured children). My hope is that we can send a form directly to the IRS, who already has everyone’s social security number, to avoid sending secure information to Anthem. If I don’t have to give my child’s social security number to an insurance company, that makes me much happier.
Is it a big deal to send minor childrens’ social security numbers to insurance companies? How do you protect your social security number?