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Why I Won’t Give My Child’s Social Security Number to an Insurance Company

guarding social security numbers

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?

IRS Requirements

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?

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

12 comments

  1. We were caught up in the Anthem data breach a few years ago. I don’t think they had my kid’s SS numbers though because we were still on a work-sponsored plan. Regardless, everything about Obamacare is a huge mess. It isn’t a health care bill; it’s a tax and control bill.

    • Yeah Holly, for telling it like it is. Obamacare doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about health care. If that were true, there wouldn’t be a penalty for having TOO GOOD of a policy i.e. Cadillac plans. It is absolutely and totally 100% about getting more of the citizen’s money and controlling everything they do.

  2. My grades were posted by SSN, which I didn’t think was crazy at the time but wonder what would happen with something like that now. Anyway, I don’t think it’s crazy at all. At two different former day jobs I saw parents calling in because their child’s SSN had been taken and all sorts of crazy stuff done with them. We protect them all we can…and I wouldn’t trust Anthem either. 🙂

  3. I am very leery of giving out my daughter’s SSN too. You hear too many horror stories and don’t always think to do regular check-ups to make sure that someone hasn’t stolen it. And yes, I remember when it was very normal to give out your SSN with no concerns. Sadly, those days don’t exist any longer.

  4. MomofTwoPreciousGirls

    We are covered through my employer and do have to supply our children’s ssn and dob in order to sign up for coverage. We were in the anthem plan when the breech took place, however, my children were given the same identity theft coverage as my husband and I were given. If anything gets inquired or opened under them I get email and phone alerts. You are also able to request copies of their credit reports the same as your own. You do have to contact the bureaus to do it and give them a justification (such as the anthem issue), but they will allow you to order it.

    Our school required a copy of their birth certificate and as cards in order to enroll. They would not accept anything else.

    • I cannot believe that anyone would fall for that MomofTwoPreciousGirls !

      The schools cannot REQUIRE their SS Cards! You are NOT required as an American citizen to even OBTAIN SS#.

      Please, please people… start standing up and quit being SHEEP led to the slaughter!!!

  5. I just enrolled in LifeLock about a month ago and I think it does a good job. They DO send too many emails…but I’d rather have a secure identity than less emails.

    As someone who works for a big health insurance company I do have some pity for Anthem. They (we?) are basically forced to comply with new laws, so whether we want to collect children’s social security numbers or not doesn’t really matter. This is my opinion alone, of course.

  6. I had no idea Obamacare required you to give your child’s Social Security number. Has the smell of Big Brother if you ask me. I am so glad I am 64 so next year I will be getting Medicare and don’t have to worry about the rising cost of the new health care system.

  7. Can you point me to more information about this statement, “There is also an exclusion for children who do not have a social security number?” Where can I find that in the law?

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