When you visit a healthcare provider, they will usually ask for your Social Security number. This is to ensure that they can collect payment for services and verify your identity when it comes to searching your medical records. Recently, my husband was asked to provide his Social Security number when he visited a new dentist. He was told that it was necessary for identification and insurance purposes.
So why does the dentist need your Social Security number if you already provided your insurance information? According to Nabil Istafanos, Vice President of Compliance and Ethics at Premera, the Social Security number is often required “when coordinating benefits between different insurance companies.”In addition to verifying your identity and insurance information, the dentist may also use your Social Security number to check for any past due payments or outstanding balances. This helps them ensure that they are able to collect payment for services rendered. It is important to note that you should never give out your Social Security number unless you are absolutely sure that it is necessary. If you are ever asked for it, make sure to ask why it is needed and how it will be used.
You should also make sure that the information is kept secure and not shared with anyone else.