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Website Privacy Policy

As part of the day to day business operations of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST), including operation of the BCBST web site, we receive and maintain certain information regarding our subscribers and members. Information received from the BCBST web site depends in part on what you do when you visit or transact business on the BCBST web site. BCBST respects the privacy of every individual who visits our web site. Therefore, we would like to define the types of information we receive and describe how it is maintained in this privacy policy ("Privacy Policy"). This policy refers only to the information collected and maintained from this Web site.

USING THIS WEB SITE CONFIRMS YOUR CONSENT AND AGREEMENT TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY, INCLUDING COLLECTION, USE AND DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION BY BCBST AS DESCRIBED HEREIN. YOUR USAGE ALSO SIGNIFIES YOUR COMPLIANCE WITH OUR USER AGREEMENT.

  • Guests - Users of our web site often visit solely to obtain general information about BCBST’s operations and services. If you visit our web site to read or download information, you enter our secured site as a guest. As a guest, we collect and store only the following information: the name of the domain from which you access the Internet (for example: aol.com, if you connect from an America Online account), the date and time you accessed our site, your browser type, your operating system type, some of your software versions affecting site performance and the Internet address of the web site from which you linked directly to our site. We use this information to measure the number of visitors to the different sections of our site and to help us make our site more useful to visitors.

     

  • Members  - Users who currently have health insurance coverage with BCBST can access our web site to conduct transactions such as submit an application for coverage; check claim status, referrals and pre-authorizations; verify benefit information; and pay premiums. Prior to utilization of these services, BCBST may ask for personal information (such as date of birth, social security number, name, address with zip code, telephone number and e-mail address) to verify appropriate usage. This information is collected during registration, and a letter which will have a PIN number will be generated and mailed to your address on file. After you receive your PIN number, you will be able to sign on and create a user name and password. BCBST, its employees or affiliates will not have access to your user name and password that you create. If you receive this notification by mail and did not register to access the services available on our web site, please contact BCBST immediately via our Member Contact Page.

     

  • Members Under 13 Years of Age  – BCBST often covers minor dependents through their parent or legal guardian’s health insurance policy. Children under the age of 13 can access our site as guests. Should they wish to use a service or feature available through the BCBST web site, we require that they do so with the permission of their legal guardian (i.e. user name and password of legal guardian). BCBST will not knowingly collect or use any personal information regarding a user under the age of 13 without the consent of a parent or guardian. Should you have any additional questions, please contact us at webmaster@bcbst.com.

     

  • E-Mail (Requests and Submissions) – Many of our members and guests may want to receive information such as new product offerings, health education, newsletters via email. BCBST does collect email addresses on members and guests to provide this type information electronically. BCBST will also utilize email to members and guests so we can perform surveys and/or gather other general information. Members or guests who do not want to receive electronic information or surveys may opt-out, as set forth below.

     

  • Statistical Data  – BCBST continually strives to enhance the features and services that are offered to our web site users. In an effort to determine the effectiveness and functionality of our web site, we monitor aggregated data regarding the use of our web site. For instance, we track the number of visits to a certain page; direct links from other web sites; and frequency of usage for independent services (i.e. claim status, application for coverage, etc). Questionnaires or surveys, during usage, are sometimes utilized to develop and improve the services offered. Although questionnaires and surveys assist BCBST in enhancing the services offered through our web site, we understand that not everyone is comfortable participating. Therefore, questionnaires and surveys are not mandatory for our users and allow the user to choose not to participate. We may share statistical data with our affiliates, brokers, and providers for marketing purposes and the improvement and promotion of our web site services. Although we reserve the right to share this information as indicated above, this statistical data, including questionnaires and surveys, does not contain any personal information that could disclose the user’s identity. 

Disclosure of Non-Public Personal Information:

We restrict access to nonpublic personal information unless it is needed to complete a transaction that our member has authorized (i.e. claims administration, adjustment and management; detection, investigation or reporting of actual or potential fraud; misrepresentation or criminal activity; underwriting; policy placement or issuance; loss control; ratemaking and guaranty fund functions; reinsurance and excess loss insurance; risk management; case management; disease management; quality assurance and improvements; utilization review, actuarial, scientific, medical or public policy research; grievance procedures, audits, etc). Information is shared with entities (i.e. providers and vendors) that assist BCBST in supplying products and services to our members or that promote products and services on behalf of BCBST. Information is provided to nonaffiliated third parties as required or allowed by federal and state law. BCBST maintains physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards that comply with federal regulations to guard your nonpublic personal information.

We reserve the right to disclose personal information to entities that perform marketing services (i.e. brokers) on our behalf or to other institutions with which we have joint marketing agreements. BCBST requires each entity to execute a Confidentiality Agreement prior to disclosure. The following information may be shared:

  1. name, address and telephone number;
  2. social security number and date of birth;
  3. policy coverage, benefits, premiums and payment history; and
  4. limited medical information (i.e. provider name, date of service, referral and authorization information, primary care physician).

Retention of Information Collected:

Any non-public personal information collected and maintained from this Web site will be retained for a minimum of six years from the date the information is received unless you perform a function on our Web site that requires the use of this information at a later date. In that case, the information will be retained for a minimum of six years from the date the information was last used in a function on the Web site. When required by federal or state law, there may be some instances in which your information will be retained longer than six years.

Use of Cookies:

A “cookie” is a mechanism that permits a Web server to send small pieces of information or text through your browser to be stored on your hard drive. This information or text allows the server to identify frequent visitors and enhance the user’s experience on the Web site.

BCBST may collect information through the use of cookies in order to enhance navigation of the site, to direct you to appropriate pages, analyze user behavior and for session security and timeout purposes. In general, cookies used on this site are active only during your site session.  We do use some persistent cookies, i.e, they can be stored on your computer. Persistent cookies used on this site—ones that are active beyond the session and are stored on the system—are only used for gathering information about our users' computers, such as operating system, browser type, and software versions in order to enable proper performance of the site and to track some user behavior.  We can use clear GIF cookies is some parts of our system.  Our cookies are not utilized to send unsolicited e-mail or provide us with the user’s personally identifiable information. The information collected in these cookies is not linked to your personal health information.   We do not share information collected through cookies with third parties.

Your browser software can be set to disallow all cookies. Instructions on setting your browser to reject cookies are usually located in the "Help" section of the toolbar, depending on your browser type. If you choose not to accept our cookies, you should still be able to access most of the public areas of our site, although some of the features of interactive sections may be limited, and we will not be able to authenticate you for the non-public secure sections where a logon is required.

 

Spyware:

Spyware refers to types of software programs, downloaded to a consumer's personal computer either as a stand-alone application or as part of a software bundle, that collect (i) information about a consumer's internet activities or (ii) other personal information, without providing meaningful notice to the consumer or obtaining the consumer's consent. Spyware may gather personally identifiable information, such as e-mail addresses and credit card information, and may even alter personal computer settings. Spyware is often extremely difficult to remove once installed. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee believes that Spyware is a threat to consumer privacy and forbids any employee, agent, partner, affiliate or contractor to deploy or use Spyware.

Direct Access to Other Sites:

BCBST offers direct links to other separate and individual web sites that offer information, which could be beneficial to our members. Since these direct links are separate web sites independent of bcbst.com, they may not follow the same privacy guidelines set forth here. BCBST assumes no responsibility or control over the acts or privacy policies of the third party web sites to which BCBST provides direct links. We suggest that you contact the appropriate controlling authorities of these sites or review their privacy policy.

Opt-Out

BCBST provides its members and users the opportunity to ‘‘opt-out’’ of having their information used for purposes not related to the BCBST Web site when BCBST requests such information. Users who wish to opt-out can do so by contacting us via our Member Contact Page.  This opt-out only applies to information collected during the web site registration process and does not affect infomation obtained by BCBST by any other means. BCBST will not use your information collected by the BCBST Web site for marketing purposes unless allowed by State and Federal Law.

Correction/Updating Personal Information

If the personally identifiable information of a user of our services changes or a group’s information changes, or if the user or group no longer desires to use the services on this web site, BCBST will endeavor to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data. Personal data that is removed from our systems cannot be removed from backup files stored prior to your request. To correct or update personal information, contact BCBST via our Member Contact Page.

Security

BCBST takes precautions to protect its users’ personal non-public information. When users submit sensitive information to BCBST, the information is protected both online and off-line.

When the registration/login form asks users to enter sensitive information, that information is encrypted and is protected with the encryption software, specifically SSL 3.0, RC4 with 128 bit encryption (High) which may be updated from time to time. While on a secure page, such as the login page, the lock icon on the bottom of web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer becomes locked, as opposed to unlocked, or open, when you are just ‘‘surfing’’.

While BCBST uses SSL encryption to protect sensitive information online, BCBST protects user-information off-line. Only employees who need the information to perform their jobs are granted access to personally identifiable information. BCBST employees must use password-protected screen-savers when they leave their desk. When they return, they must re-enter their password to re-gain access to your information. Furthermore, all employees are kept up-to-date on BCBST security and privacy practices. Finally, the servers that store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment. 

BCBST Reserves The Right To Modify Its Privacy Policy

BCBST reserves the right to change or update this Privacy Policy at any time. Any changes made to our privacy policy will be posted on this site in a manner that is easily identifiable. Please review our privacy policy on a regular basis to review any changes. 

 

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