Web Privacy Policy

Web Privacy Policy

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) respects the privacy of everyone visiting our website or using any of the solutions or tools used on our website.

The following guide covers how we handle the personal information you provide us either directly on bcbsnc.com or indirectly, through software applications (including web, desktop or mobile applications), data-capture devices and other websites, whether operated by third-party service providers or by us.

This Web Privacy Policy doesn't address, and we're not responsible for, the privacy, information or other practices of any third party, including any third-party service provider or vendor, and any third-party operating software applications or websites to which bcbsnc.com contains a link. Having such a link on bcbsnc.com does not imply that we or any of our affiliates endorse the linked application or website.

We may need to change this online privacy statement from time to time to address new issues relating to our website or the solutions or tools we provide on our website. We recommend you check this policy page regularly.

What is Personal and Protected Health Information?

Personal information and Protected Health Information (PHI) are data that identify you. We and our third-party service providers may collect personal information from you, including your:

  • Name
  • Mailing address (including billing and shipping addresses)
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Credit card or debit card number
  • Health plan membership number

If you share any personal information with us or our third-party service providers, you're representing that you have the authority to do so.

How We Handle Your Personal Information

Our Web Privacy Policy also describes how we handle personal information you may provide when you visit bcbsnc.com.

We don't use or disclose personal information you give us online, unless it's required or permitted under federal and state laws that apply to us. These laws closely regulate how we may handle your information.

Under these laws, we're permitted to use and disclose your personal information to support the services provided on this website, as well as our offline business functions.

We'll disclose information to government officials or others if we're legally required to do so. In addition, certain statutory authorizations allow us to disclose personal information in emergency situations or to protect our rights and property.

We also may disclose your personal information to our agents or business associates who perform various functions on our behalf, but we require these third parties to agree in writing to safeguard your information appropriately. In addition, we don't sell or rent your personal information to third parties.

We and our third-party service providers may use your personal information to:

  • Respond to your inquiries and fulfill your requests
  • Send you administrative information, including information regarding any solutions or tools we provide on our website and changes to our terms, conditions and policies
  • Allow you to share data from a tool or solution we provide on our website to your friends
  • Personalize your experience on our website by presenting products or offers tailored to you
  • Send you communications related to your health plan and, if you choose to opt in, related marketing promotions

In addition, we may use personal information you submit to our website to create aggregated, anonymous data, which we'll use to tailor our site to your interests, develop new features, and monitor the usage of our site. We may perform statistical analyses of these aggregate data and disclose the results as permitted by law.

How We Handle Your Protected Health Information (PHI)

Federal law requires that we publish a Notice of Privacy Practices describing how we handle our members' PHI collected both online and offline. You may want to read this Notice to learn how we process your protected health information as well as what rights you have concerning such information.

We don't use or disclose any PHI you submit to our website or our tools and services unless it's required or permitted under federal and state laws that apply to us or our website.

These laws closely regulate how we may handle your PHI. Under these laws, we're permitted to use and disclose your PHI to support the services we provide on this website, as well as our offline business functions.

We may disclose your PHI to our agents or business associates who perform various functions on our behalf, but we require these third parties to agree in writing to safeguard your PHI appropriately. We don't sell or rent your PHI to third parties.

We'll disclose information to government officials or others if we're legally required to do so. In addition, certain statutory authorizations allow us to disclose personal information in emergency situations or to protect our rights and property.

We may use the PHI you submit to create aggregated, anonymous data, which we'll use to tailor our site to your interests, develop new features and monitor the usage of our site. We may also perform statistical analysis of this aggregate data and disclose the results as permitted by law.

We may disclose, transfer or sell the personal information collected through our website as an asset of the company in conjunction with due diligence for or completion of a merger, reorganization or sale to a third party of our company or a major portion of its assets.

Although we don't currently anticipate such an event, changes to our Web Privacy Policy might result.

We and our third-party service providers may use Protected Health Information to:
  • Respond to your inquiries and fulfill your requests, such as to send newsletters to you
  • Send you administrative information, including information regarding BCBSNC and changes to our terms, conditions and policies
  • Personalize your BCBSNC experience by presenting products and offers tailored to you

In addition, we may use protected health information for our business purposes, such as quality improvement, data analysis, audits, new product development, service improvement, usage and trend identification, and promotional campaign effectiveness.

Other Information

In addition, we may collect a variety of other information types that aren't individually identifiable, including:

  • Type of browser you use
  • Files you request
  • Operating system you use
  • IP address from the pages you visited
  • URLs of the pages that you came from and go to
  • Geographic location from where you request information
  • Information collected through cookies, pixel tags and other technologies
  • Demographic information
  • Aggregated information

We may be required to share information you provide us through our website in other, limited circumstances in which we may share or transfer the information you provide us through our website, for example, to respond to judicial process, to comply with state, federal, or local laws, to protect the security or integrity of our databases or website, to take precautions against liability, in the event of a corporate reorganization or, to the extent required by law, to provide information to law enforcement agencies.

How We May Use and Disclose Other Information

Because other information isn't personally identifiable, we reserve the right to use and disclose other information for any purpose.

If we match other information with either personal information or PHI (such as your name and ZIP Code or your name and a medical condition), we treat the combination as personal information or PHI, as appropriate, as long as the information is combined.

Cookies

We use what's known as cookies to improve your experience on our site. Cookies are small pieces of data we place in your computer's browser to store your preferences.

Cookies themselves don't generate personal information about you. We don't attempt to link cookie data to your personal information. We use cookies only to make your experience on our website more enjoyable.

If you choose not to accept cookies, you may be unable to take full advantage of our website's features.

Mobile

This information by itself doesn't itself identify you to BCBSNC, though the information may be unique or consist of or contain details you consider personal.

If you use products and services that are location-enabled (for example, Google Maps) while accessing our website, tools or services, you may be sending us your location information. This information may reveal your actual location, such as GPS data.

We may record your phone number when you:

  • Send it to us
  • Ask us to remember it
  • Make a call to us
  • Receive from us or send to us a text or SMS (short message service)

The information we collect for mobile may include:

  • Device or hardware IDs and device type
  • Type of request
  • Your phone carrier
  • Your carrier user ID
  • The content of your request
  • Basic usage stats about your device

Some of our products, tools and services may allow you to download and/or personalize the content you receive from us. For these products and services, we record information about your downloads and preferences, along with any information you provide about yourself. If the product, tool or service requires you to log in with your BCBSNC account, this information will be associated with your BCBSNC account.

Security

We've taken steps to protect information collected from our online visitors against unauthorized access and use.

All online forms that include information captured from our users are secured using a Secured Socket Layer (SSL), which encrypts the information as it travels from a desktop to our server.

We're committed to ensuring transaction security and privacy. We obtain certification from industry-recognized security vendors to ensure our systems meet security standards.

As an additional security measure, we use a firewall to prevent unauthorized access to our site. Site personnel monitor activity logs at regular intervals to look for unauthorized intrusions.

For your protection, please don't send email to us that contains your personal health information. We cannot guarantee the security of these emails before they reach us, in contrast to the security precautions in place when you send us personal information through an online form on this website. If you're a member, we suggest you use the Blue Connect Inbox to send secure messages and receive secure messages from us.

In addition, our Enterprise Security program protects our information and the supporting infrastructure against unauthorized use, disclosure, modification, damage and loss. Enterprise Security promotes a culture that understands and respects the value of protecting information while following legal, regulatory and accreditation requirements and standards that govern online security.

Research, planning and implementation of technologies, tools and training programs are used to secure our critical electronic information.

Protecting Your Information Online

Once someone else has your personal information or PHI, that information is no longer in your control. It can be reused, sold, lost, stolen or misused. Protecting your personal information online is a good and necessary action to take. One of the most obvious reasons would be to prevent identity theft. A good rule of thumb is to always ask yourself this question when it comes to your personal information: Can this information be used to reset the password for my online bank account or some other sensitive online account? If so, then you shouldn't share that kind of information online or anywhere else for that matter.

Here are some simple actions to protect your personal information online:

  • Weigh the benefit against the risk – is what you are getting out of this transaction worth the exposure of your data?
  • Read the fine print – understand what websites plan to do with your data, and decide if this is acceptable to you. Provide only the minimum amount of information necessary.
  • Create an account using a nickname or made-up name, and use an online email account that you don't normally use and don't care if it gets spam.

Use these basic technical controls to prevent yourself from falling victim to a security breach:

  • Use anti-virus software.
  • Make sure all your devices have the latest security updates.
  • Don't use the same password for all your accounts.
  • Use a passphrase to strengthen your passwords.
  • Use a password longer than 10 characters. The longer the password, the better your chances of not getting hacked.
  • Enable encryption on your home router, disable remote access features, use its firewall and change its default name.
  • Be cautious when using free, but not always secure, public Wi-Fi.
  • Know what devices are connected to your network.
  • Delete any emails that are out of the ordinary.
  • If you receive a phone call from technical support and you didn't ask them to contact you, don't give away any personal information. Typically, you call technical support when you need help, not the other way around.
  • Create backups of your computer.

Links to Third-Party Web Sites

We may provide links and pointers to websites maintained by other companies or third-party websites. From time to time, we may provide materials from other parties or companies on this website.

Know that these third-party websites are independently owned and operated by someone other than BCBSNC. These websites have their own privacy practices and policies. We provide these materials and links to other websites "as is" and without warranties of any kind, either express or implied.

To the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable law, we disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness. We don't warrant or make any representations regarding the use or the results of the use of the third-party materials in the third-party websites in terms of their correctness, accuracy, timeliness, reliability or otherwise.

Children's Information

Although parents are free to use this website on behalf of their children, we don't direct this site to children or knowingly collect personal information from children. We're pleased to work with parents and guardians to delete from our records personal information that a child may have disclosed improperly on this website.

Changes in Our Corporate Status

We may disclose, transfer or sell personal information collected through our website as an asset of the company in conjunction with due diligence for, or completion of, a merger, reorganization or sale to a third party of our company or a major portion of its assets. Although we don't currently anticipate such an event, changes to our privacy policy might result.

Privacy Policy Changes

This Web Privacy Policy is effective September 1, 2015. We may change this policy page at any time without notice.

Contact Us

We're sincerely committed to protecting your personal privacy. While information is the cornerstone of our ability to provide superior service, our most important asset is our members' trust. Keeping member information secure and using it in a responsible manner is a top priority for us.

If you have any questions or concerns about the information provided via this website, please contact us.