Welcome to Empire’s web sites. We appreciate your interest in us and hope to make your on-line experience enjoyable and secure. Your privacy is very important to us and we will make every reasonable effort to safeguard any information we collect.
Table of Contents
- Personal Information (Including Social Security Number) Privacy Protection Policy
Empire maintains policies that protect the confidentiality of personal information, including Social Security numbers, obtained from its members and associates in the course of its regular business functions. Empire is committed to protecting information about its customers and associates, especially the confidential nature of their personal information (PI).
Personal Information is information that is capable of being associated with an individual through one or more identifiers including but not limited to, a Social Security number, a driver’s license number, a state identification card number, an account number, a credit or debit card number, a passport number, an alien registration number or a health insurance identification number, and does not include publicly available information that is lawfully made available to the general public from federal, state or local government records or widely distributed media.
- Empire is committed to protecting the confidentiality of Social Security numbers and other Personal Information.
- guard the confidentiality of Social Security numbers and other personal information,
- prohibit the unlawful disclosure of Social Security numbers, and
- limit access to Social Security numbers.
Empire will not use or share Social Security numbers or personal information with anyone outside the company except when permitted or required by federal and state law.
Empire Associates must only access Social Security numbers or personal information as required by their job duties. Empire has in place a minimum necessary policy which states that associates may only access, use or disclose Social Security numbers or personal information to complete a specific task and as allowed by law.
Empire safeguards Social Security numbers and other personal information by having physical, technical, and administrative safeguards in place.
If you have questions regarding this policy, please contact Customer Service by dialing the number that is located on the back of your ID card.
- HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule allows members the right to receive a notice that describes how individual health information may be used and/or disclosed and how to acquire access to this information. Empire and its affiliated health plans are federally mandated to send a notice (Notice of Privacy Practices) to members of their fully insured health benefits plans.
Empire and its affiliated health plans have developed the following Notices of Privacy Practices based upon Federal and individual State regulations. Please select the appropriate link(s) below, as they apply to you.
Please note: If you are a member of an Administrative Services only (ASO) group health plan, these notices do not apply to you. If you are not sure what applies to you, please contact your plan administrator through your employer's office.
Empire BlueCross Notice of Privacy Practices
Empire Blue Cross Notice of Privacy Practices – Spanish
Empire BlueCross BlueShield Notice of Privacy Practices
Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield Notice of Privacy Practices – Spanish
- Contacting the Privacy Office
Empire's Privacy Office is available to answer privacy questions or for reporting privacy issues. You may contact the Privacy Office by calling the customer service number on the back of your ID card or write to us at the following address:
Privacy Office: OH0101-C300 4361 Irwin Simpson Road, Mason, OH 45040
e-Mail Empire’s Privacy Office: email@example.com
- Privacy Authorization Forms
Empire is fully committed to the spirit and letter of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), including but not limited to the Privacy Rule that was issued pursuant to HIPAA. A major provision of the Privacy Rule is to safeguard sensitive, personal information about members. This information is referred to as Protected Health Information (PHI), and includes individually identifiable health care and demographic data.
HIPAA allows Empire to use and disclose certain member information for clearly defined treatment, payment and health care operations (TPO). However, members have the right to restrict the release of information about them beyond these uses. The Individual Authorization Form provides the means for members to identify who can see their PHI and what specific PHI can be seen for purposes other than TPO. If you need to have your PHI disclosed to someone outside of Empire for purposes other than TPO, complete the form and submit it to your local Empire office. This address is located on the back of your Empire identification card. If you have questions, please contact your local customer service unit. The telephone number is on the back of your identification card.
If you do not have an Empire identification card, please contact us at 317-488-6000.
Empire BlueCross Member Authorization Form
Empire BlueCross Member Authorization Form (en Español)
Empire BlueCross BlueShield Member Authorization Form
Empire BlueCross BlueShield Member Authorization Form (en Español)
The above links can only be viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download a free copy by clicking here.
- Contacting you
We, including our affiliates or vendors, may call or text you using an automated telephone dialing system and/or a prerecorded message. But we only do this in accordance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The calls may be to let you know about treatment options or other health-related benefits and services. If you don’t want to be contacted by phone, just let the caller know and we won’t reach out this way anymore.
- Web Privacy Statement
Your privacy is very important to us and we will make every reasonable effort to safeguard any information we collect.
- What information will we collect?
Information may be collected in the following ways on this website:
- If we provide user account access, you may elect to establish an account so that you can gain additional access to on-line service applications, health tools, health information, subscriptions or other services where it is important for us to know who you are in order to best meet your needs. Providing personal information is always voluntary.
- We may use “cookies” to help us improve this website by tracking your navigation habits and to store some of your preferences. A cookie is a small file created by a website to store information on your computer. Cookies do not allow websites to gain access to other information on your computer. Once a cookie is saved on your computer, generally only the website that created the cookie can read it.
- An Internet Protocol address is a number that automatically identifies the computer or mobile device that you are using to access the Internet. The IP address enables our server to send you the site pages that you want to visit or the data you want to view. The IP address may disclose the server owned by your Internet service provider. We use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server and to support our site administration.
- How will information be used?
Any personal information that you provide is used for the purpose for which you provide it. For example, if you use location services to find a provider near your current location, your location is used only to facilitate that function. We may also gather quantitative user information, such as the number of users and the pages or data accessed, in order to perform administrative, technical, hosting or other functions that help us manage our website and deliver new functionality to you. We do not sell, license, transmit or disclose personal information that you provide to us to third parties except with the following exceptions:
- Upon your authorization
- When such disclosure is necessary to allow us and our contractors or agents to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations
- When required or permitted by law
- Third parties
We may work with third party service providers who may place third party persistent cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies to collect anonymous information about the use of our websites. They are not permitted to collect any personal information, and this information will be solely used for web usage analysis for a better understanding of how you use our website, and/or to customize our content and advertising.
- What if I don’t want information about me to be collected?
Providing personal information through this website is an option. Additionally, personally identifiable information will not be collected from you without your knowledge and approval.
If you do not wish to have your activity on our website tracked, to discontinue first party cookie tracking of your web activity.
You also have the choice to opt-out of third party cookies, web beacons or similar technologies, if you do not want third party service providers to collect your anonymous information for marketing purposes, visit the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) website to perform the opt-out.
Additionally, you can direct your Internet browser to notify you and seek approval whenever a cookie is being sent to your hard drive. You may also delete a cookie manually from your computer, tablet or smartphone through your Internet browser settings or other programs. You can also set your browser to refuse all cookies. Please note that some parts of this website may not function properly or be available to you, if you refuse to accept a cookie or choose to disable the acceptance of cookies.
- “Do Not Track” Signals
We do not respond to web browser “do not track” signals. As such, your navigation of our site may be tracked as part of the gathering of quantitative user information described above. If you arrive at our website by way of a link from a third party site that does respond to “do not track” requests, the recognition of any “do not track” request you have initiated will end as soon as you reach our site.
- Linking to Other Sites
From time to time we will provide links to websites not owned or controlled by us. We do this because we think this information might be of interest or use to you. While we do our best to ensure your privacy, we cannot be responsible for the privacy practices of other sites. A link to a third party website does not constitute or imply endorsement by us. Additionally, we cannot guarantee the quality or accuracy of information presented on those websites. We encourage you to review the privacy practices of any website you visit.
- Use of email and fax
We may provide email and fax links to further facilitate communication for our members and their designees and caregivers. Information collected through email may be shared with our customer service department, employees or third parties that perform services on our behalf. Unless otherwise noted, email through our website is not a completely secure and confidential means of communication. Non-encrypted email may be accessed and viewed by other Internet users without your knowledge and permission while in transit to us. Further, if you request that we email information about you to someone through our digital channels, that email may not be completely secure. Please verify email addresses carefully before submitting such a request.
- Health Information Exchanges
We may share your information with health information exchanges. Electronic health information exchanges allow health care providers to view and share your health information quickly and easily — for treatment, payment or health care operations.
Health information exchanges can improve the speed, quality, safety and cost of your care. It’s also a great way to help make sure you get the right medication, and you don’t get the same tests more than once if you don’t need to. Doctors, health insurers and others using an exchange like this are required to follow the privacy and security standards set by U. S. and state laws.
California. In California, we’re taking part in a health information exchange called Cal INDEX. If you’re a member living in California, you’re automatically enrolled. Only participating doctors who are treating you will have access to your health records. If you or your dependents do not wish to have your health information made available on Cal INDEX, please fill out the online form at www.calindex.org/opt-out. Or you can call Cal INDEX at 1-888-510-7142.
If you have questions regarding this policy or if you would like to review or change any of your personal information we have on file, please contact Customer Service by dialing the number on the back of your ID card.
This privacy statement is effective January 1, 2014 and was most recently revised January 1, 2015. This privacy statement is subject to change. We encourage you to review it from time to time.
- Consumer Privacy Protection Information