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VERIFY: No, you don't have to give your Social Security number to hospitals

Almost all hospitals ask for your SSN when you're signing in, but do you actually have to give it to them?

Paperwork. It’s one of the first things the receptionist presents you at any hospital or doctor's office.

And among the questions of medical history and insurance information, many places ask for your Social Security number as well. 

Viewer Kirk asked us:


“Is it required that I give my Social Security number to doctors and hospitals?”


No, there are no laws requiring you to give your SSN to hospitals or doctors. However, medicare participants may have to supply the information in order to get medicare payments and benefits.


Hospitals often want it because it helps debt collection. But you are not obligated to give it away and you can just leave it blank on a form. If they ask you about it,it's recommended that you tell them you're concerned about your privacy and identity theft. if they insist, then you're free to go to another hospital.

The Social Security Administration provides a list of laws that changed where SSNs were required to be provided. There isn't a law requiring you give it to hospitals or doctors.

In fact, there are very few times where you're actually legally required to provide your SSN. However, there is also no law that prohibits companies from refusing to do business with you if you choose not to give it to them.

Exceptions to these rules:

1.) You must give it to health insurance companies.

2.) It used to be on your medicare card but that has changed.

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