Your Privacy Matters

Introduction

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (hereinafter “BCBSNC”, “we”, “us”) respects the privacy of everyone who visits State of Costs (stateofcosts.com, hereinafter this “Site”) and is dedicated to protecting consumer privacy on the Internet. The information below is an overview of how BCBSNC handles the personal information you provide us through this Site. Personal information is data that identifies you, such as your name, contact information, and so on. We may need to change this online privacy statement from time to time in order to address new issues relating to this Site – please check this policy regularly.

Health Information and the Notice of Privacy Practices

This online privacy statement describes how BCBSNC handles personal information that you provide to us when visiting this Site. In addition, federal law requires BCBSNC to publish a Member’s Privacy Notice, which describes how we handle our members’ personal health information collected both online and offline. Members may wish to consult both this online privacy statement and the Member’s Privacy Notice to learn how BCBSNC processes members’ personal health information as well as what rights members have concerning such information.

How we handle your information

BCBSNC does not use or disclose the personal information you give us online unless it is required or permitted under the federal and state laws that apply to us. These laws closely regulate how BCBSNC may handle your information. Under these laws, we are permitted to use and disclose your personal information to support the services provided on this Site, as well as our offline business functions. 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 do not sell or rent your personal information to third parties.

We will disclose information to government officials or others if we are 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 personal information you submit to our Site to create aggregated, anonymous data, which we will 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.

Health Information and the Notice of Privacy Practices

BCBSNC uses “cookie” technology to improve your experience on this Site. Cookies are small pieces of data that we place in your computer’s browser to store your preferences. Cookies themselves do not generate personal information about you, and we do not attempt to link cookie data to your personal information. We use cookies only to make your experience on this Site more enjoyable.

Security

BCBSNC has 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 the desktop to our server. BCBSNC is committed to ensuring transaction security and privacy. BCBSNC obtains certification from industry-recognized security vendors to ensure that our systems meet security standards. As an additional security measure, BCBSNC uses 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 do not send emails to us that contain 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 via an online form on this Site.

Links to Third-Party Websites

BCBSNC may have provided links and pointers to Internet sites maintained by third parties (“third party sites”) and may from time to time provide third party materials on this Site. These third party sites are independently owned and operated by third parties, who have their own privacy practices. The third party materials in this Site and the third-party sites are provided “as is” and without warranties of any kind either expressed or implied. To the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable law, BCBSNC disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. BCBSNC does not warrant or make any representations regarding the use or the results of the use of the third-party materials in the third-party sites in terms of their correctness, accuracy, timeliness, reliability or otherwise.

Children’s Information

Although children are not permitted to use this Site and BCBSNC does not direct this Site to children or knowingly collect personal information from children, Children’s information may still be provided to BCBSNC. BCBSNC would be pleased to work with parents and guardians to delete from our records personal information that their children may have disclosed improperly on this Site.

Change in Our Corporate status

We may disclose, transfer or sell the information collected through our Site 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 do not currently anticipate such an event, changes to our privacy policy might result.

Contact Us

We are 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 BCBSNC. Any questions or inquiries concerning Privacy should be directed to BCBSNC, Attn: Privacy Official, P. O. Box 2291, Durham, NC 27702.

BCBSNC Connect Privacy Policy is effective January 1, 2011. BCBSNC may change this policy at any time without notice. This policy was last updated January 31, 2012.