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E-mail and Privacy Policy

E-MAIL POLICY
By submitting an e-mail, you agree to have read and accept the provisions of our privacy policy. We will make every attempt to respond by e-mail to inquiries within two business days.

Please be aware that Internet e-mail is not secure, so you may want to request that a written response be sent to you in lieu of an e-mail response, if personal or sensitive information is to be transmitted.

If you send e-mail to us, please do not include any health or claim-related information in your e-mail correspondence. This includes Medicare numbers, Social Security numbers, personal medical information, or other confidential items. If you have a question about a specific claim, please call or write to our office.

If we are unable to determine the source of any e-mail, we will send a return message requesting identification of the sender. Please note that we cannot accept attachments with e-mail correspondence.
The provisions of the Privacy Act must be followed. Requests for documents covered by the Freedom of Information Act must be submitted to our office in writing.

PRIVACY POLICY
As part of the day to day business operations of Group Insurance Services (GIS), including operation of the GIS Web site, we receive and maintain certain information regarding our subscribers and members. Information received from the GIS Web site depends in part on what you do when you visit or transact business on the GIS Web site. GIS 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 GIS AS DESCRIBED HEREIN.

  • Guests - Browsers of our Web site often visit solely to obtain general information about GIS’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 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 - Browsers who currently have health insurance coverage with GIS 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, GIS 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. GIS, 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 GIS immediately at info@gisbenefits.com or (423) 755-5911.
  • Members Under 13 Years of Age – GIS 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 GIS Web site, we require that they do so with the permission of their legal guardian (i.e. user name and password of legal guardian). GIS 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 info@gisbenefits.com.
  • E-Mail (Requests and Submissions) – Please do not send e-mail to us with personal information. GIS has no way to secure personal information sent via e-mail because this information can be accessed by other users on the Internet. If you send us e-mail to ask a question, we will only use the information you provide to answer your request. Personal information will not be provided to a non-affiliated third party without your prior consent, except as permitted by federal and state law. If you have submitted information about yourself through our Web site and/or e-mail message and would like for us to delete that information from our records, please send a e-mail to info@gisbenefits.com. We will make every effort to delete your personal information from our files.
  • Statistical Data – GIS continually strives to enhance the features and services that are offered to our Web site browsers. 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 GIS 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 GIS in supplying products and services to our members or that promote products and services on behalf of GIS. Information is provided to nonaffiliated third parties as required or allowed by federal and state law. GIS 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. GIS 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
The non-public personal information collected and maintained from this Web site will be retained for six years from the date of its creation or the date when it was last in effect, whichever is later.

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 of individual Web sites. GIS may place a cookie on your computer that will allow us to identify users so that we may enhance their experience on our Web site. Our cookies are not used to track your activity on any site other than GIS.com nor will they be utilized to send unsolicited e-mail or provide us with the users personally identifiable information.

Direct Access to Other Sites
GIS 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 GIS.com, they may not follow the same privacy guidelines set forth here. GIS assumes no responsibility or control over the acts or privacy policies of the third party Web sites to which GIS provides direct links. We suggest that you contact the appropriate controlling authorities of these sites or review their privacy policy.

Opt-Out
GIS provides its members and users the opportunity to ''opt-out'' of having their information used for purposes not related to the GIS Web site when GIS requests such information. Users who wish to remove their information collected by the GIS Web site can do so by contacting us at info@gisbenefits.com. GIS will not use your information collected by the GIS 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, GIS will endeavor to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data. To correct or update personal information, contact GIS at info@gisbenefits.com or (423) 755-5911.

Security
GIS takes precautions to protect its users’ personal non-public information. When users submit sensitive information to GIS, 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 GIS uses SSL encryption to protect sensitive information online, GIS protects user-information off-line. Only employees who need the information to perform their jobs are granted access to personally identifiable information. GIS 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 GIS security and privacy practices. Finally, the servers that store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

GIS Reserves The Right To Modify Its Privacy Policy
GIS 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.