Beware of Your Grocery Loyalty Card

The following is taken from an online article published March 2013. The author lays out a compelling argument why you SHOULD NOT use loyalty cards at grocery stores. He says that if you do be sure to not reveal your correct address or real name.

With the advances in computers and technology information about consumers has been shared in a number of ways. Marketing companies want to know what type of products you buy so they can send you offers. One retail firm, Target, was in the news some time ago because they were sending product offers to people who are pregnant. How did Target know their customer was pregnant? By the products the customer was purchasing – prenatal vitamins for example.

According to one article, health insurance companies are now buying this marketing data to determine if customers have been eating unhealthy. This could matter if you have a health insurance claim. Can they use your store purchasing information to deny your health insurance claim? That may be for a court to decide one day. But the thought is whether a health insurer can identify your purchases of unhealthy food and tie it to your health issue and deny a potential claim.

It does not seem out of the realm of possibility that our grocery stores are selling information about us. Companies want to know as much about consumers as they can. Virtually everything we do is tracked – our online behaviors particularly. Grocery store loyalty cards are not as much about saving money, according to the article we read, but more about using this information to sell to anyone interested in the information.

More Obamacare News

According to one health insurance expert, the following about Obamacare for your consideration:

1) Your doctor will enter all your private information that you share into an electronic data base that will be available to more eyes than you may feel comfortable. For example, to curb gun violence your private health information will be shared if you attempt to buy a gun. What other transactions will you do where your private information will be shared?
2) Develop a relationship with a doctor before you turn 65. Doctors will be paid less to care for seniors on Medicare.
3) Reports suggest Obamacare will reduce your ability to see a specialist, at least initially. I am unsure how this will play out if true as reports suggest that we have a shortage of general practice doctors. Physicians who specialize make more money so who can blame them.
4) Employers with 50+ employees are required to carry health insurance or pay a fine. Many are opting to pay the fine. This leaves you scrambling.
5) Avoid Medicaid. Research suggests that surgery patients on Medicaid are more likely to die compared to those who have private health insurance.
6) Since Obamacare empowers the director of Health and Human Services to standardize medical care for privately insured patients expect more and more regulations to come down the pike. More regulations will not (likely) make life easier for anyone – patient or doctor. That reduces care quality.

Don’t shoot the messenger. Just passing this information along.