What does the Department of Health and Human Services want with my kid's Social Security number?

At work a few weeks ago I received the following notification regarding my employer-provided health insurance: "a new federal health care mandate requires [company] to report Social Security Numbers for all dependents enrolled in a [company] health plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ... Failure to provide this information by [date] will result in the dependent losing coverage as of December 31, 2010."

I was baffled. I know that my health plan has our Social Security numbers. But Kathleen Sebelius and her Department of Health and Human Services wants them too. I forgot to bring the numbers from home and soon received two even more emphatic emails requesting the information, so they are serious.

Has everyone else received such a notification? I think that come January1, there are going to be some surprised folks, to use Mr. Obama's favorite word for the plebes, when they learn they are no longer covered.

Yes, this is a small annoyance (except for those who get dropped and then must file for reinstatement). More to come, folks!

Keep an eye out for stories on this in our ever-vigilant press.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona. He may be reached at saler.50d@gmail.com.