Medical Information Bureau
The MIB (Medical Information Bureau) is not your typical credit reporting agency; it’s classified as a “nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency” that maintains a database for members to exchange confidential medical information.
These members consist of insurance companies that underwrite individual life, disability income, health, long-term care or critical illness insurance.
If you ever completed an application for life or health insurance you probably recall all the medical related questions you had to answer.
If the insurance company you were applying for coverage with is a member of MIB then any of the information you disclosed about your health or longevity (whether admitted on the application or discovered during the underwriting process) could have been sent to MIB and added to your MIB record.
If you decide to apply for health insurance with another member company it would have to provide you with the MIB Pre-Notice and obtain your authorization before it pulls your record.
Upon authorization the insurer’s underwriter would compare the information you supply on your application to what is in your MIB file to identify any alerts.
This allows for better underwriting and risk management decisions when issuing coverage. Because of this database sharing MIB saves its member companies an estimated $1 billion a year by enabling them to avoid fraudulent insurance applications and early claims.
So what exactly does your MIB record contain?
When an insurer (MIB member) pulls an MIB record on an applicant it contains coded information identifying any medical conditions or medical tests reported by other MIB Members on that applicant. It does not have actual “reports” or “medical records” on file.
There are also a few codes that identify dangerous hobbies, or a driving record showing bad driving history.
You are entitled to request one free MIB record every year by calling 1-866-692-6901. Be prepared to answer some personal identifying information so your record can be located, if one exists.
During this recorded call, you will need to certify, under penalty of law, that the information you are providing is accurate, and that you are the person requesting disclosure. The personal identifying information that MIB collects is used only to locate your MIB record, if any, and for no other purpose.
In about 15 day you will receive a response and if they cannot determine if a record exists based on the information you provide they will contact you with additional instructions to complete your request.
The record that MIB will provide to you will include the following:
- The nature and substance of information, if any, that MIB may have in its records pertaining to you;
- The name(s) of the MIB member companies, if any, that reported information to MIB; and,
- The name(s) of the MIB member companies, if any, that received a copy of your MIB record during the 24 month period preceding your request for disclosure.
If you identify any information on your MIB record that is incorrect then contact MIB and request an investigation. They will send you a form to complete in order to initiate your dispute.
It is very important for you to review and check your MIB report for accuracy. You have the right by law to know the content of your consumer file maintained by MIB.
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About the author
Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for AllBusiness, a subsidiary of Dun and Bradstreet and author of “Eight Steps to Ultimate Business Credit” and “How to Build Business Credit with No Personal Guarantee.” His articles and blogs have also been featured in American Express Small Business, Business Week, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Tribune, Scotsman Guide, Alltop, Entrepreneur Connect, and Active Rain.