What you Need to Know about the Medical Information Bureau (MIB)
If you have ever applied for life, disability or health insurance, you might have heard about the Medical Insurance Bureau (MIB). I would venture to guess that most people, especially those who haven’t applied for either of these policies, don’t know about this organization.
What is the Medical Information Bureau?
According to their website, MIB Group, Inc. is a member-owned corporation that has operated on a not-for-profit basis in the United States and Canada since 1902. MIB’s Underwriting Services are used exclusively by MIB’s member life and health insurance companies to assess an individual’s risk and eligibility during the underwriting of life, health, disability income, critical illness, and long-term care insurance policies. These services “alert” underwriters to errors, omissions or misrepresentations made on insurance applications. By mitigating the risk of applicant errors, omissions and misrepresentations, MIB may help lower the cost of life and health insurance for consumers.
What does the MIB do
They maintain a database of confidential medical and non-medical (hazardous avocations, hobbies and driving violations) information. This information is used by the MIB member companies while underwriting life and health insurance applications. They also alert members if a policy applicant has recently received or applied for a policy with another member company in order to prevent over-insurance.
Information is sent to the MIB in a coded and encrypted format ensuring that the confidential information is protected. The codes consist of the category of impairment (e.g. cardiac, cancer, etc.), the source of the information (such as APS (Attending Physician Statement), inspection reports, paramedical exam, insurance application, etc.), and the approximate date of the actual information.
Codes do not identify the specific insurance carrier that reported the code or what underwriting action (such as decline, rating or postponement) was taken by the company. MIB rules state that no insurance company can take underwriting action based on the MIB code alone. Codes serve only as an alert to possible significant underwriting information. It is up to the insurance companies to investigate the information before making a decision.
When does the MIB obtain information?
When your application is submitted to a member company, any information that is significant (whether admitted on the application or discovered during underwriting), is sent securely to the MIB if the member company feels the information is significant to your health or longevity.
What if you disagree with information in the MIB report
Contact the MIB: