I have had several clients ask me recently about the Medical Insurance Board (MIB), so I thought I’d give a brief description of who they are and what they do.
MIB Group is a membership corporation owned by member life insurance companies in the United States and Canada.
They maintain a database for member companies to exchange confidential information of underwriting significance when an individual applies for life, health, disability income, long term care or critical illness insurance. This information is maintained and safeguarded in a coded format that is accessible only to authorized personnel of a member company to which you have applied for insurance and have authorized the company to use MIB as an information source.
How does your information get into your MIB file, you might ask? When an application is made to an MIB Member company, any information that is of significance to health or longevity (whether admitted on the application or discovered during the underwriting process) is sent to MIB by the Member company in a coded, encrypted format. Use of these codes ensures that the confidential information is protected.
What does an MIB file say about you? Coded information identifies medical conditions or medical tests that are reported by MIB members to MIB under broad categories. There are also a few codes that are non-medical. Those codes report potentially hazardous avocations or hobbies, or results of a motor vehicle report showing a poor driving history. MIB has no actual “reports” or “medical records”on file, only the coded “resume” provided by the Member.
What do these companies do with your information? Authorized underwriting personnel of the Member company review the application information provided by the person applying for insurance and compare it to what is in the person’s MIB file. The information in the person’s MIB file is used only as an alert. No underwriting decision can be made solely on the basis of a coded report, such as issuing a policy with an extra premium or declining to offer coverage.
How can you find out if you have an MIB file and what information about you it contains? The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, allows a consumer to request free disclosure of his or her consumer report annually. Only you can request an MIB file on yourself. If you are a US resident, call MIB’s toll-free telephone number – 866-692-6901 (TTY 866-346-3642 for hearing-impaired) to request disclosure of your file. You will be asked for some personal identifying information so that your record can be located, if one exists.