Most people have never heard of the MIB (Medical Information Bureau) or even realized that a private company is tracking their medical history. The MIB formed in 1902 is owned by nearly 500 insurance companies. The insurance industry uses the service to deter fraud in life, health, disability, and long term care insurance applications.
Think of the MIB as sort of a credit bureau for your medical history. The MIB also falls under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and this means that they have the same responsibility as a credit bureau for maintaining accurate information in your file. The MIB claims to only maintain a file on about 15 to 20 percent of individuals that have applied for insurance coverage. If you have not applied for insurance during the past 7 years, you most likely do not have a MIB file.
Rights To Your MIB File Under The Fair Credit Reporting Act
1. You are entitled to a free copy of your file once each year.
2. If there is incorrect information in your file you have the right to have it corrected.
3. You can add a ‘statement of dispute’ to explain any derogatory medical information in your file.
4. Information can be kept on file by the MIB for up to 7 years.
What Information Does The MIB Keep In Its Files?
Medical tests and results
Motor vehicle reports (poor driving history and accidents)
Habits such as smoking, overeating, gambling, drugs
Hazardous avocations and hobbies
Why Is It Important For You To Obtain Your MIB File?
If you plan to apply for insurance, your approval and what rate you pay may be directly impacted by information in your MIB file.
How Can You Get A Free Copy Of Your MIB File?
MIB’s toll-free number for disclosure is 866-692-6901. Call the MIB and request your file and you will receive instructions on the necessary steps required for your file to be released to you. This will include proving your identity and signing an affidavit.
Using The MIB To Find A Lost Insurance Policy
A little known fact about the MIB is a service that they offer to assist in locating lost insurance policies. Over the years, I have received many phone calls and e mails from individuals that were attempting to settle the estate of a loved one and were unable to locate a life insurance policy. For a fee, the MIB will use the files of the deceased to be able to provide you with a list of life insurance companies the deceased applied for coverage with during the prior seven years.
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