MIB (formerly the Medical Information Bureau)
MIB is a non-profit membership corporation created by insurance companies to protect themselves against consumer fraud by sharing information. The information also helps companies underwrite a policy (determine whether to issue you a policy, and, if so, for what premium). MIB also shares information about claims filed under disability policies. Instead of being about underwriting, this sharing is to permit coordination of disability benefit payments.
What the MIB has on file about you is important. Despite your health condition:
- You can still apply for health insurance and cannot be turned down because of your health condition because of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare),
- You may be able to purchase Life Insurance, Disability Income Insurance and even Long Term Care Insurance. If you apply for any of these policies, the insurance company will request a report about you from the MIB.
If there is an inconsistency between your application and what the MIB says about you, the insurer will want to know why - either by asking you or other sources.
You can learn what MIB knows about you for low cost, and possibly for free. If MIB's information is incorrect, you have a right to correct it.
What the MIB May Know About You
- If you have applied for individually underwritten life, health or disability insurance or filed for a disability insurance claim within the last seven years, it is possible that the health information you supplied is on file at the MIB. Participating companies supply the medical information applicants give and the results of the insurance company's investigations (including information from your doctor and/or hospital) to the MIB. The MIB does not have similar files of information that may be contained in applications for group insurance (for example, from an employer.)
- The MIB only keeps records for 7 years.
Other MIB Activities Worth Knowing About
- MIB will tell member companies about claims filed against disability policies for the purpose of "coordinating benefits" between different policies. The MIB does not, however, receive information based on claims you make against any health or life insurance policies.
- MIB maintains an Insurance Activity Index: a report by each member company of all applications for the purchase of life insurance. The file is kept for two years so a company can check to see whether you have applied for other life insurance during the same period. If you apply for several policies in a short period of time, the activity may cause a company to question why you need so much insurance and/or question your health.
How To Obtain A Free Company Of What The MIB Knows About You
You can obtain a copy of your consumer file which will contain:
- The nature and substance of the information the MIB has on file for you - if any.
- The name(s) of member company(ies) that reported the information.
- The name(s) of member company(ies) that received information from the MIB about you in the 12 months preceding your request for the information.
You can contact the MIB and ask for a free copy of your file as follows:
- Telephone: toll free 866.692.6901 or, in Boston: 617 426 3660. (TTY: 866.346.3642).
- By mail: MIB, P.O. Box 105, Essex Station, Boston, MA 02112.
In most cases, there will be a small charge for your record. The record is free if within 30 days prior to your request, your application for life or disability insurance was declined and the insurance company that declined the application provided you with notice that MIB was an information source. To qualify for the free report, you will have to provide a copy of the notice denying coverage with your request.
How To Correct Information At MIB
If you find incorrect information in your record, you can request a reinvestigation by the insurer that provided the wrong information. You should also send a statement from your physician setting forth the correct information.
If MIB agrees, that's the end of the story. If MIB continues to list the inaccurate information, you have the right to have a statement included in your file.
If you find information that was correct, but incorrectly reported to the MIB as a result of claims made on your health or disability policies instead of as a result of applying for insurance, you can request that the information be removed from your record.