Today we’re going to answer some popular questions about the Medical Information Bureau. This is a topic that life insurance shoppers may be puzzled by. These questions often include:
- What is the MIB?
- Who makes up the Medical Information Bureau?
- What is the Medical Information Bureau database?
- Do I have an MIB file?
The Medical Information Bureau is one of those perplexing parts of the life insurance application and underwriting process. If you have every applied for insurance in the past, chances are you’re already in the MIB database.
When you apply for life insurance, you’ll authorize the life insurance company to gather specific details about you from specific organizations. This happens whether you buy from the best life insurance companies or not. The MIB is one of these organizations. Your health information is not sent to MIB without your consent. Let’s define the MIB and then let’s look at why the MIB is needed.
Medical Information Bureau
What is the Medical Information Bureau? What is MIB? They’re actually the same thing as MIB is simply an acronym for the Medical Information Bureau. The MIB was founded in 1902 to help consumers and insurance companies. The Medical Information Bureau was created to protect and help the life insurance industry fight fraud. Fast forward to today and the MIB is a computer database and information clearinghouse that analyzes records to find errors, misrepresentations or omissions found on life insurance applications.
What Does the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) Identify?
What does the medical information bureau do? What is the purpose of the medical information bureau?
The MIB in insurance helps detect and identify fraud. This is an important function not only for the life insurance companies, but also for consumers. The Medical Information Bureau helps everyone by keeping life insurance rates down by identifying fraud. When insurance fraud occurs, claim costs skyrocket. These claims weigh heavy on anyone paying life insurance premiums.
Medical Information Bureau Database
The MIB database houses information that has been accumulated from hundreds of life insurance companies for underwriting and processing life insurance cases.
Who Makes Up the Medical Information Bureau?
So who makes up the MIB? The MIB Group, Inc. is owned by insurance companies. The Medical Information Bureau is a corporation that is member owned and operates as a nonprofit in Canada and in the U.S.A. There are approximately 500 insurance companies that are members of the MIB.
Life Insurance Applications and the MIB
Let’s see how a typical life insurance application and the MIB work together.
- You apply for life insurance with a company that is an MIB member.
- The life insurance company will notify you that they will report your details to the Medical Information Bureau. This notification also states that if you apply for insurance in the future that these details will be available to another MIB member.
- You are provided an authorization form from the insurance company that will give the MIB and the carriers permission to share your details.
- Your specific information is coded and sent to the MIB. These codes are are confidential and specific to life insurance underwriting.
- Fast forward to the future- If you put in a new application for life insurance with a different MIB member company, that company can request your information from the MIB.
- Life insurance companies use the MIB report to make sure your life insurance application matches up with your past report(s). If there is something inconsistent, the carrier may request additional information.
Is My MIB Information Confidential?
Yes, your MIB information is safe! Life insurance shoppers often have a concern when they hear that the MIB gets access to all this information. The Medical Information Bureau doesn’t store your actual medical records. Shopper should feel at ease knowing that the MIB protects your information using highly confidential and exclusive coding systems to keep your information safe.
Do I have an MIB Consumer File?
Not everyone has an MIB consumer file. You will not have a file unless you’ve applied for a qualified policy within 7 years. Here are situations that would cause you not to have an MIB consumer file:
- You applied for a qualified insurance type over 7 years ago
- You applied to an insurance carrier that did not have MIB membership
- You applied for a policy that the MIB doesn’t work with such as policies that were not underwritten, GI policies or Group policies.
Just remember that in order to have an MIB file, you must have already applied for a qualified policy in the past 7 years. These would include:
- Underwritten life insurance policy
- Underwritten health insurance policy
- Long Term Care policy
- Disability Income policy
- Critical Illness policy
What if the MIB is Wrong?
It’s very unlikely that the information in the MIB report is incorrect. However, that isn’t to say it’s impossible since there is a 1-2% chance. The MIB has stated that this slim percentage occurs and needs to be amended because of incomplete or incorrect information.
If you think that something is wrong with your MIB report, you can dispute the file without being charged. Since the MIB is under the federal umbrella of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, shoppers have the right to their MIB insurance file for free. You simply request your free MIB investigation stating everything that you feel is incomplete and wrong.
Requesting Your MIB Report
There is no charge if you want a copy of your MIB report. You can get a free copy once a year. Here is the information will you will be required to request your MIB consumer report:
- Your full name: This would also include your middle initial and any suffix such as Jr., Sr., etc. that could make a difference from you and another individual or family member.
- Your Birthdate
- Your complete address
- The last four digits of your Social Security number
- List everything on your MIB Consumer File that you feel is wrong or incomplete.
Be aware that it may take upwards of 45 days for the investigation to be completed. Your results will be mailed to you.
Life Insurance Blog
At Life Insurance Blog, we have access to dozens of top rated life insurance companies. We provide quotes and help shoppers like you secure coverage from companies that are MIB members. You can feel confident that you’ll be buying life insurance from companies with great reputations who put your privacy at a premium.
Your licensed Life Insurance Blog agent will take the time to help you find the best companies, options and most affordable life insurance policy available. We look forward to helping you with all your life insurance needs.