MIB: The Big Brother for Insurance Companies
MIB. No, it's not the alien-hunting agency Men In Black; it's the illness-hunting agency Medical Information Bureau.
When you apply for any type of personal insurance (ie: medical, disability, or life), the insurance companies are given permission in the application to access your medical files on the Medical Information Bureau (MIB).
Although it may feel a little like "Big Brother" maintaining a watchful eye, it is intended to be a mechanism in place to prevent insurance fraud cases a deceitful consumer might try to pull.
The MIB is a specialty consumer reporting agency, working for the insurance companies (who are the primary members). Anybody who has applied for insurance in the past and had extra tests ordered after the application was submitted, been refused coverage, offered the policy at higher rates, or had to make a claim, is likely to have a file at MIB. Approximately 20% of consumers are said to have medical records on file.
Members (insurance companies) will send MIB info on any significant medical conditions that are uncovered as part of their underwriting process for your insurance application, as well as cross-check information on your application against any existing files you have.
The good news is that since the file is about you, you have full access to it! Once/year, you can order a free copy of your MIB records, and if you plan to apply for insurance, it is a good idea. It gives you a chance to see what is on your file and dispute any inaccurate information.
For more information, you can call MIB at 1-866-692-6901, visit their site here, or contact them by snail mail (required for disputes) at MIB Inc, PO Box 105, Essex Station, Boston MA, 2112.
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