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What's In Your MIB Report and How to Get a Copy

When you apply for health or life insurance, the insurer does a risk assessment to determine your coverage and premiums. One of the tools they use to make these decisions is an MIB Underwriting Services Consumer File, or MIB report, for short. Find out what this special medical report is, what information it contains about your health and how you can get a copy to review.

What's an MIB Report?

The MIB Group, previously known as the Medical Insurance Bureau, is a consumer reporting agency. It's structured as a not-for-profit corporation owned by hundreds of member insurance companies in the United States and Canada. MIB is regulated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The agency issues special reports with information about medical conditions and other risks that can impact your long-term health. This helps underwriters and medical directors evaluate applications for life, health, critical illness, long-term care and disability insurance.

How MIB Works

When you apply for insurance, your insurer may ask you to sign an authorization form allowing them to:

             Access MIB's database for your medical report

             Provide medical information to MIB after the underwriting process is complete

The information in the report isn't used on its own to determine insurance eligibility. Any conditions that appear on your MIB report must be verified by underwriters before they make a decision. Insurers review disclosures on your application, request records from health care providers and conduct their own medical exams. 

Information Provided in MIB Reports

MIB reports contain information that's been provided by insurers in the last seven years. This health information may affect insurability and includes:

             Medical conditions and illnesses

             Hazardous activities you may undertake such as smoking, car racing or parachuting

The report also includes names of member companies that:

             Provided information about you

             Requested and received information about you

You may not have an MIB report on file if you haven't applied for an individual insurance policy at one of the member companies in the last seven years or if your previous applications were approved without concerns about your health.

Where Does MIB Get Its Medical Information?

MIB only has information shared by member insurance companies and must have your prior authorization to receive or release it. The agency doesn't deal directly with your doctors or hospital. This means MIB doesn't have access to medical files from your health care providers, X-rays or lab test results. The only information they have on record is represented as a code.

How MIB Codes Work

MIB codes are a series of numbers and letters that represent medical conditions or high-risk activities that can impact health or life expectancy. The codes are general categories and are used by underwriters to make sure information wasn't missed on an application. There are no personal details about your condition or any files from insurance companies about why insurance may have been previously denied.

It's also important to know that MIB reports don't make risk recommendations. The final decisions about insurance and premiums are made by the insurance company based on information you disclosed on your application, reports from your health care providers and a medical exam.

How to See What's in Your MIB Report

MIB estimates that 1% to 2% of all reports they disclose to consumers are corrected because of inaccurate information. If you want to confirm the contents of your report, you can request a copy by submitting an online form or calling (866) 692-6901.

You're eligible to receive a complimentary copy of your report every 12 months and an additional copy if you have a letter from an insurer saying your application was declined or adversely affected by a MIB report.

What If My MIB Report Is Wrong?

If you think your MIB report contains inaccurate information, you can ask for a reinvestigation. According to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, MIB must investigate your dispute free of charge. You must provide:

             Your full name

             Date and place of birth

             Social Security number

             An explanation of why you believe your report is inaccurate

MIB then contacts the insurance company that originally provided the information to see if there's been a mistake. The process may take up to 45 days, and the results of their reinvestigation are mailed to you.

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