Medical Information Bureau

What is Your Medical Score?

You've likely heard of Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, but did you know that there is a similar bureau that keeps reports and records of your medical history? The Medical Information Bureau, or MIB, is responsible for keeping track of your medical records for access to its members - mostly health insurance companies. When you apply for health or life insurance with a provider, the MIB is what they contact for your historic medical reports, which will then be used to approve or disapprove your coverage. Only members of the MIB are able to access individuals' medical records.

Now that you know about this entity, you'll again be shocked to know that this establishment has been around for over a century - since 1902. The use of technology has made it much more convenient for insurance companies to get the information they need about you before offering coverage. According to the MIB, only ten to 20% of individual health insurance applicants have the agency check their medical records.

You may be interested in knowing that the MIB is required to abide by the same laws of credit bureaus - the US Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. This means that you have the right to know what is on your medical history. Individuals are able to pull up their own medical records. You will have information about your medical history over the last seven years and a list of companies who've pulled up your records in the last year.

Information that you'll find on the report include:

  • Credit info
  • Medical tests and results
  • Lifestyle habits, like drugs, drinking, overeating and smoking
  • Driving history, including accidents and violations
  • Dangerous hobbies and sports, i.e. skydiving, scuba diving and rock climbing

Your medical records only stay on file for seven years, so anything that occurred eight years ago wouldn't be present on the report. Those that have access to your information are the employees of the MIB (your signature is required), you and members of the MIB. Employers, vendors and non-members will not have access to your personal information. You can obtain your medical records once annually for free; others will cost you. You can either request your report online or by calling them at 1-866-692-6901.

Most people don't have a medical record unless they've recently applied for health, life, disability, long-term care or critical illness insurance within the last couple of years. The individual would also have to have a high-risk hobby and driving record.

If you find anything on your report that is incorrect, there is a procedure for disputing errors. You can ask the MIB to reconsider the info that is on your record; give them a call and ask for a Request for Reinvestigation form. Fill it out then mail it back for a reinvestigation to take place with the member insurance company and details being disputed. If the investigation resolves the problem, it will be reflected on your report. If not, then you can send a statement to the bureau disputing the accuracy of the details on file. This statement will then be made a part of your medical file and will be visible to the members who request your records.

MIB Snail Mail:

Medical Information Bureau (MIB)
PO Box 105, Essex Station
Boston, MA 02112

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