MIB does not collect, maintain or store any medical records such as examination reports, attending physician statements, lab test results, x-rays, underwriting files or reasons for denial of insurance. Instead, MIB's members agree to share information of underwriting significance in the form of brief medical and avocation "codes,” which are a simple form of encryption.
If a member company wants to use MIB, then it must provide the applicant with the MIB Pre-Notice which describes MIB; the circumstances under which a brief report may be sent to MIB by our members; the conditions under which MIB will disclose the report to another member insurance company; and, the address to contact MIB for Disclosure and correction of an MIB record, if a record exists.
Additionally, the member must obtain the applicant’s signature on a written authorization in which MIB is identified as an information source along with other sources that might have records about the applicant, such as personal physicians. Therefore, a member company cannot search MIB or report information to MIB without the applicant’s knowledge and authorization.
In order to have an MIB Consumer File, a consumer must have applied for individually underwritten life, health, disability income, long-term care or critical illness insurance within the past 7 years and the insurance company to which he or she applied (or its reinsurer) must have been an MIB member company that submitted an MIB inquiry with the consumer’s authorization. Therefore, a consumer may not have an MIB Consumer File if: (i) he/she applied for insurance more than 7 years ago; or (ii) he/she applied for insurance that was not individually underwritten; (for example, group insurance or guaranteed issue life, or ACA-based health insurance); or (iii) he/she applied to an insurance company that was not an MIB member.
As a practical matter, MIB codes are not typically reported on individuals who are in good health, meaning that their life and health insurance applications are approved by the insurer as standard or preferred risks.
MIB only shares an individual's file with its member life and health insurance companies (with the individual's authorization) or with the individual directly, unless otherwise required or allowed by law. Therefore, employers, vendors, physicians and non-members do not have access to MIB files and MIB does not sell any individually identifiable information to any non-member third parties.
Further, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") severely restrict the use and dissemination of individually identifiable information, and MIB complies with both the letter and spirit of these laws.
MIB is firmly committed to the principle that every person is entitled to know the contents of their MIB Consumer File, if one exists. There is no charge to request a free copy of your MIB Consumer File once per year directly from MIB using our toll free line (866-692-6901) or our online process.
While MIB plays a critical role in an insurer's underwriting and risk classification process by ensuring the information on an application for coverage is accurate and complete, the decision to insure and set premium rates is borne solely by the MIB member company. Insurance companies make every reasonable effort to offer coverage to as many people as possible, while making sure they adequately classify individuals according to the degree of risk they present. Charging appropriate premiums for insured risks allows insurers to remain financially strong so they can meet their long and short-term policy obligations to each and every policyholder.
MIB's database consists of highly confidential and proprietary codes that signify different medical conditions and other conditions affecting the insurability of the applicant, as verified by members during the underwriting process. These codes do not indicate what action a member company took with respect to an application for insurance (i.e., approval, denial, approved with a substandard rating).
As part of the underwriting process, with your authorization, a member insurance company may obtain your medical records from your health care provider along with other underwriting requirements. Once it has reviewed your medical records, the member company may then report information of underwriting significance to MIB, but MIB does not obtain any information directly from your physician. Only those life or health insurance companies that are members of MIB can contribute coded information to MIB's database.
MIB does not maintain prescription drug history or credit information on individuals. MIB members report information to MIB using proprietary and highly confidential codes to signify different medical conditions and other conditions affecting the insurability of the proposed insured. These are conditions that have a material impact on mortality or morbidity and are reported under broad categories of verified medical histories or conditions.
The accuracy of information in MIB Consumer Files is of paramount importance to MIB. MIB and its member companies are fully committed to ensuring that only accurate, timely, verified and complete information is reported to MIB. MIB has long provided consumers with the right to obtain their MIB Consumer File (if one exists) in order to ensure its accuracy and completeness. In fact, out of all the free disclosures that we provide to consumers, we find that only 1-2% of these Consumer Files have to be amended due to inaccurate or incomplete information.
In addition to making this commitment to accuracy, MIB also offers an effective reinvestigation process in accordance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. If you have received a copy of your MIB Consumer File and you feel that the information in your MIB Consumer File is inaccurate or incomplete, then you may request a "reinvestigation." To learn more about how to request a reinvestigation, visit How to Dispute Your MIB Consumer File.
If an identity thief stole an individual's MIB Consumer File, it would not yield the precious data from which to steal the individual's medical identity. An MIB file doesn't contain a health plan member identification number, the critical component from which thieves obtain prescription drugs or medical services under an individual's name and health plan coverage. In fact, MIB files do not contain any personal identifiers such as address or telephone numbers, unencrypted Social Security numbers (SSN), driver's license numbers or account numbers (with or without associated PINs).
MIB is subject to a myriad of laws governing the use of consumer reports and addressing the privacy of individually identifiable information. These laws either regulate MIB directly or they regulate and impact MIB's members in such a way that MIB must likewise comply in order to allow members to continue using MIB’s services.