What is the Medical Information Bureau for Life Insurance?

Applying for a policy includes ensuring your medical information is all correct. Read more on what is the medical information bureau for life insurance.

When thinking about life insurance, you want to have all the facts that will get the best rates and results. And so does your insurance company! However, you also need to ensure that your medical history on your application is as accurate as possible. This is in order to comply with the request of the Medical Information Bureau. 

In this article, we will teach you what you need to know about the Medical Information Bureau. Including why it exists, and how the MIB insurance report helps in your search for life insurance.

What is the Medical Information Bureau for Life Insurance?

The Medical Information Bureau, now known as the MIB Group, Inc., is a USA and Canada-based company. It was created for the benefit of insurance companies themselves. This group has no connection to the federal government; it is a corporation owned by almost 500 insurance companies who claim membership within it. 

Their work involves underwriting, which is essentially the research that companies do to decide whether or not insuring you is a risky choice. The risk involved from an insurance standpoint is the likelihood of death while covered by the insurance program. 

If you are young, with a clean bill of health, investing in you is less risky. More than insuring an older applicant with pre-existing health conditions. You may not be denied insurance, but high-risk applicants might find themselves paying higher rates. 

Clearly, an incentive exists for people to hide risky activities or medical irregularities to seek better coverage. Therefore, this underwriting helps the companies verify applicants’ health data to mitigate risk and avoid fraud. They do this by looking for false information, errors, or things they may have left out during their application.

First-Time Applicants

If this is your first time applying requiring this process, the MIB will not have a file on you. Also, they delete any records after seven years. However, if you have applied before, the company you work with now will need this information in an insurance report. Because of this, you should check the status of your MIB file before applying for life insurance. 

Having applied previously is not an issue. You can apply for insurance with one company and decide to choose a different one that appeals to you more. Potentially, you might also apply and realize the coverage you would receive isn’t enough. Also, you could sell or cash in your existing policy and decide to seek insurance again later. You may even have had term life insurance that ran out and choose to pursue a more permanent policy. 

Regardless, applying multiple times does not reflect negatively on you as a person or possible insurance client. However, it does mean that the information you submit each time needs to be checked against your other applications. This is where the MIB proves helpful for your insurance company. 

The group claims that consumers also benefit. Since preventing fraud saves money for companies, it also keeps rates low for those seeking application. Your personal and identifying information remains confidential and securely coded, so have no fear.

Facts You Should Know

The MIB does not save your actual medical records and will not speak directly to your physician. Instead, you grant them access to view your encrypted information that is relevant to the underwriting process. You will do so by signing a form during your initial application for life insurance. Your insurance company will need your permission to access these records. 

What is the Medical Information Bureau for Life Insurance?

If needed, a paramedical exam will generate data about your medical history, affecting your options for coverage and rates. This exam may include samples of blood and urine, as well as a record of your blood pressure and heartbeat. You may also complete a phone interview or provide medical information, such as current prescriptions or diagnoses of conditions, on the application form itself.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the law requires the MIB to inform you if the insurance company you use receives any information from them at all. They must also let you know if the company declines to cover you and their reporting played a role in that decision. 

MIB Will Keep You Informed

Finally, should the company decide to do further research on whether or not you should be insured, the MIB must inform you. Therefore, by law, you will be made aware of decisions influenced by this group that involve you and your information. 

They do not record whether you have been approved or declined for insurance in the past, and you may request that your information be reinvestigated should you find that your file contains inaccurate information.

Also, any issues in the underwriting process from this report do not necessarily mean that your application will be denied, so do not be concerned about honest mistakes in your forms. Your agent will help you resolve any confusion, or you might simply experience a delay while you wait to be approved. 

The underwriting stage takes a few weeks to complete, so have patience. Keep in mind as well that while the MIB does not keep records after seven years, specific insurance companies may have different policies and retain your information for longer periods of time.

What Exactly Is Included?

Your insurance report involves any insurance that requires underwriting. This includes not only life insurance in all its forms, but also health insurance. 

Any insurance that falls under those umbrellas, such as burial, cremation or disability insurance, also requires access to your file. The report includes the dates of any applications you submitted for these forms of insurance–but remember, they will not say whether these submissions were approved or denied. 

The important part is that you provided information at these times for the purpose of being insured. As far as medical records, issues and treatments are included along with the dates of discussion or care. 

For example, congenital heart disease and surgeries to treat it would be listed, along with the day you were diagnosed and the dates for each procedure. If you indicate that you smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs, the report notes this as well. 

Frequent travel or dangerous hobbies, like bungee jumping, rock climbing or skydiving, also make the cut. Finally, motor vehicle reports enter the collection so that companies may be aware of accidents on your record. The MIB must state where they found all the information provided.

Some specific policies do not require medical exams. If you choose such a policy, then results for blood tests or other scans will not be a part of your file and thus not part of the underwriting process. Be aware that these policies may cost more, partly as a result of not including the exams.

Requesting Your Medical Information Bureau Consumer File

You may request your consumer file once every year by going to the MIB website or calling their phone number, 1-866-692-6901. Keep in mind that the phone line is always available, but the online form closes each day for a short period of time in the early morning. 

Also, remember that you will not have a file if you have not applied for relevant insurances within the past seven years or if you have never sought life insurance before. You should check this file each year to make sure that the information within remains accurate. Since receiving the file is free, you can only benefit from requesting on a yearly basis.

The Reinvestigation Process

If your information is incorrect, don’t worry. Remember that you can request a reinvestigation at no cost by filling out the form provided on the MIB website or writing and signing a letter. 

The form requires you to submit some information to verify your identity: you will need to share your full name, social security number, date of birth and where you were born, current address and an itemized list of the errors or omissions in your file. 

If you feel comfortable doing so, you may share medical records or contact information for your physician or other health care provider to verify the corrections you require. The reinvestigation will take some time–up to 45 days–but you will receive the results by mail when they are ready.

NextGen Life Insurance Can Help

If this process feels confusing and overwhelming at times, remember that you are not alone. Let us clear up some of the mystery and help you achieve the results you want, easing your way towards the life insurance policy that will provide for your loved ones. 

We can also help answer any other questions you may have about the Medical Information Bureau or the benefits you receive from being insured. Give us a call today for more information.