How Life Insurance Companies Get Your Personal Health Information

Insurance companies use huge quantities of information to profitably “underwrite” potential customers. If you’ve ever filled out an application  for insurance, you’ve faced questions that the insurance company uses to determine the level of risk you pose, your premiums and the extent of coverage for which you are eligible. The person who reviews and evaluates your responses is an insurance underwriter. To assist the underwriters in determining the validity of your responses, insurance companies access the credit reporting services, department of motor vehicle records and the largest private medical data collection on the planet, the MIB or Medical Information Bureau.

The Medical Information Bureau Inc. (also known as MIB Inc. and MIB Group Inc.) was founded in 1902 and is America’s oldest and longest continuously operating credit reporting agency. Accessing 100 million records and growing weekly, MIB Inc. currently owns and monetizes, “North America’s largest database of medical conditions on insurance applicants. [Including] diagnosed medical conditions from attending physicians, lab test results, qualified physical exams, self-admitted medical conditions.” For the first-half of MIB’s history, from 1902 to the early 1970’s, the company operated in strict secrecy.

The MIB Inc. served, “a critical role in the lives of thousands of individuals, affecting not only their security but their finances as well. But many of those affected have little idea that the MIB played a part”. The MIB Inc. even had an unlisted phone number. MIB Inc.’s importance in the insurance industry is priceless. The corporate membership of the MIB Inc. accounts for 99 percent of the individual life insurance policies and 80 percent of all health and disability policies issued in the United States and Canada. (Collectively, these insurance companies manage trillions of dollars in assets.) MIB Inc. keeps active credit report files for every authorized insurance customer within its member companies. MIB Inc. collects and codes medical conditions, driving records, credit history, criminal activity, tobacco usage, alcoholism, drug addiction, participation in hazardous sports, and personal or family genetic history, among other facts.

Legal consent must be granted by each individual applicant and policyholder, allowing MIB inc, to collect and share your private information with the Insurance companies. This authorization is always found within the individual’s signed application or policy renewal documents (often with names like “Application for Insurance”, “Important Notice”, or “Authorization to Release Information”). Don’t sign if you don’t agree. Insurers will review your data to decide if you’re eligible for coverage and at what price. Your signature legally confirms your informed authorization and consent to allow information collection and data-mining (analytics). The biggest challenges are data transparency and data accuracy.

Data transparency is when the information is shared, it is done without showing where it is being shared. Lack of data accuracy within individual medical report files hurts both buyers and sellers in the insurance market. Whereas 25% of the credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies are plagued by “material errors”, the accuracy rate of consumer reports sold by all nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies has never been publicly studied. Although the MIB Inc.’s medical database is North America’s largest, its not the only source that insurers exploit.

Another nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency, ExamOne (a QueDiagnostics Company), has prescription drug records on more than 200 million Americans. To collect billions of drug files daily, ExamOne hosts its own servers directly in the data centers of pharmacy benefit management companies. With ExamOne’s “ScriptCheck” data product, underwriters have instant online access to the past seven years of individual prescription history reports, including: the drugs and dosages prescribed; dates filled and refilled; the therapeutic class; and the name and address of the prescribing doctor. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, two-thirds of all health insurers were, “using prescription data — not only to deny coverage to individuals and families but also to charge some customers higher premiums or exclude certain medical conditions from policies, according to agents and others in the industry. Some carriers were also using the data to charge small employers higher group rates.

The Bottomline on MIB Upon the written authorization of a customer, the underwriter can efficiently access personal and medical information through the MIB Inc. web portal. Within the MIB Inc. portal, the underwriter can: locate anyone’s MIB Inc. database file; evaluate the medical report data; request more details from other insurance companies; program alerts to automatically track the applicants’ possible undisclosed conditions for two years into the future; and sleuth out frequent-shoppers acquiring too much life insurance. Your prescription history is also available. This being said, don’t attempt to bend the truth or let something “slip your mind”. Just tell the truth, roll the dice and see where the underwriters place you on their risk scale.

Many Life Insurance Companies will issue a policy knowing more information than you think and than try to hold it against the beneficiaries at the time of claim. Expert Settlement Solutions are Life Insurance claims experts helping families make sure they get what is rightfully theirs. If you have lost someone or know someone that has don’t file the claim on your own hire the Life Insurance Claims Experts. Expert Settlement Solutions is here to help.Call NOW for a free consultation 570-213-5605 or visit our website at

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