The Medical Information Bureau (MIB), a business-interest corporation, is the world’s largest insurance reporting agency and represents approximately 500 member insurance companies. “The Medical Information Bureau (a/k/a, MIB Group, Inc., a/k/a, MIB, Inc., a/k/a, MIB Solutions, Inc.) collects and furnishes information on consumers to all Medical Information Bureau (MIB) member corporations for use in the insurance underwriting process. By detecting and deterring fraud, the Medical Information Bureau saves its corporate members an estimated $1 billion dollars per year.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns Americans that, in addition to medical conditions, data collected and reported by MIB may include an individual’s credit history, driving records, criminal activity, tobacco usage, drinking habits, participation in hazardous sports and “other” data.
Under questioning by a Senate Banking Committee in the 1970s, MIB’s former executive director and general counsel Joseph C. Wilberding revealed that the “other” category in MIB files has included information on “sexual deviation” (i.e., homosexuality, effeminate behaviors, bachelorhood, HIV acquisition, and a woman’s questionable “moral character” for giving birth out of wedlock), drug addiction, alcoholism and such hazardous hobbies as auto racing and flying.
MIB Group, Inc. is “the leading provider of internet-based fraud detection data, risk management tools and actuarial analytics for the North American insurance industry.” The operations of the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), and its extensive network of subsidaries and affiliates, are relatively unknown to consumers. The Medical Information Bureau (MIB) is branded as the MIB Group, Inc., and is a Delaware-registered non-stock membership corporation. In addition, the MIB Group, Inc. is the umbrella organization for MIB, Inc., and MIB Solutions, Inc.
Founded in 1902, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) is America’s oldest and longest continuously operating credit reporting agency. Accessing 100 million records and growing weekly, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) 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.”
From the “About the MIB Group, Inc.” section of its website, the MIB Group, Inc. provides the following description:
“MIB Group, Inc. (“MIB”) is a membership corporation owned by approximately 470 member insurance companies in the US and Canada. Organized in 1902, MIB’s core fraud protection services protect insurers, policyholders and applicants from attempts to conceal or omit information material to the sound and equitable underwriting of life, health, disability income, critical illness and long-term care insurance.
From 1902 through 1945, MIB was governed by a sub-committee of the Association of Life Insurance Medical Directors of America (ALIMDA). In 1946, MIB was established as an unincorporated association under New York law. In 1978, a decision was made to incorporate, thereby transforming MIB, as a business entity, from an unincorporated association into a Delaware membership corporation. The decision to incorporate MIB was well-reasoned and came at a critical crossroads in MIB’s history. Incorporation provided MIB member companies with limited liability and rendered moot the lingering legal questions that MIB had about the ability of an unincorporated association to execute contracts in its own name, among other things.
As a “membership” or “non-stock corporation,” MIB has not been capitalized through the issuance of stock and MIB has no shareholders. MIB’s members are the ultimate beneficial owners of the corporation. In contrast to “for profit” corporations, MIB was organized for purposes other than generating profit and no part of the corporation’s income is distributed to its members, directors, or officers. However, MIB does not enjoy tax exempt status.
Recognizing the need to develop new products and services, MIB’s Board of Directors and membership authorized management to reorganize the company in 1999. To do so, MIB Group, Inc. became a parent company (acting as a holding company) and two wholly-owned “for profit” stock subsidiaries were formed: MIB, Inc. and e-Services Corporation. [In 2006, the name “e-Services Corporation” was changed to “MIB Solutions, Inc.”]. The current organizational structure of MIB Group, Inc. allows MIB Solutions to develop new products and services, while MIB Inc. continues to provide the flagship MIB Checking Service (MIB’s core fraud protection services).”