American Medical Association Watches as Insurers take Heat for Rescission

The American Medical Association is content to watch from the sidelines as insurance corporations are subjected to public outcry for the first time over the industry practice of rescission. Surprisingly, the American Medical Association chooses not to mention the $40 million dollars in revenue the organization generates by selling access to their Masterfile Physician Database. Your information is collected and sold to pharamceutical companies and health information brokers through the AMA’s Masterfile, UNLESS your Doctor as opted-out. Have you EVER asked your Doctor if she has opted-out collection of your information in the American Medical Association’s Masterfile Physician Database, which is sold to pharmaceutical and health information companies?

Although the health and insurance industry seems to agree that they are “taking heat for the the lack of transparency,” there is no mention of consumer “medical report” files. Likewise, the corporations have yet to advocate a secure, centralized, source to request, review, and dispute your medical report file. Under Federal law, every consumer is entitled to a free annual medical report from the Medical Information Bureau, MedPoint, and IntelliScript. Have you EVER checked your free annual medical report?

More details on the practices of rescission, purging, and red-flagging, from the American Medical Association coverage of testimony before the U.S. Senate and Congress, “Insurers defend Rescissions, take Heat for Lack of Transparency. A former health plan executive calls their intentions into question before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology.” (by Emily Barry)

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What is the Medical Information Bureau Inc. (MIB Inc.)?

The Medical Information Bureau (MIB), a Delaware 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. In addition to an individual’s credit history, data collected by the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) may include medical conditions, driving records, criminal activity, drug use, participation in hazardous sports, and personal or family genetic history, among other facts.

The corporate membership of the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) 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.” According to the Federal Trade Commission:

“Under stipulated rules, approved by the Federal Trade Commission staff and agreed to by the reporting agency, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), all insurance companies who are members of the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) will abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act requirement that an individual be informed when a consumer report played any part in the insurer’s decision to deny coverage or to charge a higher rate. All consumers are entitled to receive a free copy of their medical report from the Medical Information Bureau, if requested, to verify that all information is correct.”

Source: Federal Trade Commission Press Release, “Nation’s Largest Insurance Reporting Agency Agrees To Expand Consumer Rights – Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements to apply to insurance investigations under new policy accepted by Medical Information Bureau.” Dated, June 21, 1995.

[Link to FTC press release at http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/1995/06/medical-information-bureau]

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Consumers Save Money on Insurance by Verifying Medical Report Files

The Medical Information Bureau (MIB) maintains a consumer “medical report” file for every consumer of life and health insurance. In addition to an individual’s credit history, data collected by the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) may include medical conditions, driving records, criminal activity, drug use, participation in hazardous sports, and personal or family genetic history, among other facts. (more…)

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Order Your Medical Report File from the Medical Information Bureau Inc. (MIB)

All consumers of personal health and life insurance are entitled by law to receive an annual copy of their medical report file kept by the Medical Information Bureau, Inc. (MIB). Under an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission in 1995, the Medical Information Bureau, Inc. (MIB), and all insurance companies who are members of the Medical Information Bureau, Inc. (MIB) agreed to abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. (more…)

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Check Your Yearly Medical Report File from Insurance Reporting Companies

As consumers, we would never apply for credit cards or mortgages without checking our “annual credit reports” to ensure accuracy and fair pricing. However, there is virtually no awareness among consumers that a few, large corporations collect, store, and sell their most intimate medical information in the form of “medical report” files! These “medical report” files, which the Washington Post compares to “credit reports for your health records,” are critical tools for health and life insurance companies evaluating and pricing insurance applicants and policyholders.

Surprisingly, these organizations have managed to stay under the radar, even during the current health care reform debate. Although the New York Times first reported on the Medical Information Bureau in 1932, the last time the newspaper mentioned MIB, Inc. was in 1990. Under Federal Law, the activities of the Medical Information Bureau, Inc. (MIB), Ingenix, Inc., and Milliman, Inc. qualify them as “credit reporting agencies” and thus are required to provide annual copies of medical reports to consumers. (more…)

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Get your Medical Bureau Report from the MIB (Medical Information Bureau Inc.)

The Medical Information Bureau (MIB) maintains a consumer “medical report” file for every consumer of life and health insurance. In addition to an individual’s credit history, data collected by the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) may include medical conditions, driving records, criminal activity, drug use, participation in hazardous sports, and personal or family genetic history, among other facts. (Source: Federal Trade Commission Press Release, “Nation’s Largest Insurance Reporting Agency Agrees To Expand Consumer Rights – Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements to apply to insurance investigations under new policy accepted by Medical Information Bureau.” ) (more…)

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MIB, Inc. Pays IBM Corporation for New Technology (IBM’s DataPower)

IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM) announced on February 13, 2008, that MIB, Inc., the largest provider of fraud detection services to the North American life and health insurance industries, is building a service oriented architecture (SOA) using IBM technology to better serve its clients.

MIB, Inc. is moving towards an SOA so its members can more easily integrate the services they need from MIB with their own business systems. At the same time, SOA is allowing MIB to reuse its existing software in new ways that allow the company to better serve its 500 member life and health insurance companies. IBM’s DataPower SOA security appliance gives MIB the functionality it needs to meet its architectural goals. By combining IBM DataPower SOA security appliances with Web 2.0 capabilities and rich Internet applications, customers are assured of secure data exchanges and presentation of information in a familiar interface that takes advantage of the latest Web innovations.

“As a central clearinghouse for information significant to risk selection, one of MIB’s competitive differentiators is our ability to offer accurate, timely information that prevents insurance fraud and is easily integrated with our members’ automated business processes,” said Alexander Klevitsky, director of Architecture and Enterprise Software, MIB, Inc. “IBM’s sophisticated WebSphere integration software, DB2 database and REST Web services are enabling us to maintain our leadership position by building a secure and powerful SOA on our zSeries enterprise server, thereby protecting our existing investments in technology while building a foundation for the future.”
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MIB Knowledge Now

MIB KnowledgeNow is located at https://www.knowledgenow.com, but your browser cannot go there. (Please do not try.)

What is “MIB, Inc.’s KnowledgeNow” product?

“KnowledgeNow is a subscribers-only website, provided by MIB, Inc. an MIB Group company, for the use and exchange of insurance industry information. Access to KnowledgeNow is provided upon issuance of a valid authenticating certificate from MIB’s designated certificate authority.

KnowledgeNow Registration

As the representative of an MIB Member Company requesting full access to KnowledgeNow, including WEB-enabled Products and Services, you are required to assume certain administrative responsibilities. In assuming these responsibilities, you assist in supporting the secure exchange of confidential information over the Internet. Only one administrator is required for each participating Member Company. Responsibilities are: (more…)

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MIB Access

MIB Access welcomes you to MIB:

“Welcome to MIB!

MIB is a members-only fraud prevention and deterrent organization that has served the life, health, and disability insurance industry for nearly 100 years.

In 1902, the medical directors of 15 insurance companies joined in a cooperative effort to provide a confidential exchange of underwriting information. Their mission was to alert one another to the possibility of fraud or misrepresentation. Each recognized the impact that fraud, misrepresentation, or omission of vital information could have. They felt it was wrong to charge honest applicants higher premiums because of the dishonesty or deception of a few. By taking this initiative MIB was born, thus protecting the honest consumer!

MIB has grown from its original 15 members to more than 500 member companies, including virtually every major company issuing life, health and disability insurance in the United States and Canada. Located in Braintree, Massachusetts, MIB is now the leading information services company for the North American life insurance industry.

Find out more at www.mib.com.”

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MIB, Inc. Offers ALL to Corporations and NONE to Consumers

What services and products does the MIB, Inc. provide for its corporation membership of insurance and healthcare companies? The MIB, Inc. marketing materials offer the following description “MIB, Inc. Training and Support:”

“TRAINING AND SUPPORT
MIB provides training and support to member companies including:

  • Training for new member companies
  • Advanced training for existing members
  • Advice on MIB coding questions
  • Connectivity and System integration support
  • Guidance on Rules and Bylaws interpretations
  • Toll free number for the MIB Help Desk”

What do paid corporate subscribers say about the technology services and products MIB, Inc. provides for its corporation membership of insurance and healthcare companies? The MIB, Inc. marketing materials offer the following description:

WHAT MEMBER COMPANIES SAY ABOUT MIB

“I cannot do business without MIB – it is an irreplaceable source of anti-selection criteria.” VP, Life Underwriting

“MIB always finds something that hasn’t been disclosed.” VP, Individual Medical Underwriting

“We save $58 for every dollar we spend on MIB.” Assistant VP, Underwriting

“With MIB our rescission rate is less than one percent because we catch problem applications at the front end.” Chief Underwriter, Health Insurance

“It is a ‘must-have’ to protect yourself against fraud.” Senior Underwriter “

So, what types of technology services and products does MIB, Inc. provide for paying consumers of insurance and healthcare products? The MIB, Inc. marketing materials offer the following description:

CONSUMER SERVICES
As a secure repository of the personal and private health information for millions of insurance applicants, MIB protects both consumers and the insurance industry. Our role as a trusted guardian extends to servicing consumers’ requests for reinvestigations and amendments.

DISCLOSURE
Through an easy to use, streamlined [telephone] process, consumers may request their MIB records one time per year, free of charge. [No online access is offered.]” (more…)

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MIB Checking Service

What is the “MIB Checking Service”? The MIB, Inc. marketing materials offer the following description of the “MIB Checking Service,” an electronic information product to exchange consumer information among insurance and healthcare corporations:

MIB PRODUCTIVITY SUITE – Intuitive tools for maximizing the MIB Checking Service

Our Productivity Suite is a collection of WEB-based and software based tools that make using the MIB Checking Service easier and more efficient. The suite features an electronic version of the MIB Coding Manual; point and click MIB Code translation for WEB-TERM; a WEB-based, standalone MIB Code translator; and a complete set of MIB Code Tables. MIB Code Tables let your technology team easily build MIB Code editing, translation and reporting processes into your underwriting system.

No matter what type of MIB connectivity you use, the MIB Productivity Suite improves underwriting efficiency when decoding or reporting MIB Codes. Benefits include faster translation of MIB Codes, instant access to the MIB Coding Manual, improved coding selection and a faster learning curve for new underwriters.

Have you viewed your annual medical report? The Medical Information Bureau, a/k/a MIB Group, Inc., does not offer consumers a secure system online to request, review, and dispute information in their consumer “medical report” file. All consumers are entitled to request an annual medical report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Consumers wishing to request their annual medical report must call the Medical Information Bureau’s telephone number at 1-866-692-6901.

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History of MIB, Inc.

“Where the insurance industry shares its intelligence. MIB, Inc. – Issue with confidence”
Concerned with the undisclosed risk posed by fraudulent applicants, 15 Medical Directors organized in 1890 to ensure the livelihood of their businesses, the solvency of the insurance industry, and the fair and equitable pricing of policies. That organization would become MIB. These MIB member companies quickly realized that they already possessed the best resources for determining the accuracy of applicants’ health – their current and former applications. Agreeing to share and analyze this information afforded valuable insights into the true risks they were carrying. More than a century later this integral information exchange is still at work protecting the life, health and disability income insurance industries

“Putting a powerful resource to work”
Today, MIB provides nearly 500 U.S. and Canadian insurance companies access to information of underwriting significance in the form of medical and avocation codes. Its 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 and long term care insurance. MIB facilitates this sharing of information among member companies through a proprietary, secure system for data exchange. This data acts as the vehicle to steer the underwriter’s investigation, providing the insurance industry with a more complete and accurate picture of an insurance applicant’s health situation. MIB provides underwriters the knowledge they need, when they need it.

Source: MIB, Inc. marketing materials

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All Consumers Get an Annual Medical Report from MIB, Inc.

On June, 21 1995, the Federal Trade Commission announced an agreement with the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), a business-interest corporation and the largest insurance reporting agency in the world.

The Federal Trade Commission press release is reprinted below in full:

“Nation’s Largest Insurance Reporting Agency Agrees To Expand Consumer Rights
- Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements to apply to insurance investigations under new policy accepted by Medical Information Bureau”

The Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection today released a staff opinion letter in accordance with which the nation’s largest insurance reporting agency will, for the first time, provide millions of consumers applying for health, disability and life insurance with the same guarantees that protect consumers from unfair treatment in credit and employment investigations.

Under the new rule, approved by the FTC staff and agreed to by the reporting agency, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB), all insurance companies who are members of the MIB will abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act requirement that an individual be informed when a consumer report played any part in the insurer’s decision to deny coverage or to charge a higher rate. In such cases, the insurance company will notify the consumer of the name and address of the consumer reporting agency that provided the report. Consumers who receive the notice are entitled to receive a free copy of their report from the reporting agency, if requested within 30 days, to verify that all information is correct. (more…)

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Free Print or Download – MIB Request Form for Annual Disclosure

Thanks for your interest in the Medical Information Bureau (MIB, Inc.). Please click here to download or print a free sample MIB Request Form (PDF link).

With this form, you can request a copy of your report file from the MIB, Inc. (Medical Information Bureau). Instructions are included. (Read here for more information about the MIB, Inc.)

You can also make your free annual request by calling the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) toll-free at 1-866-692-6901. As a nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency, MIB Inc. “must provide a toll-free number that is published in every telephone directory in which a number for the company appears, and is clearly and prominently posted on the company’s website.”

The Medical Information Bureau, Inc. (MIB), a Delaware 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.”

In addition to an individual’s credit history, data collected by the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) may include “medical conditions, driving records, criminal activity, drug use, participation in hazardous sports, and personal or family genetic history, among other facts.”  Under Federal law, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) is a “consumer-reporting agency” and is required by law to provide a medical report to consumers every 12 months.

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