MIB Group, Inc.
|Mutual-benefit nonprofit corporation|
|Industry||Life Insurance, Health Insurance|
|Headquarters||Braintree, Massachusetts, United States|
|United States, Canada|
|Products||MIB Productivity Suite Software, Insurance Activity Index|
|Services||MIB Request for Details, MIB Checking Service, and MIB Follow-Up Service|
|Subsidiaries||MIB, Inc., MIB Solutions, Inc.|
MIB Group, Inc (formerly The Medical Information Bureau Inc.) is a cooperative data exchange formed by the North American life insurance industry in 1909. MIB is the only insurance consumer reporting agency in North America and operates a database of medical information on some individuals who have previously applied for health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, critical illness insurance and long-term care insurance. Not everyone who has applied for insurance is included in MIB's database. MIB Group, Inc. is based in Braintree, Massachusetts.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, MIB’s member companies account 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. Under the FCRA, is categorized as a "nationwide specialty consumer reporting agency" and must provide annual disclosure of credit reports to all consumers who request their files.
History and business model
MIB is a membership corporation owned by approximately 500 member insurance companies in the United States and Canada. Once known as the "Medical Information Bureau," it was organized in 1902 to provide fraud protection services to insurers.
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, it became a Delaware membership corporation.
MIB Group, Inc.’s subsidiary operating company, MIB Inc., maintains a confidential consumer database for use by its corporate member companies. It exchanges personal data about individuals among its corporate members and issues consumer reports. It also provides disclosure to consumers of their MIB files.
Access and use of data
MIB has been the subject of ongoing controversy since the 1970s, because insurance agencies consulted MIB without telling applicants about the files. Consumers were largely unaware of the MIB’s existence until 1974 when the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Herb Denenberg threatened MIB member companies in the state to disclose their use of MIB consumer files or lose license to operate in the Pennsylvania insurance market. At the root of the controversy is the organization’s penchant for secrecy. For many years, insurance agencies consulted MIB without telling applicants about the files. Today, the secret continues, if to a lesser extent: MIB refuses to release the list of codes it uses. However, now, in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, individuals can obtain a free copy of their MIB consumer file once a year.
- "Nation’s Largest Insurance Reporting Agency Agrees To Expand Consumer Rights". Ftc.gov. 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "MIB Group, Inc. Consumer Guide". mib.com. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
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- Pennsylvania Insurance Department Bulletins, "Use of The Medical Information Bureau by Life Insurance Companies," dated Feb. 15, 1974 and May 3, 1974
- "Herb Denenberg has been an investigative and consumer reporter and columnist for over 25 years". Badfaithinsurance.org. Retrieved 2013-10-02.
- "Request Your Consumer File". Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- Root, Jeff. "The Truth About the MIB". RootFin. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2011)|
- "New York Times, Plans Medical Talks to End Exploitation; Bureau Will Keep Public Informed on New Developments Through Radio Broadcasts" May 23, 1932.
- New York Times, "Trying to Avoid an Insurance Debacle" February 22, 1987.