MIB Group, Inc.

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Type Mutual-benefit nonprofit corporation
Industry Life Insurance, Health Insurance
Founded 1902
Headquarters Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
Area served 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.
Website mib.com

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[citation needed] 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.[1] 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.[1] 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.[2]

History and business model[edit]

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.[3]

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.[4]

MIB Group, Inc.’s subsidiary operating company, MIB Inc., maintains a confidential consumer database for use by its corporate member companies.[5] It exchanges personal data about individuals among its corporate members and issues consumer reports. It also provides disclosure to consumers of their MIB files.

Despite its size, MIB Group's name is generally not known among the general public.[6][7]

Access and use of data[edit]

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.[8][9] 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.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ""Nation’s Largest Insurance Reporting Agency Agrees To Expand Consumer Rights"". Ftc.gov. 2011-06-24. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  2. ^ "MIB Group, Inc. Consumer Guide". mib.com. Retrieved 10 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "MIB Group - History of MIB"[dead link]
  4. ^ Littell, Bob (2000-02-07). "The Mysterious MIB - Not Any More..". The National Underwriter. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  5. ^ "MIB.com, About MIB, Inc"[dead link]
  6. ^ a b Garfinkel, Simson (2001-01-01). Database Nation : The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century. ISBN 0-596-00105-3. 
  7. ^ "Request Your Medical Information Bureau Annual Report". Voices.yahoo.com. 1995-06-21. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Insurance Department Bulletins, "Use of The Medical Information Bureau by Life Insurance Companies," dated Feb. 15, 1974 and May 3, 1974
  9. ^ "Herb Denenberg has been an investigative and consumer reporter and columnist for over 25 years". Badfaithinsurance.org. Retrieved 2013-10-02. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "http://www.ftc.gov/opa/1995/06/mib.htm".