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What Is the Medical Information Bureau (MIB)?

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Updated: Aug 23, 2023
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MIB, formerly known as the Medical Information Bureau, is a member-owner corporation that has operated on a not-for-profit basis in the United States and Canada since 1902. MIB assists life insurance companies in assessing potential applicants during the underwriting process.

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Key Takeaways

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MIB does not collect your personal medical data, which is protected by HIPAA regulations. MIB information is coded to protect your privacy.

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You are free to access your MIB report at any time, and can request a report for free once per year.

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Most major insurance companies in the United States and Canada are members of the MIB.

What Is the MIB?

The MIB assists life insurance companies with the underwriting process and makes sure that insurers have accurate information about your medical history when underwriting an insurance policy. The MIB helps insurance companies to assess applicants more accurately and screen them for past or current medical conditions.

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    What is the purpose of the MIB?

    The MIB keeps consumer records and assists life insurance companies with the underwriting process, making sure insurers have accurate information about an applicant’s history when they apply for an insurance policy. This helps insurance companies to assess applicants more accurately and screen them for past or current medical conditions. In addition to consumer medical information, the MIB collects information about dangerous hobbies and traffic violations. This information helps insurers reduce and prevent fraud.

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    Who makes up the MIB?

    Insurers own the MIB or MIB Group, Inc. Most insurance companies in the United States and Canada are members of MIB, and it is a nonprofit company in both countries. When consumers apply for insurance, the information they provide about their habits and medical histories is sent to the MIB database. Information that insurers uncover during underwriting can also be added to a consumer file, and any member company can then access the information if that person files for insurance.

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Insurance offered by an employer does not typically require an MIB, which means you’re automatically covered.

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How Does the MIB Work?

The MIB functions in a way that’s similar to a credit bureau. While a credit bureau tracks your credit history using lender-provided information like your credit cards and loans, the MIB tracks your medical history in order to help insurance companies decide how insurable you are. Types of insurance that require MIB include:

  • Life insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Disability income
  • Critical illness
  • Long-term care
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If you have a preexisting medical condition or illness like cancer, you may not be confident that you’ll pass an insurance underwriting process. In this case, there are several different types of life insurance that do not require a medical exam or underwriting. These include:

  • Group Life Insurance
  • Simplified & Guaranteed Issue Whole Life Insurance
  • Mortgage Life Insurance
  • Final Expense Life Insurance

What Information Does the MIB Collect?

Your MIB report includes information about your medical history, including diagnoses and treatment of illness, as well as other personal factors like your driving record, employment and whether or not you participate in any dangerous activities, like skydiving. Information listed in the report includes:

  • Date of any previous life insurance applications
  • Date of diagnosis or treatment for an illness
  • Medical conditions including mental health
  • Types of treatment for medical conditions
  • Where the medical history came from
  • Driving record, including accidents and tickets
  • Criminal activity, including arrests
  • Occupation status
  • Travel to foreign countries
  • Participation in dangerous activities, like skydiving

Insurance companies use the information provided in the MIB report to assess your application. While the MIB report is not the only factor that insurance companies take into consideration, it helps insurers to verify that the information you provided in your application is accurate.

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Insurance Underwriting

Is the assessment of the risks you present when applying for insurance, to which these risks affect your insurance premium and coverage.

Is User Data Safe With MIB?

The MIB takes steps to ensure that user data is safe and that an individual’s data is private. It uses the same codes as the rest of the medical industry, and only includes information that is pertinent to an insurance application. The MIB doesn’t collect or store medical records; instead, it only collects information about your medical history. Only you and insurance companies have access to your report.

How to Ask for a Copy of Your MIB Report

You can request a free copy of your MIB report once per year. You can access your report online or over the phone.

This report will include the same information that an insurer will see when assessing a policy application. Information in the report includes:

  • Any medical and personal information that the MIB has in its database, along with who reported the information and when it was reported.
  • The name of any MIB member company that received or requested your MIB report.
  • Information about disability benefits for which you’ve applied if you previously applied for disability income insurance.

It’s a good idea to review your MIB report to make sure that it’s accurate and error-free. This helps to ensure that your application is fairly assessed.

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    You can call MIB at 1-866-692-6901, and its voice queue is available from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday, except on holidays. You can find out more details by contacting the MIB by phone.

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    You can request your report online using the link above, but the form is unavailable on Saturdays from 2 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. Eastern Time, and on Sundays from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Eastern.

Can You Dispute or Change an MIB Report?

If you find any errors in your MIB report, you can take steps to dispute or change this information. In order to do so, you’ll need to submit a signed Request for Reinvestigation Form and provide information including your name, date of birth, where you live, your Social Security number and any items that you believe to be incomplete or inaccurate.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered some frequently asked questions about the Medical Information Bureau to help you understand how it works.

About Margaret Wack

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Margaret Wack is a freelance writer who covers insurance, saving, investing, banking, and more. Margaret earned a bachelor's degree in classics, comparative literature, and poetry from Smith College and a master's degree from St. John's College.