Medical Records and Identity Theft
July 14, 2008
MIB – that’s an ancronym for ‘Medical Information Bureau’. Why is it important?
One of the ways you can have your identity stolen is through your health insurance. Medical identity theft is becoming more common. Someone who has your information and needs medical care can pretend to be you. Not only are you on the hook for the cost of the care, you also get that person’s health problems listed in your MIB file. That can be very serious and potentially dangerous to your health.
MIB is a corporation that maintains a database for insurers to exchange confidential information about your health history. It’s used by insurance companies for underwriting a new policy for life, health, long-term car, critical illness or disability insurance. You can be charged an extra premium for your policy or even declined depending on your history.
MIB records also contain any history of hazardous occupation or hobbies (like flying) and motor vehicle reports that show poor driving history and DUI’s.
This bureau is the twin to the credit bureaus. It’s a very important and personal part of your life. Information in the MIB files stays on record for 7 years.
Most of us have no idea what’s in our MIB or even that it exists. You can get a free MIB report once a year just like you can get a free credit report once a year.
How to get your free MIB report:
- US – 1-866-692-6901 (TTY: 1-866-346-3642 for hearing impaired).
- Canada – 416-597-0590 (this is not a toll-free number).
- Web page explaining this is at: http://www.mib.com/html/request_your_record.html
It will take about 15 days to get your report in the mail. Look it over carefully. As with your credit report, you can dispute any errors on your medical information bureau report.