Checking Your Records

By: Paul Aker
By: Paul Aker

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Your health record has some of your most private information, including the prescriptions you take and your medical conditions. But did you know that a private company could also collect that information. The Medical Information Bureau (MIB) gathers the data from more than 500 insurance companies and shares it with its members.

16 million Americans have MIB files that include codes for 230 different medical conditions. The files help insurance companies determine risk. "It can be very efficient in getting information and expedites the process of people getting insurance that leads to lower costs," said Insurance Agent Dave Evans.

MIB wouldn't go on camera, but told us the company helps insurers detect and deter fraud. Industry experts say they information saves them millions of dollars, savings they pass on to consumers.

Some privacy rights groups are outraged. "Let's say you had a chronic medical condition several years ago. But now you're considered cured. Then, ask your doctor to submit a letter to the MIB and to your insurance agent stating that while at one time you had a serious condition, you are now well," said patient advocate Cynthia Solomon.

MIB stresses its error rate is less than half of one percent, and that all information is confidential and shared only with its member insurance companies.

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