You most likely know the drill when it comes to the importance of checking the accuracy of your credit report, which lenders review before deciding to make a loan or issue a credit card. Federal law allows you to get a free copy of it once a year.
But there are dozens of other companies that gather consumer data for narrower purposes, and they are also required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to give you access to your report annually. They might gather information about your employment history, your medical conditions or your track record as a renter.
Four companies may be relevant here. The first is the Work number, a service of Equifax Workforce Solutions, that verifies job and income information for many big employers, lenders, and government agencies. The second is MIB, known as the Medical Information Bureau, which helps insurance companies with underwriting for consumers seeking life, disability or long-term care insurance, and similar types of coverage. similar types of coverage. The third is Dun & Bradstreet, a corporation that offers information on commercial credit as well as reports on businesses. Last is LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a specialty credit reporting agency.
The Work Number verification service was created to help employers manage requests to confirm salary and employment information — for example, to verify a worker’s pay when he or she applies for a mortgage. The Work Number’s clients provide data on employment, payroll and sometimes benefits, which is then made available, for a fee, to banks, employers and others authorized to receive it.
The Medical Information Bureau provides a medical history report. A medical history report is a summary of your medical conditions. Insurance companies use these reports to decide if they will offer you insurance. You have the right to get a copy of your report from MIB, the company that manages and owns the reporting databases.
Medical History Reports
If you reported a medical condition on an insurance application, the insurer may want to report it to MIB. An insurer can only share your medical condition with MIB if you give written permission. If you do give permission, the condition will be included in your medical history report.
Your medical history report does not include your complete medical records. Doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other health professionals can’t submit information to MIB. The report won’t include every diagnosis, blood test, or a list of your medicines. A piece of information stays on your report for seven years. Your report can only be updated when you apply for an insurance policy with an MIB-member company.
You have the right to get one free copy of your medical history report, also known as your MIB consumer file, each year. You can request a copy for:
- Your minor child
- Someone else, as a legal guardian
- Someone else, as an agent under a power of attorney
You can request a medical history report online from MIB or by phone at 1-866-692-6901.
Not everyone has a medical history report. Even if you currently have an insurance plan, you won’t have a report if:
- You haven’t applied for insurance within the last seven years
- Your insurance policy is through a group or employer policy
- The insurance company isn’t a member of MIB
- You didn’t give an insurer permission to submit your medical reports to MIB
Use your medical history report to detect if you are a victim of medical ID theft. You may be a victim if there is a report in your name, but you haven’t applied for insurance in the last seven years. Another sign of medical ID theft is if your report includes illnesses that you don’t have.