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January 12, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: What's in your medical record - and what if it's wrong?


Your insurer routinely shares your medical records with other medical insurance companies.

That's just the way life works.

But what if there's something in your medical record that's incorrect?

That could lead to your paying higher rates than you should, or even being denied coverage.

That's major.

Most people who apply for certain kinds of life and health insurance give their insurers permission to send their personal information to a central clearinghouse, where other insurers can access it.

Cancer treatments, chronic conditions like diabetes, psychiatric treatment, etc. would appear in this database.

So might a history of reckless driving, risky activities like bungee jumping or skydiving, and the like.

Information usually stays on your record for seven years.

Bet you didn't know (I sure didn't, until I read Ron Lieber's short piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal) that you can get a report of what's in your file.

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act states that you can request a copy of your report once a year - free.

Visit the MIB Group (they collect the information) website.

Then call this toll-free number: 866-692-6901.

Find out what people are saying about you behind your back.

Turns out that of the approximately 9,000 people who saw their medical records over the past year, 300 to 400 found errors.

Correctible, once you report them.

Knowledge - in this case, at least - is power.

January 12, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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I deal with MIB everyday in my job and they provide an invaluable service to all their member insurance companies everyday. We have caught many many insured's and agents telling lies on the applications with this information which we would have otherwise insured at a standard rate.

That being said, MIB is a bit of a behemoth to deal with and are absolutely over the top with their formalities for any business change requests or setup of new members, all in the name of customer privacy of course. I appreciate their concern, but they make any transaction with them a slow and arduous process.

Hopefully if any readers find an error in their report, MIB will correct this with more speed than I have seen them act.

Posted by: heavy | Jan 14, 2005 9:41:01 AM

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