Insurance - Inaccurate Medical Records Could Give You A Heart Attack

 


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You may be paying too much for health, life or long-term care insurance! I know because a life insurance company recently tried to charge me double. My experience may save you money and keep you from being turned down the next time you apply for insurance.

I recently applied for some additional life insurance. As usual, a nurse came to my home, asked me some questions, took some samples and did an EKG. I wasn’t concerned because I am generally in good health. That’s why I was so surprised when the life insurance company wanted to charge me twice the amount I was expecting to pay.

Come to find out, they thought I’d had a heart attack! Now I may not be the sharpest guy around, but surely I’d know if I’d had a heart attack. In order to get the rate I expected, it would now be up to me to prove that their conclusion was wrong.

Worse, the insurance company reported the test results to a little known association called the MIB. Just like a credit report affects your ability to get a loan, the MIB, or the Medical Information Bureau, is like a health report that is consulted by insurance companies. Every insurance company I apply to in the future will also think something is seriously wrong with my heart. That means I could be turned down for coverage or charged a much higher rate. What’s on your health report can affect you, too.

For 100 years, the Medical Information Bureau has recorded any health problems uncovered during the underwriting process. By cross-referencing your application against their records, the MIB reduces insurance fraud and makes it easier for insurance companies to accurately assign risk and write policies. That means they can tell if you may not be telling the truth on your application.

Any time you apply for health insurance, life insurance or long term care coverage, your application is run through the MIB’s database. But only 15% to 20% of applicants have an MIB record. And the MIB can’t include medical records from your doctor. They only track information gleaned through your application, including results from any tests the insurance company requires. So if you go to your doctor and have your blood cholesterol checked, those results won’t be sent to the MIB.

If you fail to disclose a preexisting condition on an application, a red flag will be generated, which could make it more difficult to receive coverage. Also, your MIB file may contain errors. Mine certainly does. Not only are the EKG results misleading, but they also show I have another condition, which my doctor assures me I do not have. With the help of my physicians, I’m in the process of correcting these errors. This will not only save me money on my premiums, but help me qualify for insurance in the future.

The main point is that you have to be your own advocate. It’s up to you to get a copy of your health record from the MIB. Having a copy of your health report prior to applying for new insurance can also help you remember a condition you may have forgotten, especially since their records go back seven years.

You also need to correct any errors it might contain. This is a tedious process at best. Since insurance companies and agents make more money if your premium is higher, they aren’t as motivated to help you correct any errors. You must take the lead. Plus, you will bear the cost of any additional tests or doctors visits that may be needed to disprove their conclusions. I’ve had to see three doctors and have several tests to prove I’m fine.

Fortunately for me, my heart is fine. It may still take months however for the corrections to be made that will reflect an accurate medical history.

It’s worth the effort. Otherwise you could jeopardize your future chances of qualifying for insurance or may have to pay far more. For just $9, you can receive a copy of your own MIB record. You can get all the details, plus other helpful information at their website, www.MIB.com.

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Mr. Voudrie is a Certified Financial Planner, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and President of Legacy Planning Group, Inc. , a Private Wealth Management Firm in Johnson City, TN. He can be reached toll-free at 1-877-827-1463 or at jeff@guardingyourwealth.com.

Nationally-syndicated financial columnist and Certified Financial Planner® Jeffrey Voudrie provides personal, in-depth money management services and advice to select private clients throughout the USA. He’ll answer your financial question – FREE at http://www.guardingyourwealth.com

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