Posted by: thecreditmaven | November 24, 2008

Your “Other” Consumer Reports – Part II

Were you aware that there are prescription drug databases collecting information on US consumers? I wasn’t either. In addition to the Rx databases, there is a specialty consumer-reporting agency that collects and maintains data regarding life, health, long-term care, and disability insurance for individuals. Let’s answer the following questions. 

  • Who is collecting this information?
  • What is the purpose of collecting it?
  • When did this begin?
  • Where is this data stored?
  • How do I get a copy of these reports? 

WHO

There are currently two data aggregation services “databases, for short” that gather Rx records on all Americans – Intelliscript and MedPoint. Milliman owns the former, the latter by Ingenix. 

Milliman IntelliScript                                                                 
15800 Bluemound Road
Suite 400
Brookfield, WI 53005
www.rxhistories.com  
 
MedPoint Compliance 
Ingenix, Inc.
2525 Lake Park Blvd
West Valley City, Utah 84120
www.ingenix.com

 

 If you have any significant medical conditions or if you have applied for insurance as an individual to an insurance company, you have a medical report which is retained by a specialty consumer reporting agency called the Medical Information Bureau (MIB).

Medical Information Bureau
P.O. Box 105, Essex Station
Boston, MA 02112
www.mib.com 

 

WHAT

The purpose of collecting this information is simple – it SELLS. Any type of data about a consumer financial, health, physical, mental, etc is worth money on the open market. The more a company knows about an individual, who is trying to buy a product or service, the more the company can price the product or service accordingly. 

For example, if someone seeks to purchase private health insurance from an insurance carrier then that carrier would want to know as much as possible about that person before issuing a policy.

The insurance company would request an Rx history report on that consumer from Intelliscript or MedPoint. The report allows the insurer to make assumptions about the health of the consumer and coverage could be denied for certain medical conditions, cause the consumer to pay increased premiums or insurance being denied altogether. 

Normally, a consumer will not have a MIB report unless he/she has applied for insurance within the past seven years and  only if the person has applied for an individual policy rather than a group policy. It is estimated that only about 20% of consumers have an MIB report.

However, if you have a significant medical condition or you have completed an insurance application than you very well may have an MIB report. The only way to know if you do is to request a copy of the report. 

WHEN 

Prescription drug records have been around for a long time. Every time an Rx purchase happens, the information is entered into the pharmacies’ computers and insurance companies’ databases. These records detail the type of medication as well as any refills and dosage amounts. 

If an insurance carrier requests information on a consumer, a report can be generated that details the last 5 (five) years worth or Rx history. 

The use of prescription drug databases was not common knowledge until last year when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued Milliman and Ingenix. By providing the 5-year Rx history report to insurance companies, for underwriting insurance purposes, both companies according to the FTC were violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). 

Milliman and Ingenix were able to settle with the FTC without any monetary damages and they now adhere to the FCRA. For more info, go to:

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2007/09/ingenixmilliman.shtm 

The Medical Information Bureau has been in existence since 1902. It is comprised of approximately 470 insurance companies in the US and Canada. MIB’s mission is to provide information to insurance companies so that each carrier can make clear decisions regarding the underwriting of life, health, disability income, critical illness and long-term care insurance for consumers. 

WHERE 

All of the information that goes into these reports resides in computers and databases nationwide; from your local pharmacy, emergency room, insurance company to your family doctor or counselor’s office, anywhere that you received medical treatment, had a prescription filled or even completed an application for insurance coverage. 

HOW  

To get a free copy of your Rx report from Intelliscript: 

877-211-4816
IntelliScriptSupport@milliman.com
 

To get a free copy of your Rx report from Ingenix:

Ingenix, Inc.
2525 Lake Park Blvd
West Valley City, Utah 84120 
(888) 206-0335

 

To get a free copy of your MIB report: 

(866) 692-6901
http://www.mib.com/html/request_your_record.html 

 

Remember that you have a right to know what is in your Rx report and your MIB report. You are entitled to a free copy of the report if you have applied for private insurance and have been denied coverage because of something in one of the Rx reports. 

These reports need to be treated the same as your personal credit report. Accuracy is paramount and every individual is entitled to a copy of the report once a year. If the information is inaccurate, you have a right to dispute it and have it corrected. For more about medical information and your privacy, go to:

www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs8-med.htm 

To your Empowerment!

CM

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Responses

  1. Awesome information!!!
    I read it very carefully.


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