As consumers, we are encouraged to review a copy of our credit report each year. What’s the big deal about reviewing one’s credit report regularly? Your credit report may directly impact your ability to secure a loan, obtain a credit card, lease an apartment, qualify to buy a home and the respective mortgage rates, purchasing or leasing a car, and even a job application. Checking your credit report can help with financial planning, committing to responsible financial and purchasing behaviors, as well as helping spot identity theft.An error in your credit report may impact your credit score, causing significant headaches. Federal law typically allows individuals to get 1 free copy of their credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies, including Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Due to COVID19, individuals will be able to get free weekly copies of their reports online through April 2021. Upon receiving and reviewing a copy of one’s report, any incorrect information must be reported directly to the business that issued the account or the company that issued the report.
Want to know a secret?
Individuals also have the right to request their free annual medical report from the Medical Information Bureau, Inc, OPTUMInsight, Inc, and Milliman, Inc specialty consumer reporting agencies. While there’s an emphasis for consumers to request their credit report, there is very little in advertisement and emphasis about one’s right to also request an annual medical report.
A medical report is similar to a credit report for your health and health records. Your medical report may contain a combination of details, comprised of both medical and non-medical information, which describe you. Your medical report may list the details of health conditions, adverse driving records, criminal activity or arrests, participation in hazardous sports or hobbies, genetic history, sexual orientation, substance abuse, and details from your credit report. Companies in the business of health and life insurance use the information in medical reports to assess people applying for individual insurance.
In the same way that you should review a copy of your annual credit report, you should ABSOLUTELY request and review a copy of your annual medical report for accuracy, especially if you are applying for any insurance policies, such as life, health, or long-term care insurance.
Mistakes in medical report files may lead to higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs as well as give reason for insurers to reject potential coverage and policies. For example, a coding error made by a physician may lead to an incorrect diagnosis being reflected in your medical report, such as diabetes or metastatic cancer, leading to potential insurance policy denials. Fixing mistakes found in one’s medical report could lead to significant savings in health insurance policy premiums. Disputing errors in medical reports is of critical importance.
Have you requested a copy of your annual medical report? Request yours today from Medical Information Bureau, OPTUMInsight, and Milliman. Tell us about your experiences or tweet about them and tag us @UnblockHealth or use the official hashtag #UnblockHealth.
Yours in Unblocking Health,
Shahid Shah & Grace Cordovano