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Question about MIB and what can be discovered when applying for disability insc

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  • Question about MIB and what can be discovered when applying for disability insc

    Background: Currently a PGY-5 with a fellowship to be complete June 2018. Applied for disability insurance late 2015 through Guardian. Got a preliminary quote pending physical exam and blood work, which I never got around to completing (Quote was something like $110-120/month).  At the time I had no current medical conditions but they asked if I had any issues within the past 10 years with my back. I answered truthfully, that I had been seen in the past for back pain likely related to sports. I had a negative MRI about 9 years ago and the last I saw anybody for back pain was 9.5 years ago.  Not surprisingly, that information ended up on my MIB.


    Question #1: In about 4 months I can truthfully say no to that question (I have not been seen for back pain in the past 10 years) but that information will still be on my MIB. Is there anything I can or should do about that?


    Question #2: I have recently been having hip and knee pain. Was seen for both, MRI of knee was stone cold normal. My suspicion is it may be related to lumbar radiculopathy. I have not even mentioned the words "back pain" to a clinician for fear of how that may impact my ability get disability insurance. Is there a safe way to approach this issue?


    I will be doing Interventional Radiology so my back is certainly something I want DI to cover.



  • #2
    The MIB receives its information from those that apply for life or disability insurance and have had medical issues in the past. A generic code is used to indicate areas or potential medical history to protect the insurance companies from applicants applying to another carrier and not fully disclosing their previous or current medical conditions. You can learn more by going to

    Some applications will ask about 10 years but some will ask "ever". The application wording also can vary by state.

    If you have seen a physician for back pain that long ago and there were no MRIs that showed degenerative changes and you have had not symptoms since, I would not be concerned.

    However, if you are having hip and knee pain and saw a physician, you should expect an exclusion rider for both areas. If you remain asymptomatic, they can potentially be reviewed after 1-2 years after symptoms resolve completely.

    Keep in mind that depending upon where you are doing your residency or fellowship, Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI) or conversion programs might be available that do not require medical underwriting.

    Hope this helps.
    Lawrence B. Keller, CFP, CLU, ChFC, RHU, LUTCF


    • #3
      Don't expect anything to happen in a review. If you no longer have hip or knee issues, they'll say that having an exclusion is no big deal. If you still have issues, they still want it excluded.
      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011


      • #4
        WCI, I disagree.

        If there are no issues and the problem was/is not chronic, the exclusion rider(s) can be removed. I have had this done many, many times. You are correct, if there are symptoms present, the exclusion rider(s) will remain.

        What keeps the companies "honest"? Competitive pressure. If I can go to another carrier and they will issue a policy with no exclusion rider and the current carrier will not remove the exclusion, I can move the client to the new carrier. The result, the "old" carrier gives up the income stream that they have. No guarantees but this strategy has also worked on more than one occasion.
        Lawrence B. Keller, CFP, CLU, ChFC, RHU, LUTCF