NU Online News Service, March 25, 6:08 p.m. – MIB Group Inc., Westwood, Mass., has a program to help life and health insurers comply with a new federal law that prohibits certain people from doing business with U.S. companies.

Under the law, the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, the Office of Foreign Assets Control will be publishing a list of more than 5,000 “specially designated persons and blocked persons.” The U.S. government believes these people are foreign agents, terrorists and narcotics traffickers.

U.S. insurers, brokers, agents and reinsurers that do business with these people could face criminal fines of up to $1 million, up to 12 years in prison, and civil penalties, MIB says.

MIB, a nonprofit group that collects personal life and health underwriting data for insurance companies, will add the no-commerce list to its underwriting database under a new alert code.

The MIB system will flag a name if the name being searched is either on the list or resembles a name on the list.

An alert does not necessarily mean an individual is on the government’s list, but it means an insurer might want to look at the applicant more closely, MIB says.

MIB members that use MIB’s Follow Up Service will automatically find out whether any applicants they have researched in the past two years have names that resemble the names on the government’s no-commerce list, MIB says.