New Blue Choice Exchange Platform Gives Employers Control Over Costs and Gives Employees More Choice
Mountain View, CA – April 30, 2012 – eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) announced today that its eHealth Technology platform is powering a new private health insurance exchange for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross). Blue Cross has launched the exchange to provide online selection and enrollment tools for its new Blue Choice defined contribution solution. Blue Choice gives employers a new way to control health care costs while continuing to offer a range of health care benefits to employees.
The Blue Choice defined contribution model for group policies allows employers to allocate a set amount of dollars towards each employee’s health coverage. Employees may then shop among plan offerings with variables such as co-payment and deductible amounts and apply the defined contribution amount toward their selection. Blue Choice also features a three-year price guarantee to give employers additional control over health benefit costs.
The eHealth Technology platform powering Blue Choice offers an online plan comparison and enrollment experience similar to eHealthInsurance.com. Each employee can choose a plan that meets his or her personal needs. Employers may customize the tool so their employees can see how much each plan costs as well as how much the employer is contributing toward the total cost of the premium. Employees can also use the online tool to choose dental or other benefits and access educational resources.
The eHealth Technology platform also provides agent and employer visibility into the addition or removal of employees from plans and other enrollment activities. Employers and agents are thus able to actively track the annual open enrollment process and provide employees with support.
“The idea of private health insurance exchanges is becoming increasingly popular among insurers who want to help employers control their healthcare costs,” said Bill Hanis, Vice President, eHealth Technology, Exchange Solutions. “eHealthInsurance has been operating commercial health insurance marketplaces for over fourteen years, enabling us to build custom exchanges quickly and with confidence that they’ll be simple and easy for consumers to use. As employer and employee needs evolve, eHealth Technology can easily adapt its hosted solution’s features and functionality over time.”
“Blue Choice offers employers flexibility in plan design and control over their costs, while offering employees choice in selecting a plan that is the best fit for them,” said Kathy Dunmire, Vice President of Product Management for Blue Cross. “By incorporating these easy-to-use online tools, eHealth helped us bring this solution to market quickly with the ability to customize and add features in the future. We like the intuitive user experience the eHealth platform provides. We also believe the agent and employer modules provide important management and support tools as this new model is introduced into the market.”
eHealth Technology’s exchange platforms allow web-based private and public health insurance exchanges to provide online health insurance plan comparison and enrollment. These cost-effective, hosted and customizable software solutions power online sales channels and streamline the quoting and application processes. Their modular data services and integration enable a single upload of health plan information that can be deployed across multiple platforms – private or public exchanges as well as mobile tools.
The eHealth Broker Exchange is offered to carriers and general agents to enable their brokers to market and sell plans online. Like eHealth Technology’s other exchange solutions, the eHealth Broker Exchange is a cloud-based online distribution system that lets customers easily compare and shop online for Individual and Family, Dental, Short Term and Medicare health plans as well as other supplement benefits like vision, accident, and critical illness. The eHealth Broker Exchange also provides some book-of-business management capabilities for agents.
For more information about eHealth Technology, visit: www.ehealthtechnology.com.
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation's leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company's website, www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through the company’s eHealth Technology solution (www.eHealthTechnology.com), eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealth Technology’s exchange platform provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and through the eHealthInsurance Medicare website www.eHealthMedicare.com.
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About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today as a health company: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, taxable organization. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to bluecrossmn.com to learn more about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.
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