eHealth Announces Health Insurance Carrier Adoption of "eApproval" Technology
IHC Deploys New Technology That Enables Consumers to Apply for Health Insurance and Receive an Underwriting Response in a Single Online Session
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 11/19/08 -- eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH), parentcompany of eHealthInsuranceServices, Inc., today announced that the IHC Group (NYSE: IHC), has adoptedits EPI-III "eApproval" technology for initial deployment with IndependenceHolding Group, Inc. (IHC) under the brand of Companion Life InsuranceCompany for individual and family insurance plans in six states, and withIHC's member company Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New Yorkfor short-term insurance business in 45 states.
The technology allows shoppers to complete an application for healthinsurance online, submit an electronic signature and receive an instantunderwriting response from the carrier. If approved for coverage, shopperscan submit their payment electronically and instantly receive theirmembership materials, including a temporary membership card online.
The proprietary technology from eHealth streamlines the online healthinsurance application process by integrating automatic underwritingdecisions and application approvals directly into eHealth's onlineapplication process. eApproval is being introduced to consumers applyingfor health insurance plans through the eHealthInsurance.com website.
"Internet shoppers have become accustomed to completing their onlinepurchases in a single session. eApproval can make buying health insuranceas easy as buying books, clothes or vacations online," said Jeff Smedsrud,Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for the IHC Group.
"This is a significant step for the health care industry and a verycompelling reason for consumers to purchase health insurance ateHealthInsurance.com and from IHC carriers including Companion Life andStandard Security Life," said eHealth President and Chief Executive OfficerGary Lauer. "By accelerating the application and underwriting process,we're reducing costs for our insurance carriers and ultimately increasingthe ease and accessibility to health insurance for American consumers."
eApproval is the latest component of eHealth's Electronic ProcessingInterchange (EPI) technology, a key element of the eHealthInsuranceecommerce platform. EPI technology integrates the company's onlineapplication process with health insurance carriers' technology systems,enabling eHealthInsurance to electronically deliver consumers' applicationsto health insurance carriers. This expedites the application and carrierunderwriting process by eliminating manual delivery and reducing the needfor data entry and human review.
About eHealth, Inc.:
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, thenation'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 healthinsurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchasehealth insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of health plansunderwritten by more than 180 of the nation's health insurance companies.eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states andthe District of Columbia. eHealthInsurance and eHealth are registeredtrademarks of eHealthInsurance Services, Inc.
About the IHC Group:
The IHC Group is an insurance organization composed of Independence HoldingCompany (NYSE: IHC) and its operating subsidiaries, including MadisonNational Life Insurance Company, Inc., Standard Security Life InsuranceCompany of New York and Independence American Insurance Company. The IHCGroup has been providing life, health and stop loss insurance solutions forover 25 years. For information on Independence Holding Company and the IHCGroup, see www.ihcgroup.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined withinthe Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These includestatements regarding the ability of the EPI III "eApproval" technology tomake buying health insurance as easy as buying books, clothes or vacationsonline and the ability of eApproval to accelerate the application andunderwriting process, reduce costs for insurance carriers and increase easeand accessibility to health insurance for American consumers. Theseforward-looking statements are inherently subject to various risks anduncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from thestatements made, including risks associated with adoption andimplementation of EPI-III "eApproval" technology, system failures,malfunctions, bugs or capacity constraints, the performance, reliabilityand availability of eHealth's ecommerce platform and underlying networkinfrastructure, ecommerce security risks, insurance carrier resourceallocation and ability to integrate their systems with eHealth's and toprovide expedited or instant responses to insurance applications, insurancecarrier system failure or process breakdown, failure of the carrier'ssystem and algorithms to properly underwrite applicants, insurance carrierfreedom to terminate use of the "eApproval" technology at any time, changesin the economy and weak economic conditions, compliance with insurance andother laws and regulations and changes in laws and regulations. Otherfactors that could cause results to differ are described in eHealth's mostrecent periodic report as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commissionand available on the investor relations page of eHealth's website atwww.ehealthinsurance.com and on the Securities and Exchange Commission'swebsite at www.sec.gov. eHealth does not undertake any obligation toupdate any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actualresults or changes in expectations.
For more information, please contact:
Sr. Public Relations Manager
Director, Marketing Communications
IHC Health Solutions
Member of the IHC Group