IHC Group

Independence Holding Company

Oct 3, 2018

IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc. Launches Highly Scalable Platform to Serve Growing Need for Specialty Health and Other Insurance Products

STAMFORD, Conn., Oct. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc. (IHC Specialty Benefits), a wholly owned subsidiary of Independence Holding Company (NYSE: IHC), announced that it has significantly enhanced its platform for selling its specialty health products,  as well as laying the foundation to, in the near future, begin selling the products of other nationally recognized insurers. The specialty health products are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, rated A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company, Inc. (IAIC), also a subsidiary of IHC.

David Kettig, President of IHC, commented, “As consumer demand increases for affordable health product solutions due to increasing pricing for products compliant with the Affordable Care Act and the lack of a penalty in 2019 for individuals who do not purchase these policies, IHC is positioned to capitalize on market expansion as a result of our vertically integrated structure.  IHC Specialty Benefits has expanded its lead generation, training and call center infrastructure such that we are now able to develop leads (i) organically through our various domains (including www.healthedeals.com) and social media campaigns, (ii) through strategic alliances with respected lead generators, and (iii) as a result of our recently announced relationship with one of the most highly respected insurance companies in the country, which has chosen to direct its millions of members to IHC Specialty Benefits for their health insurance needs.  These leads are funneled to our call centers and exclusive network of national independent agents, which are made up of career advisors who reach consumers virtually, face-to-face, and via networking and industry groups to present our broad product portfolio. In order to service this increased lead flow, we have opened new call centers in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and expanded our presence in Lake Mary, Florida. The IAIC products offered include, in many states, short-term medical (STM) with various deductible and coverage options and Connect Plus, which is the only STM that covers certain pre-existing conditions.  As of today, we have begun selling 364-day STM policies in states that permit it.  We also offer bundles of IAIC products (which we sometimes refer to as “Fusion”), which are designed to give consumers a choice of various versions of STM coupled with numerous hospital indemnity, accident medical, critical illness and dental product choices. We will also continue to sell through large nationally recognized health insurers and e-brokers and further develop our other sales channels, including independent agents and brokers.”

Mr. Kettig continued, “We now have a highly scalable, fully integrated platform to generate leads and sell IHC products through our call centers.  We are confident in our experienced management team’s ability to continue to profitably manage this business, and that we have more than sufficient excess capital to support the expected growth.  Our next step will be to expand the product portfolio that we sell through our call centers to also include products of other leading insurers such as Affordable Care Act policies, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, life, and disability products. Under our current structure, this segment of IHC has approximately $180 million of in-force premiums, which we hope to significantly increase beginning with the upcoming Open Enrollment period. Under the enhanced structure, we are confident that as we further refine our platform to add products from other insurance companies, IHC Specialty Benefits will greatly expand its premiums under management as we broaden our product offerings.”

About The IHC Group

Independence Holding Company (NYSE: IHC), formed in 1980, is a holding company that is principally engaged in underwriting, administering and/or distributing group and individual specialty benefit products, including disability, supplemental health, pet, and group life insurance through its subsidiaries (Independence Holding Company and its subsidiaries collectively referred to as “The IHC Group”).  The IHC Group consists of three insurance companies (Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company), and IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., a technology-driven full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer and individual consumer products through general agents, telebrokerage, call centers, private label arrangements, and through the following brands: www.HealtheDeals.com; Health eDeals Advisors; www.PetPartners.com; and www.PetPlace.com.

Forward-looking Statements
Certain statements and information contained in this release may be considered “forward-looking statements,” such as statements relating to management's views with respect to future events and financial performance. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical experience or from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, economic conditions in the markets in which IHC operates, new federal or state governmental regulation, IHC’s ability to effectively operate, integrate and leverage any past or future strategic acquisition, and other factors which can be found in IHC’s other news releases and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. IHC expressly disclaims any duty to update its forward-looking statements unless required by applicable law.

CONTACT:  Loan Nisser
(646) 509-2107

Source: Independence Holding Company