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Ebix Acquires Online Health
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Bluecrosswisconsin.com Online Sales Increase as More People Look to the Internet for Insurance
MILWAUKEE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 8, 2002--Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin (BCBSUW) is rapidly establishing itself as the premier online insurance provider. Since launching the online sales component of its bluecrosswisconsin.com site a little over a year ago, BCBSUW has generated over $2 million of premium revenue. More workers are turning to the Internet for researching and purchasing insurance as a result of increases in the cost of medical care and cost containment efforts by employers.
"The traffic has increased dramatically over the past year," said Keith Bell, Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin's Internet Team Manager. ``We are providing an average of 1,500 quotes a week to individuals looking for insurance and about 50 quotes a week to small businesses. Over $1.5 million in premium revenue was generated from the sale of individual insurance plans alone."
Convenience is one of several benefits that draw people to buying insurance online; however consumers can also benefit from cost savings by taking the online route. ``Often, online quotes can be as much as five to six percent lower than that received from an insurance agency," said Bell.
BCBSUW's Web site is part of a drive to provide individuals and small businesses with a faster and more convenient method of obtaining health insurance. Recent enhancements to the site have improved the application process for businesses purchasing insurance online, cutting the time it takes to complete the application process in half and making the process almost completely paperless. Both individuals and small businesses can complete the application process in under a half hour.
In addition, members enrolled in Blue Cross & Blue Shield plans, including CompcareBlue can take advantage of the online customer service module that complements the online sales feature. The secure customer service component is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and allows members to view their personal claims status, deductible and out-of-pocket amounts, hospital inpatient and outpatient authorization status. They can also request a new ID card and access benefit booklets. According to Bell, the Service Direct customer service module also has been one of the site's most visited features, with an average of 100 new users each week.
"The site is successful because we are simply offering a convenient, accessible online system for people to buy health insurance," said Bell. ``But we think the added value is in the uniqueness of how our site operates. We are still offering the human element of sales and customer service through our Internet Team, whose members include sales, customer service and underwriting professionals, who are dedicated solely to administering Internet-generated sales and customer service."
Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin is the state's largest health insurer. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Blue Cross offers a flexible product portfolio with a broad range of options for small, medium and large groups, as well as individual plans for people who don't have access to group coverage. The Blue Cross Internet address is www.bluecrosswisconsin.com
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