STAMFORD, Conn., April 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) today announced that it is launching Connect Plus and adding it to its leading portfolio of affordable alternatives to Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “Obamacare”) plans.  Connect Plus will launch in 22 states, on www.healthedeals.com, as well as through other preferred distribution partners, on April 20, 2018.  This first-of-its-kind temporary medical plan provides coverage for certain pre-existing conditions up to $25,000 to consumers who qualify, subject to a deductible and coinsurance. 

Short term limited duration (“STM” or “short-term medical”) plans are much more affordable than ACA plans because, as an underwritten product, not everyone qualifies for coverage. In addition, STM plans do not cover claims for pre-existing conditions.  For example, with a traditional STM policy, a person receiving post-surgical physical therapy for an injury incurring before the effective date of the STM plan or who has asthma that incepted before the effective date of the STM plan, would qualify for a policy, but these particular conditions and any claims associated with them would be excluded because they arose prior to the effective date of the STM plan. Under the innovative Connect Plus product, both the physical therapy and the asthma described above and certain other pre-existing conditions would be covered, assuming the person passes the underwriting questions.  For those who do qualify, coverage for up to $25,000 in certain pre-existing conditions is an important enhancement.

David Kettig, President and Chief Executive Officer of IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., commented, “Connect Plus is an important addition to our portfolio of affordable health insurance options.  IHC offers the following “core” products: Connect Lite (STM for the budget-minded), Connect (STM for those not concerned with pre-existing condition limitations), Connect Plus (our enhanced STM offering), Care Access (first dollar indemnity coverage for hospitalizations) and Fusion (Care Access coupled with a high deductible STM product which provides both first dollar coverage for hospitalizations and peace of mind for large expenditures).  We couple our core products with well-priced ancillary coverages, including: MetalGap (an affordable coverage for both accidents and critical illnesses), dental, vision, Rx discount card and telemedicine.  In addition, we also sell group and individual limited medical for those who are interested.”

“Health insurance must always strike a balance between coverage that is affordable but may not be available to everyone and ACA plans that are available to all during open enrollment but are unaffordable to many. IHC is a leader in bringing innovative and affordable products to the marketplace for those who qualify for underwritten products.  We are delighted to introduce Connect Plus as an enhancement to our industry-leading portfolio of affordable health insurance products. The rule proposed by the Trump Administration that would change the maximum duration of short-term medical policies to less than 12 months, as opposed to the current maximum duration of less than three months, together with the repeal of the individual mandate penalty effective January 1, 2019 as part of tax reform, will have a positive impact on the future of our Company.”

About The IHC Group

Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC) 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 since 1980.  The IHC Group owns 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. (IHC SB), a technology-driven full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer and individual consumer products through general agents, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label arrangements, and through the following brands: www.HealtheDeals.com; Health eDeals Advisors; Aspira A Mas; www.PetPartners.com; and www.PetPlace.com.  IHC creates value for insurance producers, carriers and consumers (both individuals and small businesses) through a suite of proprietary tools and products, all of which are underwritten by IHC’s carriers or placed with highly rated insurance companies.

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
www.IHCGroup.com