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Priority Health joins Michigan's first multi-carrier benefits exchange

(Grand Rapids, Mich. - March 18, 2013)

Priority Health joins iSelect Custom Benefits Store - Michigan's First Multi-Carrier and Multi-Distributor Benefits Exchange for Mid-Sized and Small Employers

 iSelect announced the launch of the iSelect Custom Benefits Store, Michigan's first multi-carrier and multi-distributor benefits exchange for mid-sized and small employers. iSelect Custom Benefits Store is a fully insured health benefits exchange – a storefront for group benefits – that enables employers to control benefit costs with a defined contribution funding strategy while enabling employees to become active and informed benefits consumers. Employees select the specific benefits they need - from health care, including medical, dental and vision, to disability and life insurance.

"iSelect levels the benefits playing field for mid-sized employers," said Denise Christy, iSelect founder and CEO. "iSelect gives employers access - through their independent insurance agents - to multiple carriers and a menu of benefit options not available previously in the small and mid-sized employer market."

iSelect's carrier partners are two premier Michigan health plans, Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and Priority Health.

"Priority Health and HAP will offer custom product suites on iSelect," said Christy. "Through their commitment and partnership, we will be able to deliver outstanding health plan options. HAP and Priority Health both offer broad provider networks and have high member satisfaction."

iSelect meets an important need for Michigan employers preparing to comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to Christy.

"Research shows that 85% of Michigan employers intend to continue offering health coverage when the ACA is fully enacted in 2014. The ACA mandates that employers provide health benefits or opt out and pay a penalty. iSelect is the best option for employers that want to provide coverage while protecting their bottom lines," adds Christy.

What is new and different about iSelect Custom Benefits Store?

"Three aspects of iSelect set it apart. First, iSelect offers customers an array of carriers from which to select their carrier of choice; other private exchanges typically are proprietary and only include one carrier for all customers. Second, iSelect uses a consumer-friendly technology platform from the market-leading private exchange provider, Liazon. Liazon's Bright Choices® Exchange helps employees choose and navigate their benefits. Third, iSelect's customized benefit options are brought to the employer through the independent insurance agent that they have come to know and trust," explains Christy.

Independent agents interested in marketing and selling benefits using the iSelect Custom Benefits Store will be certified through seminars iSelect is conducting beginning in April.

The first fully insured multi-carrier exchange in Michigan, iSelect Custom Benefits Store has the following advantages. iSelect -

  • Controls employers' benefit costs while giving employees control of their benefit choices. Employers define a fixed annual amount, a defined contribution; employees decide how/where they will "spend" their benefit dollars
  • Supports the independent agent and the relationship with his/her clients, providing state of the art technology, carrier options and, income to the agent
  • Provides a choice of at least two carrier options for each product line offered on the exchange. Employers choose a carrier for each product that best meets their employees' service area needs
  • Gives employees the opportunity to choose benefits that meet their unique needs. iSelect carriers have packaged a range of five to ten medical plan designs compared to small and mid-sized plans that today are limited to two or three plan choices
  • Simplifies benefits administration and eliminates financial risk. Employers make a single defined monthly payment. The insurance carriers fully insure their benefit plans.

"iSelect is a win-win for Michigan consumers and companies. The state's most trusted health insurers have joined a Michigan-based private exchange to provide cost savings and a greater choice of flexible health plan options than ever before for employees," said Mark Hall, HAP vice president of Sales. "HAP's expertise in retail market and established insurance agent relationships will help purchasers make the right choices in this growing market."

"As healthcare changes significantly in the next year, Priority Health remains committed to finding new and improved ways to address issues of cost, access and quality," said Scott Norman, vice president of Sales for Priority Health. "We see our partnership with iSelect as one more way we are furthering this commitment and achieving our mission of providing all people access to excellent and affordable healthcare."

Liazon is iSelect Custom Benefits Store's exclusive private exchange partner. Easy to navigate, iSelect Custom Benefits Store has enrollment and decision-making tools for agents, employers and employees. Employees, when enrolled, select and track their benefits costs and utilization, and have the advantage of access to health and wellness information and tools. "Priority Health and HAP have strong track records of engaging consumers in their health with their physicians," said Christy. "At iSelect, we believe that by driving higher levels of engagement through consumer choice, we will make Michigan a healthier place to call home."

For further information, visit www.iselectcbs.com

About Denise Christy

Denise Christy is Founder and CEO of iSelect Custom Benefits Store. A longtime health care leader and innovator, Christy served as Regional President of Humana Inc. responsible for operations in Michigan and Indiana from 2003 until she resigned at the close of 2012 to launch the iSelect exchange. Previously Christy was national vice president of sales operations for United Healthcare and held leadership positions with Priority Health and SelectCare. A Michigan native, Christy is a graduate of Aquinas College and was recently conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Business at the College. A tireless community volunteer Christy served on the boards of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging, Junior Achievement, Girl Scouts of Metropolitan Detroit and is actively serving the Michigan Colleges Foundation, Haven Capital Campaign, and Co-Chair of the Aquinas College Foundation. In 2007, Christy was named as among Detroit's Most Influential Women by Crain's Detroit Business. Visit www.iselectcbs.com for further information including registration for agent certification seminars.

About Health Alliance Plan (HAP) hap.org

Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to more than 660,000 members and companies of all sizes. For more than 50 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations to improve the health and well-being of the lives we touch. HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid, Self-Funded and Network Leasing. HAP delivers award-winning preventive services, disease management, wellness programs and personalized customer service. The National Committee for Quality Assurance awarded HAP's commercial HMO and HAP Senior Plus Excellent Accreditation. Learn more at hap.org.

About Priority Health

Priority Health is an award-winning health plan nationally recognized for creating innovative solutions that impact health care costs while maximizing customer experience. It offers a broad portfolio of products for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. As a nonprofit company, Priority Health serves more than 600,000 people and continues to be rated among the best health plans in the nation by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Visit priorityhealth.com to learn more.




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